Gianna Colizza – Headteacher Gesher School.
Gianna Colizza is headteacher of Gesher School and a Specialist Leader of Education in Special Educational Needs. Gianna joins from a leading specialist resource base, that specialises in Autism and is co-located at a mainstream primary school. In addition to this, Gianna chairs the Camden Branch of the National Autistic Society, has sat on panel in Camden and lectures at the Swiss Cottage SEN school, she has also been funded by the British Council to travel across Europe to observe best practice in SEN.
Leor Harel – Deputy Head / Head of Kodesh
Leor Harel is the Deputy Headteacher of Gesher School and Head of Jewish Studies. Leor has previously worked in the Pears Special Resource Provision at JCoSS as a SEN teacher, and more recently as leader of Mathematics at Wolfson Hillel. In addition he has a background of working with children and families within informal education settings and is passionate about creating opportunities for all children to engage with their Judaism and community.
Tamaryn Yartu – SEN Classroom Teacher
Tammy is the classroom teacher in D’vash and has a specialism in SEN. Tammy was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and now lives in London. She is passionate about working with children within specialist early years settings and believes that early intervention is fundamental for future learning and achievement. Her previous role was at a Centre for Autism as a part of a mainstream school where she had the opportunity to start and develop the early years programme.
Nicola Donaldson – SEN Classroom Teacher
Nicola is the classroom teacher in Seorah class. Nicola qualified as a Teacher from the University of Edinburgh. She has experience in working in a range of special education settings, having previously supported pupils with SEN in mainstream schools in Scotland and at an Autism Resource Base in London. Nicola is passionate about creating an environment which supports all pupils to learn, achieve and flourish.
Natalie Smalling – Speech and Language Therapist
Natalie Smalling, is Gesher’s Speech and Language Therapist. She has many years of experience in working with children who have a range of speech, language and communication difficulties, including Autism, Specific Language Impairment and speech disorders. Natalie has worked within a variety of educational settings with her last role being within an Autism Resource Base. She is able to deliver interventions and training and works to empower parents and teaching staff by providing them with the skills required to support their children’s communication development.
Catherine M’Crystal-Fletcher – Gesher’s Occupational Therapist
Catherine M’Crystal-Fletcher is Gesher’s Occupational Therapist (OT). Cat returned to the UK in 2014 from rural Australia where services and supports for children with special needs were few. Cat worked as OT and Key Worker in an early intervention service where she supported children mental and physical disabilities, and their families, to access and participate inclusively in education and the community. She was lead OT in the State-wide Paediatric Trauma team where she worked with children and their families affected by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. In England Cat has worked in the NHS and Specialist Education. Cat is passionate about empowering children to participate in life and grow in themselves.
Chris Gurney – Dramatherapist
Chris is a dramatherapist who trained at Roehampton University in London. He joins the team having previously facilitated dramatherapy sessions at a specialist resource base for Autism, as well as having provided SEN support within the adjoining mainstream school. Chris is passionate about utilising the creative arts to help support both emotional and cognitive exploration within children, with a particular focus on story and metaphor as dramatic tools through which to do so.
Dr Gemma Handelsman – Educational Psychologist
Dr Gemma Handelsman Gesher’s Educational Psychologist. Gemma also works as a Senior Educational Psychologist for a local County Council, supporting children with a wide variety of special educational needs in mainstream and specialist schools. She has particular interests in autism, behaviour and the role of teaching assistants. Gemma previously worked at a National Autistic Society School, supporting children in the classroom and residential setting. She enjoys using solution focused approaches with parents and staff to ensure the best outcomes for children.
Carly Wilde – Office Administrator
Carly joins Gesher as an office administrator. Carly comes from an administration background and is passionate about special educational needs after her own son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3.