After working in primary schools for several years, Larishia Aghimien, aged 32, chose the apprenticeship route to upskill to become a Teaching Assistant.

She finds joy in helping children grow in confidence and encouraging them to reach their full potential, especially those with SEN and emotional vulnerabilities.

Larishia is now an Early Years and Phonics Teaching Assistant at Cherry Tree Primary School in Watford. She has recently completed her level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship with Distinction and made a real impact in the school.

Here is Larishia’s apprenticeship journey;

‘I previously worked in primary schools, and I chose this apprenticeship course to up-skill my knowledge and skills both in and out of the classroom to be able to do my role more effectively. I also wanted a better and wider understanding of all pupils encompassing SEN/emotional vulnerabilities and how best to help, recognise, adapt and respond to their individual learning needs.

During my apprenticeship, the main benefits I have enjoyed include:

– Having observations and receiving feedback from both tutors and employer.

– Having access to other CPD courses such as maths, SEND courses, mental health and AFL.

– Having a better understanding of different theorists and applying these at school in the classroom, such as Skinner’s theory on operant conditioning and Piaget’s child development theory.

– Being able to attend different webinars on offer to help support my assignments.

– Having frequent professional discussions with my tutor to prepare me for the EPA.

As an early reading and phonics TA, I enjoy seeing children grow in confidence and knowledge in their phonics and reading skills, helping them to become more confident, active and independent readers. Being able to help and encourage children to reach their full potential, watching their faces light up as they begin to read more longer and complex words brings such joy and pleasure to the role. The support and recognition from both other members of staff and parents is an added bonus knowing that everyone is working together.

I have been supported extremely well by my school and Line Manager. She always made sure I had everything I needed to be able to complete my assignments and observations. I was given plenty of CPD opportunities to help better my understanding of the curriculum. The feedback that was given from my observations was helpful as this resulted in me achieving a distinction grade for my EPA.

My LMP tutor Scarlet was kind, thoughtful and attentive. She was always available and supportive whenever I had a question or advice was needed. Having Scarlet’s guidance and support gave me the confidence boost I needed to complete the course.

The most important skill I achieved is growing in confidence to be able to do my role, working effectively with teachers and parents. I have also taken on more challenges within my role and embraced change within the curriculum and school with a positive and open mindset.

After completing my apprenticeship, I would like to do the Level 4 HLTA Qualification to pursue further into the educational industry.’

Feedback from Larishia’s tutor, Scarlet Horsley: “I am very proud of Larishia’s achievement and determination in gaining the distinction grade that she wished to achieve for her Level 3 Teaching Assistant Standards. Larishia was a pleasure to teach, and it was equally delightful to observe the impact that she has been making on the children’s phonics knowledge and supporting their reading fluency at Cherry Trees. Her practice during her interventions is outstanding and inspiring to the children she teaches! Larishia has also supported and mentored her colleagues at her school to effectively plan and implement their phonics scheme into their interventions to an equally high standard. I wish Larishia all the best and can’t wait to hear about her future endeavours!”

Find out more about the Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship with the UK’s leading training provider to schools, LMP Education

If you would like to find out more about Apprenticeships and how they can work for you please contact the LMP Apprenticeships team