“From a young age, I knew I wanted to develop a career within the education industry. Years later, I became a lunchtime supervisor at the school my children attended. I heard about an apprenticeship vacancy working as a one-to-one, whilst studying a Level 3 in Teaching and Learning. I applied for the role and was interviewed by Mary, and later Tara, who became my mentor on the course. After having another interview with my headteacher, I began my course in January 2020.
I spent a few weeks getting to know the children in my class and the child I would be working with, before having a meeting with Tara and getting started on my coursework. Each of the units were sent over with plenty of time to complete the work, before being uploaded and signed off on my one-file. I was supported during the whole course by Tara; we had regular meetings and she was always on hand to answer any questions or offer any support that I needed.
I really enjoyed the course as a whole; the learning-based part was interesting, and the practical side allowed me to put into practise what I had been learning about. I was challenged in various ways during my course; my experience with Autism was put to the test, including finding different ways of supporting a child who found learning hard, and figuring out what rewards and positive reinforcements worked.
During my time as an apprentice, I was able to work across reception, as well as years 1 and 2. This was an incredible insight into the difference between EYFS and key stages; I learnt a variety of skills needed to assist a range of different children and needs. Being able to observe the way others responded to difficult behaviour was beneficial within my career – lots of these methods I have used and adapted as necessary even past qualifying.
7 months on from my course finishing and being qualified, I am working as a teaching assistant in year 5; my next step in my career path is to study a Level 4 course to become a higher level TA.”