Meet our Learning Enhancement Department

The Learning Enhancement  Department welcomes everyone to the 2021 school year. Our team is made up of four counsellors (pictured above) and a learning support team. We would like to introduce ourselves, what we do and how to make contact.

The team is lead by Head of Department- Linda Clouston

Counsellor Linda has been involved in education for nearly 30 years. She is a trained teacher and has experience and a special interest in learning support. She has been on Westlake staff since 2006 and has held the positions of teacher, Dean, counsellor. Linda sees individual students to support their needs as well as working with all the Deaning teams around supporting students to remove barriers to their learning.

Counsellor Fleur Piper worked as a Communication Studies lecturer at AUT for 16 years, before completing her training in counselling 14 years ago at the University of Auckland. She is especially interested in mindfulness, and also working with trauma. Fleur leads our Diversity group supporting rainbow students and allies.

Counsellor Siew Lee likes using her wide previous personal and career experiences to encourage and support students when their life seems more than they can manage. She likes working with young people to find hope and a positive way forward. Siew Lee holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Therapy and speaks several languages. She understands well the richness of cultural diversity, and hence is a valuable member of the International team in terms of assisting in Pastoral support.

Counsellor Barbara Mackay has worked in health (Starship Children’s Hospital) and has taught in various places before joining the  counselling team here at WGHS. She helps with the Pasifika homework club and mentoring. Barbara is also interested in supporting sports at Westlake Girls.

Julie Mulcahy is the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at WGHS coming to WGHS from the RTLB service. Learning Support has a team of 11 dedicated teacher aides who understand we all learn differently and have our own set of learning strengths and challenges.  Learning support staff work alongside students (and their families) to support them to engage with learning, build on what they do well and to achieve to their potential.

Students can self -refer to Learning Support through the WGHS app under Student Services if they have any concerns around their learning. Staff email addresses can be found on the school website.

Counselling appointments can be made either by using the school app, or coming to the counselling offices and filling out a request form for an appointment. This is a confidential service and the counsellor will work with their client in the best way to meet their needs.

Staff email addresses can be found on the school website.

We have come up with some Tips for starting school:

  • Make time to reflect on what you might like to be different this year
  • A positive attitude plays a big part in how successful you are, as does resilience- things that can be encouraged and modelled, especially by parents
  • Take the time you need to settle in but do ask for help if you need it ( early on- don’t leave it)
  • Be open to new opportunities and new friends
  • Be kind to yourself during the next few weeks

Be organised: (Ideas for students and parents)

  • Label all the books being used clearly with subject and student’s name.
  • Check your student has all the workbooks and equipment they need for the year.
  • Set up folders on the student’s device for each subject.
  • Organise a homework routine for at least 60 minutes per night Mon – Thur. Use the time to read over the days learning, organise notes, study, and complete homework.
  • Use a diary (can purchase from school) – either paper or online. Encourage your student to write in their homework and due dates.
  • Encourage your student to share their goggle classroom password with you so you can read over requirements online together a few times a week.
  • Communicate with the school if you have information regarding individual learning needs


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