A chat with Katie Thomas

Apprentice of the Month, July 2022

Katie Thomas is from St Clears in Carmarthenshire. She received her education at Ysgol Gynradd Llanddowror, and then onto Ysgol Dyffryn Taf. Katie is doing a Level 2 apprenticeship in ‘Activity Leadership’ as part of the Urdd’s external apprenticeship. Here is a little about her work and interests!

Why did you decide to take on an apprenticeship with the Urdd?

At school, I teach Physical Exercise to the children so I decided to do the apprenticeship with the Urdd as it was something I could do in the job. I have also learned many new things to help me provide high quality sessions for the children.

What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

I love working with the children – helping them achieve their goals and encouraging them to take part in various activities so that they can learn new skills.

How important is it to do your apprenticeship through the medium of Welsh?

It means the world to me to be able to do the apprenticeship through the medium of Welsh. It has given me the confidence to write and teach in Welsh. I have noticed that the standard of my written Welsh work has improved by doing the workshops, lessons and speaking with others.

What are your interests outside of work?

Spending quality time with my children and my family. I go for lots of walks, and I love playing cricket for the Laugharne ladies’ team.

How has doing the apprenticeship affected your personal development?

Doing the apprenticeship has helped me with my development by carrying out my work through the medium of Welsh. It has given me more confidence and it has also helped my performance within the lessons. I have been able to do this apprenticeship alongside my role as a teaching assistant at the school. It has encouraged me to perform better, and it has also boosted my confidence.

What are you hoping to do after completing the apprenticeship?

I hope to put what I learned during the apprenticeship into practice at school and teach my new skills.

Briefly describe your duties.

To support individuals and groups of pupils to enable them to access learning – including pupils who need specialist help. I work closely with the class teacher, planning together and allowing each pupil to develop and be challenged effectively.

Describe your experience of doing an apprenticeship with the Urdd in 3 words!

Amazing, happy and a new experience!

Would you like to add something about your story? How have you got to where you are now? What was/is your biggest challenge?

After leaving full-time education aged 16, I decided I didn’t want to go back to school or college. I was lucky enough to come across an apprenticeship in ‘early years and child development. This helped me with my development but also helped me with my confidence in the Welsh language. I have been working in schools for the last 19 years and I have been able to develop myself by going on different courses and using the knowledge and skills I have acquired in the workplace. I have really enjoyed my time and I can’t wait for the next chapter in my life.