“…the little challenges turn into moments I will treasure for a long time.”
- Name: Sophie Lane
- Studying: BSc Psychology at the University of Nottingham
- Placement School: Rufford Primary School
Why did you apply?
There were a number of reasons why I applied: to gain experience for my CV, to help support children with less opportunities and to develop my confidence particularly within leadership.
Best things about being a Learning Advocate?
One of the best things about being a learning advocate is the sheer flexibility of the role, for me there was never a dull moment, and each week brought different activities and different challenges. A highlight for me has been supporting low ability children and watching them as the weeks progress, gaining in confidence and moving on to extension tasks, they never thought they would reach….
I had the opportunity to supervise the class on a school trip to the Sea life centre, this was such a treat for the children evident in their beaming faces as they tried to find the nemo fish and squealed as they got splashed in the 4D experience cinema. They were still talking about it for weeks, and it put my own upbringing in perspective for me- I have been lucky enough to experience things like this with my family, whereas for lots of the pupils this was so much more exciting and novel….
What challenges have you faced in your role?
The placement has not come without its challenges, the children can be quite demanding or heavily dependent on help at times…One challenge I faced was regarding a pupil in year 1 who really struggled with spellings and consistently scored zero on them every week. I spent a long time with him practising two words ‘for’ and ‘the’ until he eventually knew them. He kept repeating how rubbish he was at spellings and would not concentrate, until I reminded him how impressed everyone would be if he learnt them and encouraged him with a lot of praise and patience. He got a round of applause when he got them correct, and so the little challenges turn into moments I will treasure for a long time.
What skills have you developed as a Learning Advocate?
This role has also helped me grow personally and enhance my employability: helping me develop professional working relationships, increasing my confidence in communication, teamwork and leadership skills. I had the opportunity to work one to one, in a group supporting the teacher or on my own leading group interventions for multiple children. I enjoyed class support and guided reading support the most as class support allowed me to interact and help all levels of ability children, meanwhile reading let me work one to one with a pupil allowing me to see their progress each week, reminding you of why you are there. This experience has made feel as if I have contributed positively to the community.
As a student I have learnt to organise my time better, it has helped me tailor my third-year modules to educational psychology and provided me a break from University work every week. I do believe a huge factor in me getting so much out of my experience was the mindset you go into it with, giving 100% whilst you are there and in turn your efforts are truly appreciated.
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.