Employer Focus: Sir Robert Geffery’s School

Sir Robert Geffery’s is a “school for enthusiasts”, with an emphasis on providing a caring and welcoming environment for all its students. The school is a Primary Academy with a Christian ethos, and encourages the moral and social development of its students as well as the academic. As a result, the school has a very impressive Ofsted “Outstanding” rating. We sat down with James Crudge, one of Sir Robert Geffery’s teachers, to find out more about the school and its apprentice programme.

“We’ve been taking on apprentices for a few years now and have found the programme works very well for the school. The apprentices are fundamental in supporting the teacher in the running of each class, and so gain a huge amount of experience and insight into teaching. In return, the teacher has an extra pair of eyes to monitor the children!

“The apprentices help with setting out activities and leading group activities. For example, my class apprentice, Luke, ran a “Funky Fingers” group to help improve children’s motor abilities through finger activities. After the sessions, we found that the children’s writing skills had improved as well as their ability in PE.

“It is also rewarding to see the development in the apprentices as the year progresses. Luke was a pleasure to work with and it was a delight to see his confidence grow throughout the year. The fact that he is now studying a teaching degree speaks volumes for his ability in education; he has an exciting future ahead of him.

“We have a great relationship with Skills Group. The assessor is flexible when visiting us for apprentice observations, and is able to give advice on training.

“My advice to others thinking of employing an apprentice in a school is to make sure you have a strict recruitment process. Once you have hired an apprentice, nurture them and give them plenty of opportunity to grow both in skills and in confidence.”

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School