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Why You SHOULD Consider a PE Apprentice.

Over the last 5 years over 40 primary schools in the North East have hosted a PEAK PE Apprentice.

Schools take on apprentices for a variety of reasons:

· Almost all of them take on an apprentice as having an apprentice helps the school to provide increased opportunities for organised physical activity for children at playtimes and after school.

· Some have hosted a PE apprentice as they have been looking to recruit a PE specialist TA and hosting apprentices allows them to take a look at how a potential new member of staff fits into their team before making a contract offer. Indeed there are a number of schools in the North East who now employ their former apprentice to deliver PE lessons, clubs and lunchtime organised play.

· Many schools host an apprentice for purely altruistic reasons, allowing a young person access to a work environment and supporting them to gain a qualification and experience within the industry.

Whatever the reason, an apprentice is a valuable resource as an additional team member at incredible value for money for the school.

This year we are advertising for our 6th year of apprentices having had 68 young people pass through our apprenticeship programme. With a 75% success rate, PEAK outstrip the National Averages for apprenticeship pass rates.

PEAK’s apprenticeship programme has benefits which you will not get from other providers. Ours is a complete managed service which means that PEAK will deal with any performance management issue and prevents the school getting bogged down in HR structures and administration. When working with young people it is important to accept that occasionally they may need HR intervention, usually these are for minor incidents such as punctuality or attendance. A school working with PEAK only has to pick up the phone and we will be out to your school within 48 hours to begin dealing with any required intervention.

PEAK manage the process from start to finish. If a school decides that it wishes to take on an apprentice, we begin by placing the advert for that school and undertaking 3 stages of recruitment. We begin by screening all applications and doing a short face-to-face interview with every applicant. We also get every applicant to sit a diagnostic test to ensure that academically they will be able to cope with the demands of the NVQ. Once this process is complete we invite all applicants in to a recruitment event. At this point we spell out, in no uncertain terms, what it is like working in a school. We ensure that every applicant understands the pressure and required work rate that they will face on a day-to-day basis. Following this we will create a short-list of the very best applicants and arrange an interview time and date with your school. You will decide from here which of the shortlisted applicants is the best-fit for your school.

No other organisation operates as diligently as us to ensure that the highest quality candidates only get to this phase. With certain providers you may even find that they give you no say at all as to which applicant is placed with you. Indeed, one school this year told us about another provider who placed an apprentice with them, the school did not even get a chance to meet them or receive any information about them until they arrived in school for their first day at work!

At the interview you will select the candidate who best fits your school and your requirements. At this point we will make a job offer to that candidate and once they accept we begin their enhanced DBS application and a thorough identification and right to work check. We even provide the successful young person with sports kit!

Our involvement doesn’t end there! We provide induction training for all of our apprentices before they step foot into their host school. We make sure that the trainee is given training on safeguarding and child welfare; behaviour management; the primary PE curriculum and classroom delivery skills. We ensure that we train the apprentice in a large number of active play games so they are able to walk straight into a school and provide organised playground games for children. We also ensure that every trainee has a L1 first aid qualification as part of this programme.

We work incredibly closely with our training partners to monitor the quality of training that our apprentices receive as regards their NVQ. We monitor the trainee’s work to ensure they are not falling behind and keep you appraised of their college work completion rate and work standards.

What’s more we supplement the apprentice’s training during school holidays providing them with opportunities to hone and expand their delivery skills whilst being observed and provided with feedback on their teaching and classroom management. Almost all of our headteachers know that comment that every time the school breaks-up their apprentice returns as an improved classroom practitioner.

PEAK also have a dedicated Apprentice Mentor who will visit the apprentice in your school regularly to help and guide them. This is in addition to their tutor who is appointed by their training provider.

For 2020-21 we are ABOLISHING OUR MANAGEMENT FEE, so you receive this entire managed service for absolutely FREE! The only cost will be the apprentice’s wage cost which we will invoice you for in 3 instalments.

The are lots of advantages for primary schools in taking on an apprentice from PEAK, here are our top 5:

1. Having an apprentice raises the levels of Physical Activity for your pupils. Your apprentice will immediately be able to run supervised and organised play in the playground. All of our apprentices take on more responsibility as they progress to drive up levels of physical activity and as we all know, physically active children achieve better SATS results; have better attendance; behave better in school and have better punctuality. So hosting a PEAK apprentice could even help deliver your whole school improvement plan!

2. A 0.75FTE member of staff for a fraction of the cost. Apprentices start off on £4.15 per hour, this may go up to the National Living Wage if they turn 19 in the last 6 months of their apprenticeship, but this is still a very small wage rate for an additional member of staff. The apprentice will be able to immediately help teachers in PE lessons, helping to provide more and high quality individual and group teaching in PE. When there is no PE timetabled they can be used to support teaching staff in other curriculum areas and of course its an extra pair of hands to do school displays, tidy the PE cupboard and supervise children at play and lunch-times.

3. Have the confidence that you are dealing with professional organisations. PEAK are the only specialist primary PE company in the North-East; established 5 years ago we have taught 39,137 children from Berwick in the North to Ingleby Barwick in the South. We have delivered 24,594 PE lessons and worked with nearly 70 schools. We only work with training providers who are outstanding training establishments and either specialise in apprentice training or have a demonstrable track record of success in further education.

4. We reduce your workload with our complete, free of charge, managed service. If you have any issues which require support or intervention you simply call us. We will do the rest. You also are not wasting your apprenticeship levy so are free to utilise this in other operational areas. The apprentice is also fully covered by our public liability, employer liability and indemnity insurance.

5. It is a fantastic use of ring-fenced PE funding. The apprentice can be paid for in full out of your PESS budget as they will increase physical activity and bring some amazing ideas into your schools to help your teachers deliver a sustained improvement in the quality of their PE teaching.

In 2020-21 we are also changing the qualification that the apprentices will be studying as we tie our apprenticeship programme into the new end-point assessment apprenticeship framework.

Our apprentices will now be studying the L3 Teaching Assistant NVQ which requires them to meet standards which will be of more assistance to you as a school. We are more than happy to share the full set of standards with any school but the apprentice will have to demonstrate effective knowledge in the following areas:

· Understanding how Understanding how pupils learn and develop.

o Understand the need to provide feedback to support and facilitate an appropriate level of independence

o Comprehend appropriate levels of learning resources to identify and help address weakness, consolidate strengths and develop individualised expectations

o Recognise different stages of child development through school, e.g.: transition between key stages.

· Technology: Recognise the importance of using appropriate technology to support learning, for example: use of photocopier, tablets, computers, correct programs, for example English, Maths, topic, IT programs

· Working with teachers to understand and support assessment for learning

o Understand the need to accurately observe record and report on pupil’s participation, conceptual understanding and progress to improve practice and assessment for different groups of pupils.

o Understand the school’s assessment procedures for benchmarking against targets set by the class teacher.

o Be familiar with assessment materials.

· Curriculum: An appropriate knowledge of the curriculum and context you are working in

· Keeping Children Safe in Education:

o Understand current statutory guidance including ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Part 1, safeguarding policies, Prevent Strategy

o Understand the importance of sharing relevant information, in a timely manner with the designated Safeguarding lead.

o Understand the importance of first aid procedures, recording/reporting incidents and a broad knowledge of Health & Safety Policy.

Apprentices will also be educated in and assessment on a number of skills that they will be expected to put into use during their time in schools. These skills are:

· Develop strategies to support and encourage pupils to move towards independent learning

o Use appropriately varied vocabulary to ensure pupils’ understanding.

o Embed effective behaviour management strategies using discipline appropriately and fairly in line with the school’s policy.

o Deliver interventions in accordance with training given (RAG rating).

o Foster and encourage positive, effective, nurturing and safe learning environments inspiring pupils to take pride in and learn from their individual achievements.

o Recognise, adapt and respond to all pupils encompassing SEN/emotional vulnerabilities, for example, use Makaton, Vis

· Communication and teamwork:

o Work closely with teachers to ensure own contribution aligns with the teaching.

o Ensure regular communication with teachers to provide clarity and consistency of role within lessons.

o Deliver/lead small group teaching within clearly defined/planned parameters using initiative, sensitivity and understanding.

o Build appropriate relationships with colleagues, pupils, parents, adults and stakeholders.

o Comply with policy and procedures for sharing confidential information and know when and where to seek advice.

o Implement current statutory guidance including ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Part 1, safeguarding policies, Prevent Strategy.

o Support pupils’ wellbeing whilst embedding the importance of online safety.

· Working with teachers to accurately assess

o Contribute to a range of assessment processes and use information effectively for example: written records

o Use specific feedback to help pupils make progress.

o Apply good subject knowledge to support accurate assessment

· Using technology

o Use school computer systems, including specialist software eg: online registration, intervention programmes and management information systems.

o Use relevant technology competently and effectively to improve learning.

o Ensure pupils use technology safely.

· Problem solving/ability to motivate pupils

o Use a range of strategies including scaffolding and open questioning skills to enable pupils to access and engage in learning.

o Recognise the difference between pastoral and academic issues and model good behaviour for learning.

The apprentice will also receive support and be assessed in how they display specific behaviours whilst working in schools. These are:

· Building relationships/ embracing change

o Flexibility, trust, professional conduct, confidentiality and being respectful.

o Promote the school’s efforts to build positive behaviour for learning.

o Promote and exemplify positive behaviour and uphold the school ethos.

o Be enthusiastic and open to new ideas.

· Adding value to education

o Praise; provide constructive and specific feedback and support pupils, helping them to achieve their maximum potential socially, emotionally and academically through peer marking and reflection.

· Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion

o Keep pupils at the centre of everything.

o Promote community cohesion and cultural diversity encompassing a full understanding of the school’s ethos.

· Professional standards and personal accountability

o Demonstrate professional relationships in line with Staff Handbook.

o Be diplomatic, a positive role model and maintain confidentiality.

o Optimise learning opportunities and reflect on their personal development.

o Demonstrate a willingness to learn and improve personal skill set.

· Behaviour B5. Team working, collaboration and engagement

o Work collaboratively and constructively with the whole school team.

o Engage professionally as appropriate with outside professionals.

Whereas other apprenticeships rely upon a partnership between host and training provider to develop each apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours PEAK’s model relies upon a triumvirate to help develop each young person which means less work for all parties involved in the process.

Finally, please allow us to share some comments from client schools regarding our apprenticeship programme. You can find more testimonials at

“This is the first year we have taken a PE Apprentice on and the process has been extremely smooth. From the interview stage to PEAK training the Apprentice, to working in school - seamless. Our apprentice fits in very well to our staff team and supports in each PE lesson in school. She is working closely with a couple of classes and has built up excellent relationships with the children - she runs an after school club and will offer to cover others, if coaches cancel or staff are tied up in meetings.” Nicola Hill, Headteacher – Hetton Primary School.

"PEAK's apprentice has established good working relationships with both adults and children in school. He has supported teaching and learning in lessons across school and he has shown initiative by supporting children's play at playtimes and lunch times. He is very professional. We could not have asked for a better trainee." Lynn Blain, Headteacher - Ponteland First School.

"PEAK's apprentice is fantastic. We are really pleased with him. He always acts professionally and staff have been impressed with his enthusiasm and his hard working attitude. He is always well presented and approaches all activities with a smile. He is also very polite and respectful with staff and children. He is already seen as part of the Falla Park team." Denise Thompson, Headteacher - Falla Park Community Primary School

"PEAK's apprentice comes across as a very professional young man and conducts himself appropriately at all times. In school, he has begun teaching portions of P.E. lessons independently and assisting teachers for the remainder of them. After half-term he will be starting his own after-school club. He also assists in Numeracy and Literacy lessons. In the short period of time that we have had him, his confidence has increased a great deal, which is clearly evident when he interacts with the children." Josh Brown, PE Coordinator at Riverside Primary Academy



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