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Meet the apprentice - Cat, Apprentice Learning Assistant, Green Oaks Primary Academy

My name is Cat and I have been working at the Green Oaks Primary Academy since September 2019 as an Apprentice Learning Assistant.

What attracted you to the Learning Assistant apprenticeship?
Being dyslexic I prefer to learn practically, although I am still completing written assignments. I find that the hands-on work has really enhanced my knowledge and made writing a lot easier as I am drawing from experience. Also being a parent of two the idea of earning whilst studying was very appealing.               

Describe a typical day:
My day (before working in keyworker bubbles) usually starts by preparing the classroom before learners arrive, setting up the learning activities or preparing the daily snack. I help to welcome the children into class and get them settled (and remind them to wash their hands!). Depending on which class I am in I will either assist the class teacher by supporting the morning activity or I will take a small group of children out of class to complete a learning task with me or I will do an intervention with them.

If working within the Early Years classes I will go out to the garden where the children have free flow between the class or outdoors. I engage the children in games that extend upon what they have been learning in class. After the children have been outside it is usually time for lunch. I assist in the lunch hall looking after the children, making sure everyone is ok and eating enough for lunch. After that, I will either assist with a classroom activity (maths for example) or work one on one with a pupil. I particularly enjoy seeing the children I work with one on one develop and being able to get the most out of the sessions. When it is home time, during the school’s collection, I will talk to the parents and listen to any questions they have about their child before we then set the class up for the next day. 

What do you like best about your role?
I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing early years team at the Green Oaks Primary Academy, all staff within the academy have been so friendly and welcoming. If I am ever unsure of anything or need help, they are all willing to take time out of their day to explain something to me or point me in the right direction.

I’ve also really enjoyed my time with the learners themselves, they are all brilliant and make the job so rewarding. They have all had a tough year with the ongoing pandemic, but they are all so resilient and make each day enjoyable.

I have had the opportunity to take on a lot of training within my time at the academy including an introduction to early years, kinetic letter, and maths training.

What are your plans after you complete your apprenticeship?
I would love to find a full-time role as a Learning Assistant. In the future, I hope to return to University to study Psychology and Counselling and I really hope to eventually work in a role supporting children and young people with their mental health.

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