• Emma Theedom

(Volunteer) Gosfield Private School

Since the 15th January this year, I have been volunteering at Gosfield Private School every Monday. Originally I was meant to start end of last year, but do to my calendar I was unable to attend the first day. However, throughout my time so far it's been a highly interesting experience. It's brought me to understand how the GSCE grading system works, what the pupils now have to do in lessons and I've also held some lunchtime classes for the prep school, with fun activities. Now, I am only assisting classes, which means I'm there to be of help, when needed. Such as assisting pupils with ideas, helping them create their work, helping clean the area, sit and observe how classes are run. I work both in the GSCE department and the young prep school, helping assist random classes and running my own lunchtime art class as well as being of help to the after school art class. I do not have a mentor at this school, I am simply here to observe and great a rough idea, which age of education I would prefer to work at. If I were to work at a secondary school.

These are the main expectations of the GSCE pupils throughout the next weeks. With this school in particular, they are very organised and make sure the pupils are all up to speed. Similar to degree level, the GSCE pupils have to chose a brief from a selection and base their work around that brief. The topics are quite broad; past, present or future, people, places, natural world, objects, activities, imagination. My main job is to help them with research into their chosen brief's, I will suggest artists that might relate their own interest as well as the brief. For instance, I even gave my artwork as an example relating to the another topic of brief called 'fragments'. There was one pupil who's work was previously based on Roman statues, I showed them some from my 'IN WITH THE OLD' series, as an idea of fragmented collage. They loved my suggestion and there is now a section of research in their book of my work.

An example of what I do for my lunchtime art class, would be a short power point of information, followed by an activity. In my art class, I wanted to achieve educating the children a little bit more into the activity. I've observed in classes when it comes to creative activities, it's all glue, cutting and sticking, glitter and pencils. I wanted the children to get a bit more out of the class. The class is available for year 5 pupils which is a good age to be introducing more educated lessons to.

I also spend a lot of time assisting in non art related topics such as Year 2 Spanish or Yr 1 Science. It swings on roundabouts at this school, especially in the prep school. As much as it has been fun and rewarding and I have learnt what it takes to be a teacher, I was slightly disappointed I wasn't assigned a teacher to help mentor me, maybe in hindsight, this could have been something I should of asked first thing when I started. However, it doesn't matter as such now, because I do enjoy assisting the classes and running this short lunchtime class. I guess overall it has made me learn, that I would perhaps prefer to work within in higher education such as, sixth form level and above. As much as I enjoyed the GSCE class, I feel as though my knowledge and ability would be better of with like-minded people who have chosen the subject as a further career. This also gives me the option in being specifically an art based teacher and not have to dabble in other subjects, much like secondary schools do.

I'm currently assigned to be volunteering to the end of this school year, I am unsure whether to continue volunteering after this year. Due to the amount of work I intend to take on, once I have finished university. I understand that when I enrol onto a teacher training course, I will be assigned to learn within a school. I hoped at the beginning of volunteering at Gosfield, they may offer me the chance to learn with them. However, due to their short staff I don't think this will be applicable. It's given me a taster of whats yet to come, which I am very grateful for.

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