Success Stories: Hannah Maclean, Level 3 Teaching Assistant

Hannah Maclean is currently working on her Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship at Tor Bridge Primary School. She has also previously completed her Level 3 School Sports Assistant Apprenticeship at the school.

Hannah originally wanted to enter the Army and progressed through the rigorous application process. However, on one of the health tests, she was unfortunately found to have a heart murmur and was unable to take her application any further. Instead of giving up, Hannah thought about the key aspects involved in the army that she loved, such as an active lifestyle and leadership, and realised that Sports Education would be a brilliant alternative.

Since joining Tor Bridge Primary, Hannah has made a real difference to the school and goes above and beyond what is expected of her.

“I’ve been involved in introducing a new Fitbit programme at the school to help encourage active and healthy lifestyles. I organised giving pupils Fitbits to monitor the number of steps they did per day and ran competitions around them, such as which class could do the most steps, and who could beat the teachers. The children are now constantly moving to try and increase their step count! I also introduced a certification process, awarding the best-behaved class whilst walking to PE to improve behaviour, and also awarding pupils who achieve a new skill in a PE lesson.

Through sports, Hannah has made progress with SEN children. “I lead a dedicated Motor Skills Group, aiming to improve the children’s balance, agility and co-ordination. I’m also helping the school in its application for the Plymouth School Sports Platinum Award, by organising supporting evidence.”

As Hannah’s Sports Assistant Apprenticeship came to an end in April 2019, the school are now supporting Hannah through her Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship, so that they can keep her at the school.

“In the mornings, I work as a Teaching Assistant in Year 4. My responsibilities include marking books, leading one-to-one Maths, guided handwriting and reading sessions, as well as intervention work and preparing resources for the class. I’m also working closely with a SEN pupil. When I first started, the student knew no multiplication, so I designed a personalised multiplication table for him to suit his needs and he is now confident with a range of timetables. It’s great to see his progress! In the afternoon, I still lead PE classes throughout the school.

“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship; it is extremely rewarding to help children develop their skills and watch them succeed. The apprenticeship has been a brilliant way to learn, as you get thrown in at the deep end with on-the-job training, but it means you obtain so much experience quickly. I have a great relationship with Skills Group and Torbridge Primary has been amazingly supportive – I feel like one of the team. My advice for anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would just be to do it!”

Yvonne Doyle, PE Co-ordinator at Tor Bridge Primary, comments: “If I had to sum up Hannah in a couple of sentences I would say that she is an extremely hard working and conscientious young lady, who is full of good ideas and has the drive and determination to implement them. She works well with any adult or child she is with and has been a totally valued member of our team. She has made a real difference to the lives of some of our children and to do that as a first year apprentice is impressive.”

Well done Hannah!