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Growing Together ECF Pathways - Lynsey Bryan

This week, the final few days before the Christmas break, we speak to Lynsey Bryan, an incredible mentor at St James Lower Darwen, all about her experiences in her teaching and mentoring career to date!

I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher at a very young age. Once my youngest child started primary school I fulfilled that dream and it’s the best decision I have ever made. When I was approached by my headteacher to become a mentor I felt privileged and wanted to share the knowledge I have gained in my teaching career with a teacher at the start of their career. The best thing about mentoring has to be the relationship that you build with another teacher and the feeling that you can be that primary port of call for someone so early in their career.


Lucy and I really hit it off from day one and our relationship has gone from strength to strength ever since. I have always prided myself on being approachable and Lucy has always felt like she can ask for advice when needed and it has really helped that I taught Lucy’s class the year before. This really helped as I could offer advice to Lucy when needed, knowing the children she teaches so well. This particularly helped with supporting Lucy to manage behaviour in the class.


Our biggest success as a partnership has to be our phonics teaching in school. The year before Lucy joined our school, I developed our own phonics programme and Lucy took this on board straight away and was extremely keen to use our phonics programme to deliver phonics teaching to her Year 1 class. Lucy’s passion for phonics was evident and this showed in her teaching. Our pass rate for the phonics screening check was 90% in Lucy’s first year at St James’, this is the highest we have had as a school and we are very proud that our Year 1 cohort achieved above the national average last year. 

One of Lucy’s successes has been her involvement with our school PTFA, last year she was the teacher representative and this year she is chairing the committee. Her ideas and enthusiasm are raising lots of money for our school and she should be extremely proud of this.
  Teaching is tough and it can often feel like you are on a rollercoaster. There are never two days the same in primary teaching and there have been lots of challenges that Lucy has faced along the way. I am so proud of how she overcomes any challenges that come her way and she does so in a calm manner. Lucy doesn’t let things get on top of her for too long and she is very good at prioritising her workload so that she always meets any deadlines.


Our weekly meetings last year really helped to develop our relationship and Lucy learnt a lot from these sessions. She always takes feedback on board and uses feedback from the dropin observations to inform her teaching practice. Lucy is an asset to our team at St James’ and the ECF has certainly helped this. She has built positive relationships with staff, children and parents and makes a difference to our children every single day.


Lucy is very good at managing her work life balance in general and we have lots of conversations about this at our mentor meetings, I always check-in on how she is and Lucy will come to me if something is overwhelming her. She is now in her second year as an ECT and she is definitely less reliant on asking my advice and will use her own judgements a lot more. It has been a highlight of my career seeing how Lucy has progressed over the past fifteen months since joining us at St James’ and I know her career will go from strength to strength with the dedication she puts into the profession.

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