Student/Learning Support

2020 Student Learning Support Team

Wellington College’s Student/Learning Support Department, Te Pou Whirinaki, is focused on providing support and care for students finding learning difficult because of special education needs, mental or physical health issues, plus literacy and/or numeracy problems. The Māori name for the Department, Te Pou Whirinaki, literally means “Post to lean on, pillar of support, dependable and reliable person” and this is what we try to embody as a Team.

The Department consists of Lead Teacher, Deb Marshall, Co-Special Education Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs), Saskia Manktelow and Brenda van der Meulen, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Advisor and Mentor, Henry Fane De Salis, and a large team of teacher aides.

The support available falls into six categories.

1.  Students who require support in literacy

In Year 9, students who are having difficulties with literacy are invited to take ‘Integrated Studies’ as an option subject.  This programme is designed to support students’ English classes and also to help them with the language demands across the curriculum. 

In Year 10, students who still have literacy issues are invited to continue with the ‘Integrated Studies’ option. In the senior school, departments often offer alternative courses which allow low literacy students to achieve.

2.  Students with special difficulties

Students in this category experience some special difficulties because of conditions such as Aspergers Syndrome, Tourettes Syndrome etc.  These students  are mainstreamed and are supported by the Student/Learning Support Department and in some cases also receive teacher aide support.

3.   ORS or ACC funded students

The needs of these students are considered severe enough that they attract special funding which enables them to be fully mainstreamed with teacher aide support.

4.  Dyslexia and other specific learning disorders

Wellington College recognises that Dyslexia and other learning disorders can have a significant impact on student achievement.  Our school is committed to supporting these students through staff professional learning, special assessment conditions and a range of support strategies.

5. Special Assessment Conditions (SACs)

Special Assessment Conditions may be provided for students with recognised learning difficulties, physical disability, sight or hearing impairment, or a medical condition.  To be eligible for SACs, data to support the application is needed from either a registered assessor or from school-based evidence.  This assessment must have been carried out within the previous two years, for students entering national qualifications.

6. Additional focus areas

The Student/Learning Support Department: Te Pou Whirinaki is also involved with:

• student mentoring

• peer tutoring

• supporting the general well-being of students.

Getting in touch

Included in the online Enrolment Application form is a section under 'Special Needs' that must be completed for students who require any form of learning support assistance and/or students who suffer major medical conditions.

Learning Support Lead Teacher: Deb Marshall - Telephone 802 2520 x 815 or Email

Co-SENCOs: Saskia Manktelow and Brenda van der Meulen - Telephone 802 2520 x815

or Email