As National Apprenticeship Week 2021 comes to an end, we caught up with our Apprentices, Leamarie and Sam
As National Apprenticeship Week 2021 comes to an end, we caught up with Leamarie and Sam, apprentices who we featured as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2020, to get an update on their apprenticeship journeys with Greenwood Academies Trust.
Leamarie Woolley, People Apprentice in the People Directorate
Over the past year I have gained a plethora of skills and experience within the working world. I feel as though my confidence has increased immensely. Whether that’s communicating to internal and external stakeholders or having confidence in producing work for my organisation. I have developed a sense of independence throughout my apprenticeship in part to the pandemic and adapting to working from home. For example, in the office if I had a query regarding my work, I could easily ask my colleagues who would be within proximity to my workspace. Working remotely requires me to work upon my own initiative more, pushing me to have more confidence but safe in the knowledge that my colleagues are only a Teams call away if I am unsure!
Organising workload and day to day jobs can be more difficult when working from home, as you need to rely on yourself because you don’t have the busy office atmosphere to motivate and remind you of certain deadlines. I therefore created a weekly online planner on Excel. This has allowed me to organise, prioritise and track my workload effectively whilst working remotely.
The pandemic has also affected my End Point Assessment (EPA) and I have recently completed my exams online at home. To prepare for my EPA I try and spend an hour or more a day when I can to revise. For my knowledge test, I made revision cards highlighting key information I had covered in my learning modules. Similarly, for the portfolio-based interview I have been making notes on each module that I have completed over the past year whilst remembering to find examples on how I can link it back to my organisation and current role. I have received a lot of support throughout this period, in the form of mock exam materials and feedback from my tutor as well as support and encouragement from my line manager and colleagues.
My name’s Sam and I previously studied a Level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning apprenticeship at Purple Oaks Academy, a SEND Academy for pupils aged 3-18 in Northampton. My apprenticeship has allowed me to begin building a career in Special Education by gaining the experience and skills I need to really understand SEND. During my time at Purple Oaks Academy, I have had many CPD opportunities which have allowed to explore the many different ways in how to support the pupils I work with such as receiving training in Attention Autism, Paediatric First Aid, Rhythm for reading, Understanding PDA and Communication.
Working and completing my apprenticeship during the COVID-19 pandemic definitely posed its challenges. Taking those challenges as a positive, the pandemic really allowed me to develop many skills which will hopefully set me up for the future of education in relation to technology. I learnt a lot about the technology used in education and teaching remotely by using the Microsoft software and taking part in CPD opportunities on the Microsoft Educator platform to really enhance this.
The end-point assessment process of the apprenticeship was changed at last minute which I found was a struggle in having to change and adapt some of my preparations to the new unique assessment process but with support from my work placement and apprenticeship tutor, I was really reassured and was able to put stress at ease, helping me to eventually gain a Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning and a Level 3 Teaching Assistant qualification in May 2020. I was then lucky enough to be offered a full-time position at Purple Oaks Academy as a Learning Assistant. Using the skills and experience I have developed so far, I’m planning to study a degree in the near future and train to become a qualified teacher.