11 September 2023  |  Sven Wardle  |  Posted in:

Usually a work experience placement is quite challenging to organise, with the school contacting an employer to find out whether they are prepared to host a student. Every so often though, something a bit different happens. Earlier this summer, Kyla Small, a Year 10 student at Richmond School, had a slightly alternative work experience…

The story starts some time ago when Kyla was involved with a primary school sports event as a sports leader. Miss Treweek, a teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Northallerton noticed how Kyla was interacting with and helping her primary school students. Miss Treweek said: “She completely blew me away with her enthusiasm and determination to have every child involved and smiling.”

After spotting Kyla’s talent for helping students out so effectively, no matter how challenging they were finding things, Miss Treeweek invited Kyla back to Sacred Heart to help out at their sports day. Kyla shadowed Miss Treweek during sports day, effectively becoming an extra member of staff, interacting with students, parents and other staff at the school. Once again, Kyla had a brilliant time, impressing all the staff at Sacred Heart with her empathetic and inclusive attitude.

A whole year later, Sacred Heart decided to organise not just a sports day, but a sports week. The more people to help out, the better. And who should Miss Treweek think of? This is what she said: ”When I found out I was able to run a sports week this year there is no one else I wanted to have come and help me do this more than Kyla, as I knew she would help me run the week with the same vision as me; to have every child involved and smiling!”

So, a very rare example of an employer contacting the school requesting a specific student for a whole week of work experience. It doesn’t usually work like that!

Once again, Kyla had a fantastic time getting involved and helping out with a wide range of activities including ‘Drumba’ – Zumba with drums, balance bikes, traditional sports day events like the sack race, as well as the grand finale – a climbing wall. Kyla had particular responsibility for Year 3 and really focused on making sure every student got the most from all the activities. This proved especially challenging on the last day with the climbing wall. Many of the students (and Kyla!) were quite intimidated by the wall and it took real determination, trust and teamwork to make sure every student climbed as far up the wall as they could. Kyla worked especially hard with Henry – you can see from the photos that they developed a brilliantly positive relationship during the week.

In summary, Miss Treweek said: “Kyla made an outstanding impression on all staff during her work experience week at Sacred Heart Primary School. She continually used her initiative and creative abilities to support our children when working with them in a variety of ways. Kyla has been determined to have all children involved in all activities this week, both in the classroom and during our sports events. Her encouragement and support have meant children have taken part in things they otherwise wouldn’t have. Over the course of the week, she has worked independently and as part of our staff team. Kyla has embraced and demonstrated not only the Richmond School values but also the Sacred Heart values. She has well and truly made a lasting impression on both the staff and the children at our school. We have absolutely loved having Kyla at Sacred Heart!”

Kyla’s journey now carries on into Year 11. She continues to build on this success and others, focusing on her goal of becoming a midwife or a teaching assistant. Kyla’s success at Richmond School is largely down to her own efforts, but she did want to thank all the staff that have helped her out along the way, including the teaching assistants and especially Miss Merckx. We wish Kyla every success in Year 11 and beyond!

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