Kerry - Kickstart Learning with Kerry

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Who am I?
My name is Kerry Lound and I am the founder of Kickstart Learning with Kerry. I set up the Centre as I wanted to have the freedom and flexibility to work with children and young people in ways that I know will benefit them most. I have always loved working with children - it is what I was born to do and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I also love martial arts and know how beneficial exercise, in general, can be in the learning process. I have combined my passions to help create an optimal learning environment where students are enthusiastic, focused and motivated to do their best.

I have a degree in primary teaching and was a primary school teacher for 12 years before leaving to start the Kickstart Learning Centre. I have experience of working in both independent and state sector primary schools and, for the majority of my career, I had positions as Head of English and as an English Consultant. I have a strong reputation for being an innovative and inspirational practitioner and have always been well liked and respected by children, parents and colleagues alike. I have taught all national curriculum subjects, all year groups from Reception to Year 6 and I have experience of working with secondary age students when working for English language schools and when teaching martial arts.
I like to describe myself as neurodivergent - I have been formally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and ADHD, but I believe that a person is much more than just a set of labels. Labels are needed to promote understanding and to gain support, but everyone is unique and has an individual set of strengths and challenges. I struggled growing up trying to understand who I was and why I felt different to my peers. It has been a long and sometimes difficult journey for me to get to where I am now. I was faced with many barriers, but I was determined to knock each one down and prove that my difficulties wouldn't stop me from achieving my goals. I was only diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when I was 26 and with ADHD when I was 31, but that was the turning point in my life when everything started to make more sense and I finally started to accept that I'm not broken: my brain is just wired differently.

I have spent the past decade trying to find out everything possible about ASD, ADHD and, more recently, other conditions such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. I never realised how many incorrect beliefs and assumptions are made about these conditions and how negatively this affects the lives of people who have them or those who live with people who have them.
I particularly enjoy working with students whose brains work in a similar way to mine as I often find that we share a deep connection and I intuitively understand what they are struggling with and how I can help them best. I also enjoy working with students who have become disengaged with the learning process and then helping to rebuild their confidence and enthusiasm for learning.

Martial Arts
I have been participating in martial arts since I was 15, achieving my black belt in 2015. I fell in love with martial arts at a time when I was struggling to make sense of who I was and I was determined right from the start to one day achieve my black belt.

It was a long journey, as you can see from the videos below, but the sense of achievement and pride I felt when I was presented with my black belt will stay with me forever. Martial arts has made me who I am today and shown me that with determination and perseverence I can achieve anything I set my heart on.

My martial arts journey still continues as I refine and broaden my skills and pass these on to others. My husband and I teach regularly at a children's martial arts class; we love teaching martial arts and know that we will spend our lives doing this. It is incredibly special to see the often dramatic increase in a student's confidence and maturity after they have been participating in martial arts for just a short period of time.
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