Teaching assistants support children with their learning activities in the classroom. They work closely with teachers to make sure pupils enjoy learning in a safe and caring setting.
The Skills Required
As a teaching assistant you will need:
- experience of working with children
- the ability to build good relationships with children, teachers, parents and carers
- a basic understanding of how children develop and learn
- flexibility and creativity
- the ability to work as part of a team
- good reading, writing and numeracy skills
- patience and a sense of humour
- the ability to manage groups of children and cope with challenging behaviour
Individual schools set their own entry requirements and decide which qualifications and experience they want.
Previous qualifications in nursery work, childcare, playwork or youth work can be useful for finding work. If you have enough experience of working with children or can show employers that you have the right personality and potential, they may take you on and train you on the job. Volunteering to help in a local school for a few hours a week is a good way to start.
The following qualifications are also available for those not yet employed in the role, and for those just new to the job, whether paid or volunteering:
- Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
- Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
Most paid jobs will require you to have qualifications in literacy and numeracy at GCSE or equivalent.
Before you can begin working with the children, the school will carry out enhanced background checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
This south-western city unsurprisingly borders the Bristol Channel in the south of England. Home to many notable landmarks, such as Clifton Suspension Bridge, Brunel’s SS, Bristol Zoo and Cabot Tower, Bristol is a thriving coastal city, with a growing population and many thriving businesses, of which Meridian is but one of many. Bristol is a well-renowned city across the world for various reasons, one of which is that it’s the birthplace of many famous people such as Banksy, Russell Howard, Maisie Williams and Ian Lavender to name just a handful.
With such a prominent history, both recent and over the centuries, Bristol has become a focal point in the South-West and is a major city. With this comes the expectation of good transport links, and Bristol well and truly delivers. Alongside the added bonus of being a coastal city, Bristol has an abundance of A-roads around the Bristol area, such as the A36 and A38, and several motorway connections including the M4, M5 and M32, road coverage around the area is more than adequate - regardless of what direction you want to head, including across the border into Wales. With numerous stations dotted around the city too, including large stations such as Bristol Temple Meads, railway travel is also a totally viable option for the surrounding areas. Bristol airport is also located just South-West of the main city, again adding another layer of potential transport options.