At the heart of the Learning Support department is a coordinated approach involving parents, teachers and teaching assistants and an understanding that we all have difficulty learning at some stage in our education.

SEN specialists, teachers and teaching assistants share their academic and behavioural observations so that each child is supported across the curriculum.

A child who feels safe, healthy and happy learns well - we are alert to our specific safeguarding duties towards pupils with special educational needs (SEN), disabilities and other health conditions. We work within the parameters of our Child Protection Policy in accordance with the governmental guidance given in paragraph 85 of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018

Individual Educational Plans (strategies, targets and responses) are developed, monitored and updated for students on the Learning Support list, which includes those with an EHC plan.

In consultation with the teachers, teaching assistants, parents and outside agencies, a pupil who may need such help is first assessed by a specialist teacher. Any subsequent educational programmes deemed necessary are tailored to meet the students’ specific needs and may include referral to the Educational Psychologist attached to the school, Dr Hannah Mortimer.

Areas of specialist support include literacy and numeracy. Tuition is generally on a one-to-one basis but may be in pairs or in groups. The Learning Support Department delivers study skills and revision workshops and supervises Prep for those who need support while completing their work.

By employing a broad range of intervention strategies, the Learning Support Department aims to provide the environment in which all pupils can fulfil their potential.

In the Learning Support Department of St Martin’s Ampleforth, our Benedictine focus encourages us to ‘support the weak and give the strong something to strive for.’ We welcome every child with their individual talents and challenges and provide the patient, positive support which allows each pupil to improve their essential skills, increasing their self-esteem, motivation and empowering them to become independent learners.

The Department
  • Clare Moses
    BA (Open), MA (Edin)

    Clare Moses has been part of the Learning Support Department at Ampleforth since 2013 and before that taught English, Theatre Studies and Christian Living within the College. She was part of the House Team which set up St Bede’s as a girls’ house and was Matron there for 3 years before  becoming a Housemaster’s wife in St John’s. After 10 years on one side of the valley Clare is now largely based in St Martin’s Ampleforth where she teaches Learning Support and is a part of the boarding staff. Though she is delighted to be so involved with the smaller students at Ampleforth, she still enjoys using skills learnt during her English and Philosophy degree at Edinburgh to support A Level candidates at the College.

  • Asta Mihkelson
    M.Ed. (Bath), PGCE (Birmingham), BA (Leeds)
    Head of Learning Support

    Asta Mihkelson comes from Scarborough and has taught in every type of school imaginable, including International schools, grammars, comprehensives and special schools. Her teaching of Art, Drama and English has been enhanced by her international perspective, having worked in many different countries including Mexico, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Italy and New Zealand. In Asta’s view, most people have difficulty learning at some point, and boosting students’ self-esteem, whilst having high expectations of them is the foundation and key to successfully integrating students with learning difficulties so that they flourish in a happy and supportive environment.

  • Di Bayley
    BA Dip Ed

    I was born in Sydney Australia and trained to be a teacher at Macquarie University, doing a BA Dip Ed. in History and Educational Psychology. During a leave of absence travelling abroad, I married and had three daughters. In 1995 I returned to teaching, completing an Open University ‘Teaching Assistants’ course. As part of the Learning Support team I enjoy supporting a range of children with IEPs in all year groups and sharing good practise.

  • Dianne Brown

    Dianne is a Dyslexia Specialist who joined the Learning Support Department at Ampleforth and St Martin’s in January 2017.  As a primary and secondary teacher she has taught and supported pupils with a wide range of Educational Need in various settings and establishments.  She builds strong and positive working relationships with individual pupils and subject staff to enable her pupils to achieve success.  Dianne focusses specifically on improving students’ literacy and learning skills in order for each pupil to access the curriculum to his or her fullest capacity. She is passionate about supporting and inspiring her pupils to become lifelong learners.  Dianne originally studied languages and has an MPhil in German literature and philosophy.  Dianne holds registered qualifications in counselling and psychotherapy, and yoga.