Lorren and David – Work Experience placement stories
Every year at RNC (Royal National College for the Blind) we host a work experience week where our students have a taste of life in the workplace, which can give them an invaluable insight into an industry where they may wish to pursue a career in the future. National careers site Graduate Prospects state “Work experience is essential for getting a job. Whether it’s a short work placement or a longer internship, work experience is always viewed favourably by employers and can help you decide your future career.”
This week we will focus on individual student placements within different industries; today we will look at work placements in education settings.
20 year old Lorren Wilde, from Hereford, had her placement in the intervention department of a local mainstream secondary school; Hereford Academy. Lorren says “It’s been really exciting to see what they’ve been doing in intervention because it’s focussing one to one or one to two with kids who need a bit of help with certain skills.”
Irene from Hereford Academy says “Lorren has done really well, she’s picked up some literacy with a couple of the pupils which means reading through texts aloud with them and ensuring they understand paragraphs and punctuation.”
Lorren, who is studying Support Work in Schools at RNC, says “This has been a great placement to feed in to my course and is also helpful as I’m going on to uni in September to study Education Studies with Special and Inclusive Needs. I’ve really enjoyed my work placement in the intervention department; it’s so good to be able to help kids get to a point that they’re comfortable with as I know some can find reading quite hard.”
David Parfett, 19 from Derbyshire, had his placement at a specialist college; The National Star in Hereford. David had a mixture of things to do which ranged from classroom support in English and Maths to helping students in their pop up shop to supporting with kitchen skills and lunch times. The days were very full on but David says “My mum does respite care at home so I have always been around young people who have complex needs but this is the first time I’ve worked with them in an education setting. It’s been so rewarding, especially seeing the progress that the students make.”
Jane from National Star says “It’s amazing that David just instinctively knows what to do – even things like physical support when getting out of the car because he knows a lot of the health and safety aspects, he’s great with encouragement and being descriptive. Working with people who have complex needs can be very demanding but David’s a natural, he takes everything on board and he’s done everything I have asked; I’ve never had to explain anything twice. I’d give him a job tomorrow if I could!”
David worked one to one with a student who was non-verbal and explains “He has a communication folder where he points at the pictures of different things so he was able to communicate with me through that. I recently started learning Makaton, which has been really useful in communicating with the students here. In the future I know I’m not the sort of person who wants to work in an office as I’m more practical and hands-on so this placement has been really good for me, every day is different and the learning is flexible to meet the needs of each individual student.”
David has plans to go to university next year and is currently weighing up his options on the course he would like to study as he is interested in Youth Work and Disability and Inclusion, he says “My placement here has been really useful, I know that I have picked up a lot of transferable strategies for working with young people and skills I can take forward into the workplace such as team work, patience, encouragement and flexibility.”
If you are aged 14+ with visual impairment and you are thinking about your future, come to the RNC Open Day on 23 March. If you have any questions about this, please call the student enquiries team on 01432 376 621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are an employer and you are interested in offering a student work placement, speak to the RNC transitions team on 01432 376 621.
Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC