Freya Andrew, aged 28, has successfully achieved a distinction in her Teaching Assistant apprenticeship! She has been an apprentice at Stanton Community Primary School in Suffolk, with a passion for experience-led learning and helping the next generation!
This is Freya’s journey from her perspective:
“I chose this apprenticeship programme to gain on the job experience working within an education setting. After relocating to the area and changing industry, I wanted to move into primary education. Evening courses didn’t provide me with any active working experience, therefore I decided an apprenticeship was the best route. A local apprenticeship helped me gain real exposure to the job as well earning some money at the same time.
The main benefits I personally have encountered have been that you are provided with an opportunity to learn whilst you work. You are actively in the role whilst you are training therefore you are exposed to daily experiences on the job- whereas a classroom setting, or textbook method of learning may not give you these opportunities. You can earn also whilst you learn – you are completing your course whilst having the opportunity to get paid a wage instead of having to complete unpaid work experience or placements.
The best thing about my job role is that I actively get to witness the benefits and rewards of my input and time spent with the children. I see their progression and their confidence build when they can achieve milestones, as well as their personalities develop.
I have had an overwhelming level of support throughout my apprenticeship, and I truly believe this has helped me to achieve my Distinction grade. My tutor Scarlet has been with me every single step of the way though my course, she has given me a wealth of knowledge from her previous teaching background which has allowed to me to develop additional skills within the classroom- as well as pushing me to achieve distinctions on my coursework. Her knowledge of a primary school setting is unbeatable, and I really have her to thank for my amazing experience on this course.
My employer has also been extremely supportive and allowed me to work within several different key stages throughout my apprenticeship year, giving me different experiences throughout the school. I have also been given tasks and duties that the qualified teaching assistants preform- this enhancing my confidence and making me feel one of the team. My classroom teachers Mrs. Freeman, Miss. Winter and Miss. Ingam have also been giant supporters and have always giving me the opportunity to develop.
My most important skill I have learnt would be my ability to correctly safeguard children. I have learned lots of phonic tuition, SEN teaching methods and behaviour management, however being able to confidently keep children safe and happy within the school and ensure they have the best outcomes is a skill I will treasure.
My next step in my career is to complete my Level 4 Higher Level Teaching Assistant course. This will provide me with the opportunity to cover some classes and gain experience of teaching- I can then progress to becoming a primary teacher myself someday.”