Friday, February 26, 2021

Get ready for your first driving lesson!

You've received your new provisional driving licence, you've booked your first driving lesson, now you're wondering what to expect. I will explain everything to put you at ease and look forward to beginning your learning journey. Exciting stuff.

Thank you for choosing me as your driving instructor and I will look forward to our adventure.

Be sure to get a good night's sleep before the big day. You'll want to feel fresh and ready to begin the lifetime skill of driving a car. Have breakfast and bring a bottle of water with you, particularly if its a warm day. The car is fully air conditioned but the stop-start nature of the early steps to driving will mean the engine won't always be running.

I will pick you up from the address you've given me at your chosen date and time - look out for this:


Have your driving licence ready for me to check. I will check that the photo on your licence resembles something like you, don't be shy, if you've got an awful photo like me, I won't judge! I will then conduct a quick eyesight check to ensure you meet the safety requirements to drive a vehicle. Remember to bring glasses if you need them, sunglasses if its bright.

We will then proceed to a suitable area ideal for practising the basics of car control. During the journey I will introduce myself and tell you a little about today's lesson. Feel free to ask any questions - at any time - no question is a silly question, ask away.

When we reach a suitable area, we will swap seats (Covid19 regulations followed of course). We will get you sitting comfortably, set up those mirrors, get everything ready to go. We will then begin to explore what the various controls, switches and levers do. I will check your understanding and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. Keep those questions coming.

Once you've familiarised yourself with the car, we can then have a look at the process of moving off and stopping. We will break it down into small chunks for you to have a go. Try it, have fun, don't worry - you won't break anything! It's worth pointing out I have a clutch and brake pedal so I can stop the car safely if the need arises. You'll be moving off in no time. Imagine that! We will spend time repeating the process until you feel ready to try some gear changes.


Depending on the area's suitability we may get the chance to use some quiet junctions - no pressure, the option will be there if you wish. I will always encourage you but I'm conscious it is a lot of information to take in on a first lesson.

You will be amazed just how much progress you will make in such a short amount of time. Feel free to do as much or as little as you wish, there are no hard and fast rules, just relax, get used to it and enjoy it.


Again, if you have any questions, fire away. Your input is always welcomed and encouraged. Been driving with your parents prior to lessons and want to try things a different way? Go for it.

We will then have a little debrief about what you've learned and what you'd like to achieve next. As always, I will ensure you are very much in control of how you'd like lessons to develop. I will ensure everyone's safety at all times. We will then set a few goals for the next lesson.

We will then head home and we can set a date and time for your next lesson. Congratulations, you've taken the first steps to getting onto the road. Now is the time to begin practising for your theory test - the earlier to pass this the more time you'll have to focus on the practical test.

I very much look forward to meeting you.

Additional support available for those taking their theory and practical tests

 Special provision will be made by the DVSA for those with additional needs when taking their theory and practical tests. Whether you're hard of hearing, you have a physical disability or a learning difficulty, support is available for you.

You must inform the DVLA of any special needs or physical disabilities which might affect your ability to drive safely. More information can be found here.

Theory test support

Extra time may be given for those with learning difficulties or hard of hearing. You can choose to listen to the test using a headset, this option is available to everyone - no proof of disability is required. You can also opt for a one-to-one reader/recorder. This is a person appointed by the test centre who can read and record your answers. They are not allowed to explain any questions to you. No allowance will be made for additional support for the Hazard Perception Test.

You must inform the test centre of any additional support needed when booking your theory test.

More information can be found on the DVSA website.

Practical test support

There are a few options available to help support those hard of hearing, those with a physical disability and those with a learning difficulty. Your examiner will allow you extra time for your test. This will allow time for the examiner to explain the support available to you. You may choose to take a break during the test.

You must state any hearing, physical disability or learning difficulty when booking your practical test. Details will then be passed to your examiner who will be aware of your needs before meeting you.

More information can be found on the DVSA website.

Useful links

Further information on driving with additional needs can be found at the following websites.

 - East Anglian DriveAbility
 - Driving Mobility
 - British Dyslexia Association
 - National Autistic Society
 - Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

Monday, February 22, 2021

Understanding Autism - an Open University course

 I'm pleased to announce I've completed training in understanding autism, an online course supplied by The Open University.

I believe everyone has a right to drive and I'm working to better support those on the autistic spectrum as well as those who suffer with anxiety.

I highly recommend this course for anyone looking to gain an insight into ASD.



Safeguarding Adults: Level 3 Training

 



As part of my commitment to professional development, I have completed Level 3 training in Safeguarding Adults, a course from Health Education England provided by FutureLearn.com.

'This course forms part of a programme designed to cover the complete set of Level 3 learning outcomes in the Safeguarding Adults Intercollegiate Document - Adults Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff, published in August 2018.'

Teaching Students Who Have Suffered Complex Trauma (FutureLearn course)

 I am proud to have completed 'Teaching Students Who Have Suffered Complex Trauma', a course provided by FutureLearn.com, as a part of my commitment to professional development.

This is a very interesting course for anyone involved in teaching those who have suffered some form of complex trauma. These short courses are instrumental in helping to better support those who need that extra bit of guidance.



Lesson dedication - why regular lessons are so important

Whether you choose an intensive driving course or you opt for weekly lessons, its important to stick to a routine that maximises efficiency and keep things fresh. Here's why.

The route to driving success is dedication and good organisation on your part. Past test results have shown that a set routine for your driving lessons will improve your chances of going on to pass your driving test in the most efficient way possible.

That is, if you choose a 2 hour slot once a week this will ensure your knowledge is fresh, you will quickly build on what you have learned from your previous lesson, keeping recapping time to a minimum. Those whose lessons are infrequent and patchy will spend more time recapping on previous lessons, ultimately requiring more lessons to pass their driving test.

You will see more rapid progress too.

Inevitably, life gets in the way sometimes and there may be times where you cannot commit to a regular driving lesson. Do try to make it as regular as you can though.

Get it booked, get it done, get passed.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Private practice between driving lessons

Should you get in some private practice with parents in between driving lessons? I take a look at the benefits of gaining experience outside of lessons.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to a vehicle alongside driving lessons but for those who are, why not make the most of the extra experience alongside your lessons with your instructor? It will enable you to get used to another vehicle, particularly if the vehicle is to be yours once you've passed your driving test. Getting used to a different clutch will help improve your clutch control too.

Remember you must be supervised at all times by a suitable full licence holder and your vehicle must be insured for you. More information can be found here.

You can use this opportunity to get plenty of practice at times when you wouldn't be able to have a driving lesson, for example in the evening and in varying road conditions. Although your instructor will strive to provide you with as much on-road experience as possible, they can't cover all situations.

Practice what you have learned on driving lessons

Learned a new manoeuvre? Get in your car and practice it. Try it out and see what works for you. You can always return to this on your driving lesson and continue to improve. Use the opportunity to complement your driving lessons.


If you want to spend more time covering a particular junction, go back to it in your own vehicle. The more confident you become, the less your parents should guide or advise you on, the more independent you will become. Enjoy it, its all part of your journey to becoming a safe and confident driver.

Guidance for supervising persons

If you're a little apprehensive about supervising your son or daughter, take them to a quiet area and let them show you what they can do. Try to relax and let them drive as they do on their driving lessons. Be patient - they may make mistakes, see it as a part of their learning. Advise and guide as best you can. I will always be available to chat before or after their driving lesson if you need to seek my advice.

It is important to note that if I do not think they are at the required level in their learning to be on the road without a qualified driving instructor I would not advise private practice. Under no circumstances should you put yourself or others in any danger. We are qualified to manage the risk and to share responsibility so will always advise accordingly.

If things do not go to plan and you find yourself or your son or daughter getting stressed or anxious, take a break. If things don't improve, consider calling it a day for now. Driving while feeling anxious will harm their confidence and could hinder their learning. Seek my advice if this is something you are struggling to manage.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

What to expect on your test day

 The day is finally here. Everything you have been working on with your driving instructor has led to this day. What can you expect?



Your driving instructor will pick you up at the pre agreed time and location. Be sure to bring your provisional driving licence and theory pass certificate with you. Think about how you can best use the lesson time before your test - maybe some general driving, maybe practising a manoeuvre?

We will aim to arrive at the test centre around 5-10 minutes before your test start time, we will get parked up and get everything ready. I will follow Covid 19 guidelines with cleaning the vehicle before the examiner gets into the vehicle. They may choose to wipe down the vehicle too.

Your examiner will meet us at the car and will introduce themselves to you. They will ask to see your provisional driving licence. You will need to sign a piece of paper to verify you are who you say you are. Please ensure your signature matches that of your driving licence.

The examiner will ask you to read a vehicle licence plate from a set distance. This is to ensure you meet the safety requirements to continue with the test.

You will then be asked a 'tell me' question before you set off. They will ask you a 'show me' question once you set off. Familiarise yourself with these questions now. 

The practical driving test will consist of general driving, a reversing manoeuvre, and an independent driving element. Your driving test will last around 40 minutes.

The general driving element of the test will include pulling over beside the kerb and moving off safely, moving away from behind a parked vehicle and a hill start. You may also be asked to perform an emergency stop.

The examiner will ask you to perform a reserving manoeuvre. This could be a parallel park, parking forward into a bay and reversing out, reversing into a bay, or pulling up on the right-side of the road and reversing back two vehicle lengths, before re-joining the traffic.

You will be asked to drive independently for 20 minutes. You'll be asked to either follow signs towards a destination or to follow a sat nav. The sat nav will be set up for you. If you cannot see traffic signs due to being obscured, your examiner will give you directions until it becomes clear again.

If you think you've made a mistake during your test, put it behind you and carry on as normal. If your examiner has marked a serious fault you will be guided back to the test centre where the test will end. Feedback will be given so you know what went wrong.

Your examiner may be accompanied by a supervisor. They are not there to observe you so try to ignore the fact they are there.

When you return to the test centre, the examiner will let you know if you've been successful. They will explain any faults you may have picked up and will provide any relevant feedback. You will then be driven home.

If you have any questions or concerns prior to your driving test, please let me know.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have put together some frequently asked questions I've been asked over the last few years.

- Am I ready for my driving test?
- How many lessons will I need?
- Can I take the driving test in my own car?
- Can I have a lesson before my driving test?
- Will you drop me home after my driving test?
- Do you book my driving test?
- Can I drive as soon as I've passed my driving test?
- Should I choose an intensive course or opt for weekly lessons?
- What if I disagree with the examiner's decision?


Am I ready for my driving test?


It can be difficult to know when you are ready to take your driving test. Lessons are going great, you've mastered all of the reversing manoeuvres - but can you do all this without any input from your instructor?

You may have come to an agreement with your instructor that you can go ahead and book a driving test on the condition you continue with driving lessons in the meantime. This means that your driving instructor expects you to be ready if you continue to make adequate progress. It may not mean you are ready right away. Keep those lessons up.

As you become more confident and skilled at driving, the input from your instructor should reduce. You need to be able to drive as though your driving instructor is there for the ride. The less input from them, the better.

It can be beneficial to take a mock test to see where you're at. This will give you an idea of what to expect from the driving test and will highlight any areas that may need improvement. Don't be disheartened if you fail a mock test, use it as a learning opportunity.

Ask yourself: do you still rely on your driving instructor for keeping you at the speed limit, do you need them to guide you through a manoeuvre? If yes, would you consider yourself safe to sit a driving test?


How many driving lessons will I need?

This is a difficult question to answer. The important thing to remember is that everybody learns differently. Please do not compare yourself to your friends' progress. The most important thing here is that you take the time to take on board the skills needed to be a safe and competent driver.

Just think - the more hours you get with your instructor, the more experience you are getting.


Can I take the driving test in my own car?

Yes you can, however, put yourself in the shoes of the examiner. Most people learn to drive with an instructor and so will take their driving test in their instructors vehicle. This will be equipped with dual controls and appropriate mirrors. If you are ready for your driving test then the dual controls should not be needed, but they are there for the safety of you and the examiner.

Imagine how the examiner would feel if they need to take action and they are unable to do so? How would this impact road safety?

You must also ensure that your vehicle is covered by a valid insurance policy specifically allowing you to take a driving test. Many learner policies will cover driving tuition but will not allow you to take a driving test.


Can I have a lesson before my driving test?

Of course. A lesson before your driving test will give you enough time to warm up and to get some last minute practice in. However, I don't recommend you drive for too long before your test, you will need to remain fresh and alert and ready for the challenge.


Will you drop me home after my driving test?

Yes of course. Regardless of the test result, I will drive you home. This will give you the opportunity to relax and break the good news. If you don't get the result you wanted, it will give you the time you need to reflect and to ask me any questions you may have.


Do you book my driving test?

You are responsible for booking your own theory and practical driving tests. You can work this around your own commitments. All I ask is that you check with me prior to booking. I cannot he held responsible for any double-bookings which may occur as a result of not checking I am available first.

You can book your test on the DVSA bookings website. There are some services which will offer to book on your behalf, steer clear of these. Do it direct with the DVSA.


Can I drive as soon as I've passed my driving test?


Yes, absolutely. Go for it. You will be given a test pass certificate which you will need to keep safe until your full driving licence arrives. Your examiner will ask if you'd like them to send your provisional licence away on your behalf, if you need this for ID in the meantime, you have the option of doing it yourself. Either way, you can drive straight away.


Should I choose an intensive course or opt for weekly lessons?

This is a personal choice depending on your circumstances. A majority of people choose to book weekly driving lessons. However, if time is short or you need a driving licence fast, an intensive course may be the way forward. The idea is to fit in a pre-agreed set of hours within a week or two with a driving test to follow. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, its very difficult to get short notice tests and so it may be worth opting for weekly lessons.


What if I disagree with the examiner's decision?

If you think that your driving examiner did not follow the regulations when conducting your driving test, you can appeal to the DVSA. Your test result cannot be changed but if your appeal is successful, you may be awarded a free retest.

It is important you listen to your examiner's feedback carefully and ask any questions you may have. A lot of time can be saved if you fully understand the reasons behind their decision. Your driving instructor can advise you further if they feel you have a case to appeal.

If you'd like to discuss your options, please contact me.

Monday, February 8, 2021

How to book your driving test

 Follow this quick guide to book your practical driving test.

IMPORTANT! Please ensure you have an agreement with me and we have spoken about your readiness for a practical driving test before you proceed.

If you book a practical driving test on the pretence that you are not likely to be ready, you risk not having my vehicle available for your test. I cannot guarantee adequate lesson availability if you book a practical test at short notice without having agreed a plan beforehand.

The easiest and most convenient way of booking a practical driving test is through the DVSA bookings website. You are able to book, change and cancel practical tests through this service. You will be asked for my reference number. Please ignore this. Providing you contact me prior to booking your test, you will not need to worry about double-booking my vehicle.

https://www.gov.uk/book-driving-test

 You can contact the DVSA bookings support team on 0300 200 1122 if you have any issues.


Beware of third-party booking services

You should only book your theory and practical driving tests through the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency official website. The cost of the category B practical driving test is £62. Be particularly aware of websites which promises 'free retests' or 'guaranteed passes'.

Covid 19: You're in safe hands

The safety and welfare during these difficult times is more important than ever, find out what measures I have in place while conducting driving lessons.

The Government has made it clear what it expects of us all. We must all follow the guidance to help prevent the spread of Covid 19.

Prior to your lesson

I will contact you to confirm your upcoming lesson. I will check that you have not had any symptoms over the last seven days. I will confirm that I am symptom-free. If you have any symptoms or have been in contact with someone showing symptoms, I will reschedule your driving lesson. This is not subject to a cancellation fee.

Please ensure you attend your lesson with appropriate footwear, a sleeved top to cover your arms too. Please do not bring any unnecessary items with you. Nobody is permitted to accompany you on your lesson at this time.

Keeping the vehicle sanitised

Prior to your lesson I will ensure the vehicle is thoroughly wiped down and cleaned. All touch points will be sprayed with antibacterial cleaner and wiped down. You will be expected to wear a face covering unless you are exempt. I request proof of exemption where possible. Disposable gloves will be available if you wish to wear them.


Hand sanitising gel is available at all times and you are encouraged to apply this before you set off.

If we swap seats during a lesson, all touch points will be cleaned before re-entering the vehicle. Swapping of seats will be kept to a minimum where possible.

Maintaining a safe distance

We must keep a minimum of 2 meters at all times. This is not possible in a vehicle. Therefore its very important we follow all other precautions. If I need to check your driving licence prior to a lesson, I will ask you to place in on a surface and to step back. I will ask you to turn it over and to put it away.

I am happy to have a chat with your parents during the debrief but will ensure a 2 meter distance is maintained. This will be done outside of the vehicle. Under no circumstances can I enter your premises.

During your driving lesson

I will ensure the vehicle is kept ventilated. I will avoid using air conditioning where possible. If it must be used, the air circulation option will be off.

Hand sanitiser will be available in the front of the vehicle so you have access to it at all times. A disposable bin bag is available for your use in the boot of the vehicle.

I will talk looking forwards where possible. Any training materials will be shown to you from a reasonable distance. Pens and paper will not be shared during your driving lesson.

If at any time during your driving lesson you feel unwell, your lesson will be terminated and you will be driven home. Both of us will be required to follow NHS advice.

Cancelling your driving lesson

If you develop symptoms prior to your driving lesson, please let me know at your earliest convenience. If you develop symptoms prior to a driving test, please inform the DVSA as soon as possible. Please follow their advice.

Doing your bit

Please help me help you by allowing me a little extra time to follow these guidelines. We are living in unusual times and safety must take precedence. Your cooperation means a lot to me and I thank you for sharing this journey with me.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Practical driving test - ten top tips

 It's  one of the most stressful events of your life, its up there with moving house. The driving test. You've spent a number of hours practising for this day, how can you minimise the stress to help achieve that all important pass?

I have put together ten top tips to help you keep those nerves under control. Everybody starts their driving test with a clean sheet, lets keep it that way!



1. Stay calm, breathe, don't think of the what-ifs, just focus on the task at hand.

I can't stress this enough. Take each minute as it comes. Stay focussed, deal with the task at hand and forget about what the examiner is doing. They will encourage you to relax and concentrate as best you can. The more you relax and get into the swing of it, the more you'll enjoy it and the quicker the time will pass.

The examiner will introduce themselves and may engage in a little conversation to help put you at ease. You are welcome to listen to some music to break the silence, the volume must remain low though.

If you think you've made a mistake, try to forget about it and move on. You cannot change what has happened but you can affect what happens later.


2. Don't change the way you drive

The examiner wants to see you drive as you drive with your instructor. Don't be tempted to drive under the speed limit "because my Dad says its safer", keep making progress. They want to see you fit in with other road users. Do not make anyone slow down or stop unnecessarily, swerve or swear. Be courteous and respectful to all road users.


3. Remember your observations

I lose count of the number of times I remind pupils to check their mirrors. Its easily overlooked but its crucial the mirrors are checked. Remember to always check your mirrors before changing speed or direction and before giving a signal. Constantly check your surroundings when performing a manoeuvre. Check, check, check!


4. Don't be afraid to ask

If you are unsure of what you are being asked to do, don't be afraid to ask your examiner to repeat the instruction. It's far better to double-check rather than take a guess at what it is you're being asked to do.


5. Know the speed limits

Be sure to gather all the information you need - be aware of speed limits, obey all road signs, all the clues are there. Remember its your responsibility to stay within the law and practice safe driving - for life, not just to pass your driving test.


6. If in doubt, hang back

If you are unsure whether its safe to emerge from a busy junction, hang back. Only proceed when you feel it is safe to do so. If its takes longer than usual to enter a busy roundabout, so be it. Don't proceed if it isn't safe 'just because we were waiting ages'.


7. Don't panic if you take a wrong turn

The driving test is a test of your driving ability, if you take a wrong turn - providing you do it safely, there's no need to panic. It happens when under pressure.  Your examiner will guide you back onto the test route.


8. Take a shunt on a manoeuvre if you need to

If you feel your manoeuvre isn't shaping up as you'd like it, you always have the option of correcting it. Remember to take your time and to be aware of your surroundings. If the examiner remains quiet when you have finished your manoeuvre, use this as a hint - maybe they feel you haven't quite completed it satisfactorily.


9. Keep a safe distance

Always leave a safe travelling distance between you and the vehicle ahead. Take into account the weather and road conditions. Give larger vehicles more space on roundabouts and when changing direction.


10. Be polite, courteous and calm

Your examiner will let you know your test result as soon as you return to the test centre. Give them the chance to explain their feedback, be polite and remain calm if you do not get the result you hoped for. Raising your voice will not make you look good and will result in an awkward drive home. Remember, despite the stereotypical hard-nosed reputation, they are only doing their job.


Good luck!

Friday, February 5, 2021

'Show me tell me' explanation

You will be asked one 'show me' question and one 'tell me' question on your driving test. You will most likely be using these controls during driving lessons but below is a reminder. Please familiarise yourself with these questions so you don't stumble before you head out for your test.

The following is based on my Ford Focus ST Line.

For a full list and explanations of the 'tell me' questions, please have a look at the DVSA website.




'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how you'd wash and clean the rear windscreen?'

Using the right-hand stalk, gently push this towards the windscreen and hold for a couple of seconds. This will release screenwash for the rear windscreen and automatically activate the rear wiper.




'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how you'd wash and clean the front windscreen?'

Using the right-hand stalk, gently pull this towards yourself and hold for a couple of seconds. This will release screenwash for the front windscreen and automatically activate the front wipers.




'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how you'd switch on your dipped headlights?'

Locate the sidelight/headlight dial, turn it to the position shown below. Remember to switch it back off, unless they should remain on (if its raining, dark, or conditions are poor.)




'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how'd set the rear demister?'

Locate the temperature control unit, ensure it is switched on using the power button at the bottom, press the 'rear' button. Set the fan speed using the left-side dial, set the temperature using the right-side dial.




'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how you'd operate the horn?'

Press the centre part of the steering wheel, just below the Ford badge.




'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how'd demist the front windscreen?'

Locate the temperature control unit, ensure it is switched on using the power button at the bottom, press the 'front' button. Set the fan speed using the left-side dial, set the temperature using the right-side dial.




'When it's safe to do so, can you show me how'd open and close the side window?'

Using the buttons on the door panel, push down to open, pull up to close.




You may be asked to open the bonnet and identify one of the following three items. This is categorised as a 'tell me' question. The bonnet release lever is beneath the glove box. Pull the lever towards you, walk round to the front of the vehicle, lift the bonnet up slightly. Just to the left of the centre of the gap is a lever (this is shown as figure 1 in the picture below). Gently slide this to the right and the bonnet will release. Lift this up and secure it with the strut.

1. Bonnet release lever. 2. Dipstick. 3. Engine coolant tank. 4. Brake fluid reservoir.




'Open the bonnet and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.'

Locate the dipstick, explain that you'd pull it out, wipe it with a clean cloth, push it back in, remove it again and the oil level should be between the markers shown on the dipstick.




'Open the bonnet and tell me how you would check the engine has sufficient engine coolant.'

Locate the engine coolant tank, explain that the coolant level should remain between the 'minimum' and 'maximum' levels as indicated on the side of the tank.




'Open the bonnet and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.'

Locate the brake fluid reservoir, explain that the brake fluid level should remain between the 'minimum' and 'maximum' levels as indicated on the side of the reservoir.



The remaining 'tell me' questions can be found on the DVSA website.

I'd love your feedback on this blog. If you find anything confusing or are unsure of how I've explained it, please let me know.

Covid 19: Lifting Lockdown - preparing to resume driving lessons

If you are like me and have to keep busy, I'm sure you are looking forward to being able to return to some sort of 'normal' routine - work, college, seeing family and friends, maybe even going abroad. I am completely supportive of the Government and their reasons for the national lockdown, but there is only so much TV you can watch without driving yourself insane. I am eagerly anticipating the day when its deemed safe enough to continue with doing what I do best - getting people behind the wheel and well on their way to gaining a driving licence.

With that in mind, I have set out a plan for how it will (hopefully) all come together. After all, this has been done twice in the past 12 months following the easing of restrictions, so this shoudn't be any different, right?

So, first things first. For those pupils who had a regular slot in my diary and you wish to continue with it, I will keep you in that slot. If you are unable to do it, no problems, just let me know. I will be in contact with you to confirm this anyway.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who've been so close to taking a driving test just to have it rescheduled for your 80th birthday, my heart goes out to you, it truly does - you will of course take priority. Its important that you have enough time to get up to speed before going for your test, especially as I've got a new car. It is nice to drive though, proper luxury (haha its a Ford, so I'm obviously not being straight with you there!), so don't panic.

If you enquired about driving lessons over the last two months or so, and I've promised to add to you my waiting list, rest assured you won't be forgotten. I thank you immensely for your understanding in having to wait, I will get you on the road as soon as I possibly can. Your turn will come and we will make it a good journey! If you haven't done so already, get cracking with your theory practice. I look forward to meeting you in the not too distant future.

In a nutshell, I will be in contact with you all once we know when driving lessons can resume. Please be patient with me, I will be in contact with you all when I reorganise the diary, even if it takes a whole morning and half a bottle of Kraken - we will get there together.

See you all soon, stay safe, and as ever, if you have any questions or concerns, just let me know.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Supporting and Engaging People with Autism (FutureLearn course)



I'm not one for boasting about achievements but I am one to show my support for those in need of a little extra support, particularly in our line of work. There are a number of free online courses from FutureLearn.com which can be used to pick up some useful tips.

I am passionate about providing the right support for those I teach on the autism spectrum, I'm always open to adating my teaching style and have patience in abundance to accommodate everyone's needs. I am conscious this comes across as arrogant but its important to me that I can offer the right support.

This three week, 12 hour course is specifically designed for those supporting people on the autism spectrum - practical tips and advice aplenty. Go give it a look - www.futurelearn.com.

Covid 19: An update on driving lessons



These are difficult times for everyone, I understand your frustration but safety must always come first, we must do all we can to remain safe and follow government guidelines.


Just a reminder to those of you who have had your driving tests rescheduled, please let me know as soon as you get a new date.


If you have recently contacted me regarding driving lessons, please be assured I will be in contact with you once we have an idea of when we can resume lessons. As always, my current pupils must take priority, especially those with imminent tests.


If you are practising for your theory test and you are not yet registered for the Theory Test Pro app, please let me know (pupils only.)


To clarify, the DVSA has stated that you ARE able to practise driving your own vehicle with a suitably qualified person within your bubble on essential journeys only.


If you have any questions or concerns about anything, please let me know. Each and every one of you will get as much driving time as you need once its safe to resume lessons.

Drive With Joe: Welcome onboard!

Welcome! Welcome to the road, thank you for choosing to share your learning journey with me. I have provided some information and frequently...