Our Lady's Abingdon - Learning Support, ELS & Counselling

Learning Support, ELS & Counselling

Support where it is needed

OLA has a reputation of being a caring and nurturing school that results in creating a harmonious environment giving all pupils the opportunity to thrive.

Inspired by the words of our foundress, Catherine McAuley, “To each according to their needs”, we encourage a respect for every individual, regardless of background, beliefs or ability.

At our recent ISI inspection, our pupils told the inspectors that

the school is a safe environment physically and emotionally due to the excellent pastoral care system in place where safeguarding pupils is given the highest priority”.

Pupils also explained that

teachers know them well and that they create a safe space within the classroom – this allows them to feel able to express themselves comfortably, bounce back from setbacks and be their true selves”.

Learning Support

The Learning Support team at OLA recognises and supports each individual to help pupils thrive, access academic subjects, and communicate with teachers to enhance progress.
We work very closely with the pastoral team and teaching staff, to ensure our pupils with specific learning differences are offered the highest level of support enabling them to access lessons and have extra tuition when appropriate. Where a pupil is highlighted as having difficulty accessing their learning, we will gather information and put support in place.

Our graduated approach to Learning Support follows a Wave System of  support as detailed within the leaflet below incorporating the following:

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Study Skills
  • Emotional Literacy Support (ELS)

Counselling Support in School

A counselling service is available in school to support pupil’s mental health and wellbeing.  Our Counselling team is coordinated by Mrs Lucy Warren, who is currently a student counsellor together with Ms Mandy Martin, counsellor.

We would encourage a partnership with parents or carers and school counsellors wherever possible, and, with the consent of the child, you will be informed if your child is accessing this service. You can read more about confidentiality and information sharing in our School Counselling Policy, which can be accessed on the School Policy page.

If you are a parent or carer, you can request counselling support for your child by completing the referral form via the button below and returning it to the School Counselling team via counsellor@ola.org.uk

If you are an OLA pupil who would like to access counselling support, you can complete the Pupil request form and email it to the School Counselling team on counsellor@ola.org.uk. If you prefer, you can bring the completed form to the Counselling Office or the Pastoral Office. You can also hand it to your form tutor, Head of Year, or any teacher, who will pass it to the School Counselling team.

There will, at times, be a waiting list for counselling support. Any pupil who is on the waiting list will receive weekly check-ins with a member of the pastoral team, while they wait for further support.

In addition to counselling support, your child can seek help from the wider pastoral team or indeed any teacher. The ‘Where to Get Help‘ poster is displayed around school to make pupils aware of sources of support, inside or outside of school. This includes organisations where parents and carers can seek advice and guidance in assisting their child.

We are proud of our pastoral offering at OLA and feel confident that we can provide a supportive and nurturing environment where students can thrive. Please do get in touch if you have any questions.