Learning Support

The aim of the Learning Support department is to support students throughout their school careers, according to their individual requirements, so that all girls are able to make the most of their education at St Mary’s. Students really benefit from the support we offer and go on to enjoy success in their future education and the workplace. We are also able to offer a Mentoring Programme to selected students.

Learning Support

In the Learning Support department, we work with girls to develop their reading, spelling, writing and numerical skills. However we are also able to provide help and support in any area it may be of benefit, including revision techniques, strategies for improving memory skills, developing fine motor skills, support with private study for older girls, among many others.

Our welcoming classroom base encourages the girls to attend their Learning Support sessions and they know they may visit this quiet area at any time to speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.

All academic departments at St Mary’s are aware of the support on offer and work with our department to ensure that every girl receives the help and support she needs to thrive. For example, the Mathematics department carefully plans its curriculum and the pace of learning to match the age, ability and specific needs of each individual student. Lessons and resources can be adapted to meet individual needs and/or disabilities and a dedicated teaching assistant works alongside teaching staff in lessons to help support and build the confidence of students who find numeracy challenging. 



The Mentoring programme is designed to support and encourage each student to achieve her full potential in every subject she is studying.

Individual students are offered the support of a mentor on the basis of an analysis of academic monitoring and a discussion between the Mentoring Co-ordinator, the Director of Senior School, parents, the form tutor, subject teachers and the student herself of her likelihood to benefit from the programme.

Mentors are members of the teaching staff who are carefully selected to suit the individual mentee. Mentees meet their mentors weekly to monitor, support and track progress. Mentees also meet with the Mentoring Co-ordinator once every half-term to assess the effectiveness of the support in place and this information is then fed back to parents, mentors and subject staff. Mentors contact their mentees’ parents periodically to keep parents up-to-date on progress and any other issues that may arise.

The School Offer is included at the end of the SEN Policy in the Policies section of the website where further information about Learning Support at St Mary’s School can be found.


Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL)

What does English as an additional language (EAL) mean? The definition as defined by the DfE is: A pupil’s first language, as any language other than English which they have been exposed to during early development and continue to be exposed to in the home or community. If a child has been exposed to more than one language (which may include English) during early development, a language other than English should be recorded, irrespective of the child’s proficiency in English.

Pupils for whom English is an additional language are welcomed into the school. Children who are considered in need of EAL will be offered support. This may be through additional support, scaffolded lessons, visuals such as pictures, photographs or small group work or 1:1 sessions with a teaching assistant.

The school requests that they are informed by parents or guardians, at time of admission, of any EAL children.

It is important to note that pupils are not regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language in their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.


learning support staff

STAFF SENCo and Mentoring Co-ordinator 

Mrs L Callaghan LLB (Hons) PGCE 

Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator 

Miss A Tew BSc (Hons) MSc PGCE 

Mathematics Teaching Assistant 

Mrs E Wallace MA (Hons)







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