Supported Internships: when the student becomes the teacher
Treloar’s has always strived to break the barriers by supporting more young people with physical disabilities on their pathway to paid employment. That’s why, at the beginning of 2019, we launched our Supported Internships programme, pioneered by Transition Manager Maria Sherwood and Supported Internship Coordinator Charlotte Mills.
Supported Internship is a one-year programme aimed at students whose intended destination must be paid or voluntary work, part-time or full time. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get experience working for an employer.
As part of the programme, Treloar College student, Harriet, has been doing her work placement at Treloar Primary School.
When the student becomes the teacher
It is always a pleasure to see our older students giving back to the younger ones, and this was the essence of Harriet’s art lesson in our Primary School. Harriet is non-verbal, meaning she uses her augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, as well as physical gestures, to communicate. Her task was to design and lead an interactive art class, as part of her training to become a teacher.
To prepare for her lessons, Harriet planned the entire lesson herself. Her teacher, Katherine Paddington, reports:
Harriet gave me the complete list of equipment she would need—I didn’t have to do anything!
In order to lead the lesson, a practical session to create textured art with shaving foam, Harriet needed to deliver clear and concise instructions. She did this by pre-programming her AAC device to talk through each step, which the children and their helpers followed.
Our Corporate Fundraiser, Léonie Jackson, had been invited to observe Harriet, and she shared the following:
What really impressed me was that Harriet accurately replayed each step if a student arrived a little late, or took longer than others. She was clearly keeping track of each child’s progress and supporting them to complete their picture.
The end result was four striking and individual pieces, created by those who attended: Elin, Noah, Dexter and Asher. Each chose their own colour theme from the range of paints Harriet had supplied. It was a deliberately hands-on, sensory activity, engaging sight, smell and touch—and creating messy hands and happy faces.
We are wishing Harriet every success in her aspiration to teach—the kids will love her!
We are always looking for more local businesses to provide Supported Internships for our next cohort of students.
If you would like to find out more information about the Supported Internships programme and how to get involved, please contact Maria Sherwood, Progress and Transition Manager, on email@example.com or Charlotte Mills, PTC/ Internship Co-ordinator, on firstname.lastname@example.org