National Apprenticeship Week

It’s the final day of National Apprenticeship Week and it’s been fantastic to see the opportunities that apprenticeships have opened up to so many people. Across Orchard Hill College & Academy Trust (click here to find out more) we offer a number of apprenticeships that are giving staff members the opportunity to develop new skills and gain qualifications while working in our schools and college. This is of huge benefit to the apprentices themselves, but also it hugely impacts our pupils and students as they gain so much from the upskilling of our staff teams.

Emma is on our Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Apprenticeship and feels it has greatly impacted her support in the classroom:

I qualified as a hairdresser but soon realised it wasn’t the right career for me. I was looking for a career change and a family member recommended working at Bedelsford School so I applied and haven’t looked back! When we were offered the Apprenticeships I decided to do the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools option; my goal is to become a qualified teacher so this is the perfect first step. The course is going really well, we’ve had guest speakers and specialist training, plus a biweekly meeting with the Head of Apprenticeships for mentoring, coaching and to deliver the theory aspects of the course. In the classroom I feel I provide much better support to the Teacher as I have a greater understanding of all the background work that has been put in, there’s so much more to it than just delivering the lessons.

Jonny is a Healthcare Apprentice and has found his studies have made him more reflective in his practice:

After finishing my studies I had a holiday job at a summer SEN club, then I worked one to one providing family support in the community. A friend worked at Bedelsford and recommended it as a great place to work; I’ve now been here for six years so it was a good recommendation! I’ve found the reflective practice part of the course particularly valuable, it’s made me think in depth about what I’m doing so I’m more mindful of my practice and how I’m supporting pupils.

Our pupils and students gain so much from the knowledge our apprentices are developing, and we look forward to sharing more of their stories in the coming months.


As a result of outstanding teaching, over time students make excellent progress and develop the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals.
Ofsted November 2019

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