Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship in Supported Teaching and Learning
“Teaching is a rewarding career, where I’m learning something new every day. Walsall College has been amazing in helping me develop my own skills so I can help these children build their futures.”
After spending years in a senior HR role, Gertrude Hendrickson felt it was time for a career change into something that would allow her to help young people build their futures. So she began working as a teaching assistant at R.Y.A.N Education Academy, an independent school in Birmingham, where she was encouraged to undertake an intermediate apprenticeship in Supported Teaching and Learning at Walsall College to update her skills.
“My manager recommended Walsall College to me, as it was an outstanding college that has a reputation for delivering high-quality courses. I needed a certain level of skills in order to move further in primary school teaching, and the qualification I had for teaching adults wasn’t sufficient. Therefore, I needed to do this apprenticeship to bring me up to date.”
Part of her course involved bringing her IT skills up to speed, which meant Gertrude had to ‘conquer her fear of IT.
“In my previous role in HR, I had my own secretary and clerical assistant who did all of the typing work for me, and produced charts and financial reports on my behalf. So having to do that myself was a major learning curve for me. There were many challenges, but with the support of my tutor, I have conquered that fear and passed my Level 1 ICT qualification. I received so much motivation from staff, who were there every step of the way.”
With her new-found IT skills, Gertrude is able to support her pupils in their IT lessons, and now aims to become a teacher, using her apprenticeship as a teaching assistant as a starting point.
“Now that I’ve done my Level 2, I would like to excel further and complete my Level 3. I would like to develop my skills further, by training to support young people in other areas, such as mental health and emotional well-being.”
Gertrude is now two years into her new teaching assistant role, and believes her career change was one of the best decisions she has made.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying my apprenticeship, with absolutely no regrets. Supporting teaching and learning is a rewarding career, where I’m learning something new every day. Walsall College has been amazing in helping me develop my own skills so I can help these children build their futures.”
Catherine Ryan-Harris, headteacher at R.Y.A.N Education Academy, said: “Since attending the Apprenticeship course at Walsall College, she has done well to apply her learning and development which, has strengthened her skills and abilities in her current role as Supported Teaching and Learning Assistant.
Mrs Hendrickson has made great impact on the day to day running of the school; and has supported in administration duties. In addition Mrs Hendrickson ensures the well-being of the young people is paramount and from the teaching and learning perspective, that the education of the students is imperative as she always supports them.
“Mrs. Hendrickson’s has excellent teamwork and good communication skills; and uses this to support the young people and the processes and changes within the school. She is an inspiration and an asset to the R.Y.A.N Education Academy.”