Working in a Primary School
I was interested in experiencing a primary school as a Learning Advocate. Bentinck Primary is a different type of school where a number of the children speak little or no English. On my first day I was worried that I would not know how to handle this experience or that I would be left in the dark, however when I arrived the class teacher of year 1 where I had been allocated, was so lovely and welcoming. Each week before the pupils arrived she would talk me through the timetable for that day and notify me of any issues going on with any of the pupils.
When I first started the scheme in January there was a new pupil from Romania in the class and he did not speak any English, but I have seen a tremendous improvement in his English over the course of the ten weeks, which has been a pleasure to observe and one of the highlights of my experience at Bentinck Primary. At the beginning there were times where I felt that I was not sure what I should be doing when the teacher is teaching at the front of the class. However, from experience gained over the last 10 weeks I took initiative and sought tasks that would be helpful for the class teacher, for example; filing, sharpening pencils, tidying up etc. The class teacher has expressed her gratitude for my help and initiative.
How being a Learning Advocate helped me with my studies
My participation in the scheme has unexpectedly supported my study of my degree in BA Geography. This is because as part of a ‘Geographies of Migration’ module this year, I was asked to write a 1000-word funding bid for a migration related issue. I chose to write my funding bid asking for Additional English lessons for refugee and migrant children living in Nottingham, as I have seen first-hand that this is a current issue in Nottingham. As a result, working as a Learning Advocate has supplemented my studies. Similarly, this experience has made me more aware of the problems refugee and migrant children face at a young age and how this impacts their education.
Taking part in this scheme has provided me with excellent time management skills and an extra dimension to my time in Nottingham. The scheme has made me more knowledgeable of Nottingham as a city and the people who live and work here, outside of the university bubble. Similarly, In terms of future employability, I have acquired skills in speaking to a large number of people, taking initiative, as well as time management skills. I have enjoyed working with young children in a position of responsibility, as well as learning more about the education system in the UK.
Interested in supporting disadvantaged pupils in local schools?
Applications for roles within the Students in Classrooms scheme are now open and will close on Sunday 20 October 2019. You can find out more about the variety of ways you can get involved by clicking the button below.