Apprentice aims for dream

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A TEENAGER is on her way to fulfilling her ambitions of being a teacher.

Leah Turner, 19, from Peterlee, is hoping to reach her goals of becoming a primary school teacher thanks to a Modern Apprenticeship scheme.

After leaving Shotton Hall School, Leah went to Durham Sixth Form, but after a year felt that the traditional A-level route was not for her.

She said: “I had originally thought I wanted to do A-levels and a degree, ultimately training to become a dentist, but I realised seven-plus years of study was not for me.

“While I was at sixth form I volunteered at Gilesgate Primary School in Durham, helping out with the children who had special educational needs. I then knew I wanted to work with children.

“I wanted to start working, get some hands-on experience, but still get some qualifications and a friend suggested trying an Apprenticeship.”

Leah started on a Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching and Learning with East Durham College and was placed with St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Murton.

Carolyn Tempest, a tutor and placement officer in the work-based Learning Team at the college, said: “Leah has done fantastically well and achieved her Level 2 Apprenticeship ahead of time and progressed on to the Advanced Apprenticeship.

“She has proven herself to be a real asset to St Joseph’s, now supporting teaching staff throughout the school, working with groups of children across Key Stages 1 and 2. She has also taken on a one-to-one supporting role for a child with additional needs.”

St Joseph’s teacher, Catherine Farrell, said: “Leah’s passion for helping children learn and develop is evident and can be seen in the strong and positive relationships she has made with the children and staff throughout the school community.

“Her professionalism and attention to detail has been pivotal to her work being recognised around the school and to her increased responsibilities. Leah’s ability to support and promote children’s learning is an absolute asset to the school, and of course the families we serve.”

Leah now intends to progress on to the Foundation Degree in Education and Care at the college and eventually achieve her goal of becoming a primary school teacher.