Whether you want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or fashion designer, work experience is a great way to get a taste of what the industry is really like. Being in the moment and just taking the whole process and lifestyle in was very eye-opening. Having always had a small interest in teaching I thought one way to see if I was interested was by working there for approximately a week. Work experience has been really hard for people my age to get due to COVID-19, however, as the restriction has eased they felt comfortable having me in the school and working closely with all of the children.


I was able to get a few days at a primary school in Surrey. This school was a school I knew and I felt it would be a good place to start. Having emailed the business manager of the school about possibly helping them out, she came back saying “of course”. After this, it took a few character references and a DBS check and then I was ready to go. The school was a state school and had much smaller holidays so I was able to find a few days where I was still on holiday and they had returned. I began my work experience on the 20th of April.



Going into a place that you are not familiar with is scary for anyone but having thirty-year 6 children stare at me as I walked into the classroom was even more daunting. Having said this, very quickly after, I felt enormous relief when the children began to interact with me and ask for help. The way I like to describe the role I had was as a teaching assistant. I spent most of my time with individual pupils who were struggling. They had learning difficulties such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia which made learning in a standard school slightly more difficult. On the first day I worked with a child called Max, he was super friendly but struggled with his maths. He has his SATS coming up so the help I could give him was extremely appreciated by both him and the year 6 teacher. Later that day I got moved to spend the afternoon teaching a year 1 class art. This was a completely different experience and slightly chaotic. The children were way more confident and curious as to why a big human who they had never seen before was sitting in their classroom. The chairs got smaller but I felt the personalities got bigger. There was a lot of pencil sharpening that went on here along with them all asking for help on how to draw a perfect spring day. Because I take art A-Level I felt this experience was a lot more fun. At the end of the day, all the girls started to ask if I could draw them and once I had done one and saw her face I knew there was no saying no. About 8 portraits later I had lots of very happy children hugging and thanking me. Although this was easy for me it was something that meant a lot to them. As the end bell of the day rang everyone went home including me. As I was driving home I could see all the year 1’s walking home holding the little drawing I did for them; it melted my heart. Once I had got home I was exhausted and spent the rest of the day lying down and relaxing. 


The second day of work experience began and it was a very beautiful and warm day. Today I was placed in year 4 and given Rhys to look after for the whole day. Rhys had ADHD and would normally have a teaching assistant sit by him all day but today it was going to be me! I wasn't aware of how to help a child with a learning disability but soon began to learn it was just about a bit of extra encouragement and rewarding him for the small things in the day. His behaviour was not perfect but I could tell I was always trying to hear to please me, he struggled with maths and always wanted to sit on his laptop instead of doing the work. Together we came up with a compromise and rewarded him with a laptop once he had done a substantial amount of work. Rhys was someone that I admired. I could tell he struggled and by all means, he was not perfect but he was just a really lovely boy. Whether it was doing maths, English or their topic which was the Tudors, he did try and was highly motivated when it came to his reflection diary which I had to sign at the end of each lesson. In the afternoon I carried on spending time in year 4 but this time I taught an art lesson. This was so enjoyable and lovely to watch all of the children forget about perfectionism and instead look and try and fix what they already had. As the day came to an end the children vote for those that had been kind, helpful and safe to them. It was heartwarming as they all talked about the kind things they had done to each other and one boy who I hadn’t talked to much in the day talked about me and how I had helped his friend Rhys which meant a lot to me. This was another amazing day which was completely different to the first.


Friday was my third and final day of working in this primary school. I spent the whole day with Year 6 and now that I knew them all we had all started to build a relationship. I thought I would get placed with max again but after hearing he was doing better at his maths I got put with Darcy. The minute I met Darcy I knew she was a mini-me. She was bubbly but not the most academic and had dyslexia. She was a bright girl and creative but when it came to English and maths I could tell she was getting frustrated with herself. She required motivation and a little guidance so we spent lots of time together reading the question through and asking ourselves what were the keywords. It was lovely to see Darcy smile when she got the method and answered these questions correctly. Soon after maths, we had sport where I watched and encouraged them all to play hockey. Some were nervous as it was a sport that they were unfamiliar with but after getting their kit on they all began to smile and let loose. Darcy found me after lunch and came to say thank you for helping her but I assured her I would be with her in her final lesson of the day and my final lesson teaching in a school. We did American landmarks and a lesson which I found highly interesting. The way these lessons were taught was different and much more interactive which I could tell all the kids enjoyed. There was a treasure hunt, a decorate your postcard and a match the landmarks with the state quiz which they all got involved in. As the day ended and the bell rang they all said a big goodbye and a thank you for helping them. I stayed back and thanked the teachers for letting me help in their classroom and giving me this eye-opening opportunity. Once I walked out the school gates all of the children were shouting out of their car “goodbye” to me, making this week feel so rewarding.


Looking back on my few days doing work experience it is clear to me that I want to work with children. Having spent time with people with learning difficulties has made me think I would enjoy working in an environment where they are certain children that require a little bit more help. My favourite part of my few days was spending time with the Year 6’s, I felt they were at an age where they were extremely appreciative of all the help which has made me think I would like to work in a secondary school where you can get more out of the children. Looking forward to the future, I think everyone should try and attempt to do some work experience for me it has cleared up my questions and thoughts or careers.