I was born in 1958 in the Hastings Buchannan Hospital and am the eldest of three children.
In September 1962 I started primary school in Crowborough where I enjoyed learning but disliked the formality of the classroom setting and was often rebellious. At the age of seven we moved to Rye where I attended the local primary school. Throughout my primary school years I continued to enjoy learning with my favourite subjects being History and Maths. I also loved reading and was a frequent visitor to the local library. However, I continued to feel stifled by the rigidity of school life preferring to learn alone. 'Could do better' became a permanent feature of my school reports.
I joined the Brownies but left after two weeks because I wanted to be in the 'fairies' but they made me be a 'gnome'. I also began acting in school plays and joined the school and local church choir. At the age of ten I went away from home for the first time when the church choir made a tour of England. We sang on the steps of the newly opened Coventry Cathedral.
As a family we regularly went for picnic outings at the weekend and once a year went off to a Caravan park for a holiday.
At the age of eleven we moved to Eastbourne. This meant another change of school and new friendships to be made. During my secondary school years I became increasingly rebellious and de-motivated by learning. I left school with just three 'O' levels in Maths, English and Geography as well as a CSE in French.
College came next where I studied for a Diploma in Business Studies as well as taking Shorthand and Typing Classes. I added a further 3 'O' levels in Government and Politics, Law and Accounts as well as passing my OND.
Set up with qualifications for a life in Business I decided that was not for me and became a student nurse at Eastbourne District General Hospital. While a student nurse I took my first trips abroad to Lloret de Mar in Spain and Bavaria in Germany. After qualifying as a nurse I worked for two years as a staff nurse on medical wards. I particularly enjoyed teaching student nurses when they were on the ward.
I gave up nursing when I married for the first time but returned to it when my eldest son was a baby. Married for the second time with a second son I decided to become a childminder. A few years later a vacancy came up for a classroom assistant at my eldest son's school and I was offered the job. I worked alongside the class teacher and taught small groups for Englsih, Maths and Science. After a year in the job I decided I would like to teach but needed a degree so I began studying with the Open University. My time working in the local primary school as a classroom assistant gave me a great deal of experience working with KS1 and KS2 children. After three years working in Primary Education I was offered a position in a Pupil Referral Unit. Eager to gain as much experience as possible I accepted the position and spent the next two years working with disaffected and excluded KS3 and KS4 pupils.
The demands of studying, work and two children led to a second divorce but I gained my degree and in September 2000 began my PGCE training to become a History teacher. I set up my first History website, History on the Net, in November 2000 to provide easily accessible resources for my teaching practice. I took up my first teaching post in September 2001 as Learning Support Unit Manager at Filsham Valley Secondary School spending much of my time with pupils with behavioural problems helping then manage their behaviour as well as support their learning in English and Maths. I also established a second website Additional Needs Net. In June 2003 I decided to take a side-step and from September 2003 taught Humanities and History full time at Filsham Valley School and was appointed Head of History in March 2004.
The growth and demands of the History website together with the demands of my teaching post became impossible to manage during the Autumn term of 2004. Not wanting to give up my history website, I decided to take some time out from teaching to further develop the website. I left teaching in December 2004 and to generate an income I added a website shop selling worksheets and other teaching materials that I self-published. I also did some local storytelling and gave talks on history.
The History website continued to grow and at its peak was attracting around 30,000 visitors a day. I advertised my educational resources shop on the site and sales increased with many schools around the World using my self-published resources to help their own classroom teaching. I kept up to date with the English National Curriculum for English and Maths as well as History in order to produce relevant resources for these subjects.
Early in 2013 I was made an offer for the History on the Net website and decided to accept. The new owners did not want the shop so it was renamed HON Resources Shop and moved to a new website address. A second worksheets shop, Worksheets Warehouse, was subsequently opened and work began on a new range of educational websites.
Although I kept the website shop, the sale of my History website left me with much more free time and I decided to return to teaching. Not wanting to return to the stresses and demands of full-time teaching and with few schools offering part-time employment, I decided to take up private tutoring. Working one-to-one with students away from the rigidity of a school timetable and the pressures of a busy school day means that I can tailor lessons to suit each individual and can spend as much time as each pupil needs to grasp concepts and understand what they are being taught.
In my spare time I continue to maintain and add to my portfolio of educational websites.