About Us

How SMART Evolved

“T” was at rock bottom … she had been indefinitely suspended because of a thought she had. The school had created an issue that caused her to become extremely anxious and her ADHD caused her to swear. Despite the school knowing of her ASD, ADHD, severe anxieties but seemingly created the incident to get her “out” of the independent mainstream school that she attend for 4 years. She lost ALL friendships, and the parent of her best friend had instructed her daughter to never talk to her again (my daughter is a very clever child, and never had any behaviour points throughout her years of schooling!) This parent said she was a bad influence! I managed to get her into a group, Musical Theatre. She sat alone, would go and sing her heart out and within weeks she started to talk a little. As weeks went by, with singing 1-2-1 classes she started to believe that she actually could sing and was good. She started to talk more and more with the others and quickly realised she had something in common and didn’t care that she was different, because, many didn’t care, they too had their own struggles with confidence and anxieties or self doubt, they all look after each other. T has proper friendships now and is a different child

The SMART Family

Melanie

Founder/Director – Head of SMART SEN

I am passionate about helping children and I’m passionate about the performing arts, from a personal perspective. I have read the statistics, researched for several years and spoken to many psychologists. It is known that children often gravitate towards the arts as a way to feel and be more like themselves. I have a 14 year daughter who has struggled through various performing arts groups, academies, schools and social groups all her life. I have seen first hand how children with any kind of need are pushed to one side, left broken and struggle to find provision for them, and then actually run by people who totally understand them, so that they can just enjoy having fun. 
I have been a foster parent, worked as teaching assistant, volunteered at schools, worked in nursery’s along with my 14 years experience of ASD, ADHD, OCD, Sensory Processing, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, PoTs, and severe anxieties. I also am a mentor, life coach and understand the importance of positivity. 
My role within Smart Performing Arts Academy is pastoral support which is to ensure that every individual is integrated, happy and having fun. I am the SEN Manger for all our SEN groups and activities and parents should feel safe knowing that I am on hand helping your children have fun in a safe nurturing environment. I also am the key person for organising our Parent Support groups, helping , sharing and signposting.
I am passionate about helping all children, they are all included in whatever SMART do, they are understand and provide them with strategies that work!