anna donnelly A

anna donnelly

Broadstairs, Thanet District, Kent

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engineering Freelancer

About me:

I have just graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Education, Psychology and Special Educational Needs. The degree focused on education but gave me a basic overview and sound understanding of psychology while leading me to further recognise a deep-rooted interest in the currently studying a MSc in psychology at Cardiff University where I am studying the complex and integral theories that underpin child and educational psychology. 


am currently studying a MSc in psychology at Cardiff University where I am studying the complex and integral theories that underpin child and educational psychology. Furthermore, During my undergraduate degree, I had multiple modules around the effects of Individual Differences, Mental Health issues and the impacts they can have on Children, my willingness to learn more about the effects of Mental Health on children and their ability to learn developed further in my final year of University where I focused my Dissertation on Anxiety, Stress and Mindfulness. I explored whether a brief, online, mindfulness-based intervention could increase mindfulness and reduce stress and state anxiety amongst undergraduate students. This allowed me to explore and learn how the educational setting is affecting student’s Anxiety and Stress levels and postulating a way forward for students. Using SPSS to analyse the data, the results met my hypothesis, Mindfulness intervention showed significant improvements in all Mindfulness scores and a decrease in Stress and Anxiety scores post intervention in University students. The research report has enabled me to be successful in Data collection and entry. This research report allowed me to explore the history and development of mental health such as Mental Health Measure (Wales), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness Interventions. This focused my interests on Mental health issues and the effects they can have.


Furthermore, during my master’s I have studied Biological, Cognitive Psychology and Individual Differences, these topics have enabled me to apply theories of personality intelligence and cognition to specific assessments which could be used in a clinical setting. While studying theories for aggression the issue of domestic abuse was highlighted and motivated me to develop my knowledge and understanding further in the community. In addition to knowledge of theory and practice my previous experiences have enabled me to articulate different perspectives and developing knowledge in a coherent and logical manner. If given the opportunity I will demonstrate a way of working and learning which is centred on precision and reflection. 


I am currently on placement working on the CoMB Study in the  School of Healthcare Sciences and School of Psychology, Cardiff University The placement consists of a research project exploring motor learning in children with and without a diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). I am currently working with Dr Keating, Dr Catherine Purcell, Dr Sarah Gerson, Dr Ross Vanderwert, and Dr Catherine Jones who are based across the School of Healthcare Sciences and the School of Psychology. The current project exams how the mirror neuron system, a neural network involved in observing and performing actions, works in children with DCD. We are inviting children aged 8-12 years with and without a diagnosis of DCD to visit CUCDHS to take part in several behavioural assessments and an EEG task. Here I assist Dr Keating during testing and data collection. This opportunity has given me the chance to engage in multiple stages of the research process: recruiting and scheduling participants, data collection, data entry and cleaning, and elements of data analysis. I have been given training for each activity and  provided  with a unique set of skills which is preparing me for future research assistant positions and PhD programmes 


I currently work as an Early Years Teaching Assistant in a primary school. Where I utilise my knowledge of theory and practice to help a class of dynamic children with varying abilities and individual challenges. I was designated to support the low ability groups to improve academically and emotionally, this involved setting up groups and one to one session focusing on Maths, English and emotional wellbeing. Every day I was able to recognise children’s dynamic and individual needs in order to communicate effectively with them so I can help them thrive in their setting. I quickly adapted to the challenges brought on by the COVID -19 pandemic. Following the key ethos of the school which is ‘resilience’ by making sure the pandemic did not detrimentally affect the children’s access to education. I achieved this by working with the Early Years leader creating and setting up home learning resources and communicating with the parents. 

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