Mary Connell, Specialist Literacy Teacher at Sensational Kids, Kildare

Mary is a very experienced specialist primary school and montessori teacher, who is passionate about helping children who struggle with learning to read and has a special interest in helping children who have dyslexia with reading. Mary has worked with children with a variety of special educational needs for many years.

Originally from Athenry, Co Galway, Mary qualified as a primary teacher at Manchester University in 1969. After which, she worked for a number of years at a primary school in Salford in Lancashire. Following Irish certification with the Irish Department of Education, Mary worked as a National School Teacher in a rural national school in Co.Laois. Mary also qualified in the Montessori method of Education in 1982. In 1993, Mary was appointed as a full time learning support teacher for four National Schools in the Laois area. During this time, Mary undertook a number of additional qualifications in dyslexia and learning support.

In 2002, Mary set up in private practice establishing a literacy school in Portlaoise. Mary’s school, the Bright Sparks Learning Centre, has grown from strength to strength and currently employs six part time teachers and has over 60 students. Mary has been working as a literacy teacher with Sensational Kids since 2009.

Mary has also developed and written a series of Workbooks to assist in early reading which form part of her new reading workshops for parents and educators.

Professional Qualifications

N.T. H/Dip Education

Degree in Primary Education, Victoria University, Manchester 1969
Certification in Primary Education (National Teacher), Department of  Education, Dublin 1973
Diploma Montessori Education, St Nicholas Teaching College, Dun Laoghaire 1982


Other Certificate Courses and Professional Development Training Courses

  • Diploma in Learning Support, COI Teacher Training College, Rathmines, 1995
  • Certificate in Dyslexia Support, Dyslexic Ass. of Ireland, 1996
  • Handwriting without Tears, Advanced Teachers Level, 2010
  • The Traffic Jam in my Brain – a sensory processing approach to challenges associated with autism, ADHD and behavioural problems, presented by Gen Jereb OT 2010
  • Kids Express Train, training kids to express themselves presented by Rachel Arntsen, Speech & language Therapist 2009
  • Sensational Kids Special Educational Needs Conference 2016


Mary always continues to attend many professional development seminars and recently attended an international conference on dyslexia in Belgum (2016).


To make an appointment

If your child struggles with reading and you would like to make an appointment for your child to see Mary Connell, Literacy Teacher at Sensational Kids phone Sensational Kids on 045 520900

During Covid-19 Mary is providing literacy support online – for appointments contact us by phoning 045 520900