September 29, 2023

Teaching Assistants continue to provide unrivalled support for Lionheart students

Weaved into the cultures of all 14 Leicester and Leicestershire schools within the Lionheart Educational Trust is the belief that that any young person from any background deserves a fair and equal chance to be successful.

To help ensure that we provide all our young people with the tools they need to succeed, we are fortunate to employ many committed Teaching Assistants who support our young peoples’ needs, both academically and holistically. On National Teaching Assistants Day, this is our opportunity to thank them for all they do. 

Often described as the backbone of any successful school – with 96% of Headteachers believing they add value to their school - Teaching Assistants carry out a multitude of tasks. These include hosting intervention sessions, creating lesson resources and, most prominently, providing in-class support for SEND students.  

For many TAs, this desire to make a difference to the lives of the young people who require support to overcome challenges during their education, is a key motivational factor. 

“There is a desire to make a difference, to try and help vulnerable/SEND students,” explained the ‘TA Team’ at Humphrey Perkins School in Barrow upon Soar. 

“We want the students to adopt a more positive ‘can-do’ attitude and eliminate a fear of failure.” 

Whilst academic success is important, at Lionheart great importance is also placed on holistic development and ensuring students’ wellbeing needs are catered for. This is another crucial role undertaken by our Teaching Assistants. 

“The support we provide isn’t solely academic,” the Humphrey Perkins ‘TA Team’ explained, “we also help students to find a fit within a mainstream educational setting, something that they may find incredibly difficult on a day-to-day basis.” 

The importance of monitoring students’ mental wellbeing has increased since the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. Teaching Assistants now go above and beyond to support those individuals with social and emotional needs. 

“It’s about connecting with the students and building a positive rapport with them,” explained Miss Gallagher, who has worked as a TA with the students at Sir Jonathan North Girls’ College in Knighton for 20 years. 

“It’s wonderful to support the students and help them to become resourceful, resilient and reflective learners and to ensure they are ready for their future,” she added. 

So, why do it? 

“There is immense satisfaction in watching the students grow into more confident young people, becoming their best selves, and seeing their own realisation that they can achieve,” The HP ‘TA Team’ state. 

“When students attending intervention groups succeed, it makes all of the hard work worthwhile. In fact, one student once remarked ‘Look at what I’m doing now, I would never have got here if it hadn’t been for your help and support at school, you gave me the confidence to believe I could do it!’” 

Miss Gallagher concours with this, noting the sense of achievement she gleans from seeing her students do well. 

“There are many lovely moments, but I really enjoy Year 11 Results Day and seeing students I have worked with achieve,” she explains. 

“Many students I have worked with struggled with behaviour issues and were often absent. Seeing them complete this turn around and achieve the results they need to go on to college is incredibly satisfying.” 

So, to all the Teaching Assistants – from early years through to sixth form – who have, and continue to, go above and beyond to support our staff and young people, we say, thank-you! 

Are you interested in becoming a Lionheart Teaching Assistant? 

We have opportunities for you to make a difference at one of our schools. 

Check them out here