Olivia Holdcroft is a 19-year-old Teaching Assistant apprentice at Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy in Walsall. She loves being able to have a positive impact working with the children. Through her apprenticeship, she is gaining valuable skills, deepening her understanding of important rules and procedures, and forming meaningful bonds with the students she interacts with every day.

During a recent meeting with her tutor, Olivia shared her story:

“The reason I chose this apprenticeship programme was because I have always wanted to work with children. Throughout the apprenticeship, I have been able to develop my skills massively while building relationships with my colleagues and the students. I have been able to build my knowledge around important policies and procedures and have learnt how to put this into practice. I have been able to observe other professionals, which has enabled me to adapt my approach when working with children. Choosing this Teaching Assistant programme has improved my confidence and has helped me to become a member of a team.

The main benefits of doing an apprenticeship include experience having a fulltime job, every day is different and I get to understand the process of the academy. You enhance your learning; you get to develop your knowledge of legislation, important policies and procedures. You build relationships with students, you become someone they confide in and trust.  

What I enjoy most about my apprenticeship is being able to make a difference. Every child is unique and knowing that I might be making a student’s day a little bit better, is so rewarding. Not one day is the same!

I have been supported by my employer through weekly catch-ups where we would go through what’s going well and if I have any concerns or am struggling with something. Being observed and given feedback on my strengths and what I need to make more improvements on.

My LMP tutor Ria Dawson, has monthly meetings where we would discuss how I was getting on in my role. Ria would assess my knowledge and would give me direction on how I can develop this further.

The most important skill I have learnt is showing empathy and compassion! This role has really opened my eyes to people’s background and lives. This is important because children are very vulnerable, they need that ear to listen to them and that helping hand. This then builds trusting relationships which is crucial, especially for students who present troubling behaviour. Giving students your time, will make them feel understood.

After this programme, I am applying for a job to be a guidance manager. This role is supporting students with both pastoral and academic interventions. Working with individuals to support their learning, but also with their social and emotional needs.”

Great work Olivia, you certainly are making a difference as a Teaching Assistant.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship, visit https://lmp-group.co.uk/courses/teaching-assistant/ or email info@lmpeducation.org

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