Mrs Irvine's #teachereffect at St Mary's

Mrs Irvine's #teachereffect at St Mary's

We like to celebrate our teaching and support teams who help make St Mary’s School, Cambridge such an inspiring place for girls to learn and flourish. We call it the #teachereffect. 

We continue our series with Mrs Irvine, one of our Learning Support Assistant, who supports pupils at our Senior School.

When did you start at St Mary’s? 

April 19 2013. 

What did you do before you joined? 

Before joining St Marys, I worked at Meldreth Primary school. Working with pupils on the Autistic spectrum and other learning disabilities. 

Were you always interested in teaching and learning? What fuelled that interest? 

When I left Uni, I started working for a company designing soft furnishing made to order for clients, doing window displays for the company. Once I got married my husband and I moved to Berlin with his job as a military musician so consequently I had to give up my job. Once returning to the UK and having a young family we moved to Shropshire again with husbands' job where I was introduced to working in a pre-school nursey setting. I was given the opportunity to gain early years qualifications. 

This new career I found myself working in fitted well to family life. When moving to Cambridge 2004 again with my husband's job I applied for a room leaders position and Senco role at a local preschool and nursey. After a few years in that role, I moved to Meldreth Primary where I worked for 6 years. 

What have been your highlights of working at St Mary’s? 

My trip to Salamanca and Naples. Also my Geography trips to North Wales. 

Why do you enjoy being in a teaching and learning environment?  

Being in a teaching and learning environment I think suits me best. I love opportunity and challenges to help the students and staff I work with, to offer help to the students and to try and make learning a little easier by looking at the situation in a different perspective, by giving that encouragement and help.  

In your opinion what are the benefits of girls learning in an all-girls environment in your opinion? 

The benefits of an all-girl environment I think the girls have the ability to gain knowledge without distractions this helps the girls concentration and able to progress quickly.   

What do you like to do in your free time when you are not at St Mary’s? 

In my free time I like to do gardening, go walking with our family dog Kato and cycling. 

What is an interesting fact about you that may surprise us? 

During lockdown all places of worship had to close. My church The Salvation Army started to do Sunday worship each week on YouTube. As I run the Sunday School at church, I was asked to produce a 5–10-minute YouTube video for worship each week. To date I have produced 64 videos on ‘Camsa Connect Kids Time with Davinia’. 

What advice do you have for all the students you have worked with – past and present – to help them on their journey in life! 

Advice I give our girls on their journey - do not let anyone tell you, you cannot do something, because you can. Everything is possible if you set your mind to it. They are all special and have gifts they just have to believe in themselves. 

You say I cannot do it. Watch me and I will!