CASE STUDY – Lily – The Castle School

Lily has Autism and Moderate Learning Difficulties.

She recently completed a Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship, and is now employed by the Castle School as a Learning Support Assistant.

Lily attended the Castle School / Castle Post-16 as a pupil for several years. During this time she consistently expressed a desire to work with young children. We explored this with her, and through the World of Work programme we found her some work experience at Busy Bee’s Nursery.

Lily was initially supported on-site by one of our team, and as her confidence grew, she attended independently. As her confidence continued to grow, she progressed to working with small groups of children by herself, and teaching them songs with Makaton signing.

Lily’s interest in working with children continued as she progressed through the school. To give her some similar experience in a different setting, we set up a work placement at Dingley’s Promise – a pre-school for children with additional needs. Lily’s confidence at this point had grown so that she attended this placement independently from the outset. In addition to this, Lily spent time helping in one of the younger classes at the Castle School.

Despite her continued interest in working with children, Lily also wished to investigate other avenues, such as clothing retail. We found work placements for Lily at Marks & Spencer and New Look in central Newbury. Retail is a very different environment to childcare, so initially Lily had a lot of on-site support to boost her confidence and help with her training. As she grew in confidence, this support was withdrawn gradually, with Lily spending increasing time independently in store, until it was no longer needed. Alongside the retail work experience, Lily continued to spend some time each week helping out in a younger Castle School Class.

This wide variety of work experience enabled Lily to make an informed decision about her future, which she decided was in the childcare sector. In our “three stage model”, the third stage is a supported internship, where students are aiming towards paid employment and spend the majority of their time in the workplace, with a shorter time in school, covering core subjects. We set up a supported internship for Lily, where she worked in a primary class at the Castle School

Lily spent three days a week working in the classroom and was completely immersed in that role. The rest of her week was spent in school, focusing on employment-related skills and training, as well as continuing her core education. Following her internship within the school, Lily was offered a supported apprenticeship.

Lily has complete a Level 3 Apprenticeship at the Castle School, supported by a job-coach from the World of Work team, who facilitated communication between the different stakeholders in the apprenticeship, and worked closely with Lily on all aspects her course work. Lily was also supported in meetings, completing tasks and her end-point assessment.

We are very proud of Lily’s fantastic achievement in completing her apprenticeship and Level 3 qualification. She is now permanently employed at the Castle School.