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“Learning and Evolving Throughout the Year”

Hello, my name is Simon Rohatynskyj and I served at Crumpsall Lane Primary School with City Year UK in Team Pride as a part of the Greater Manchester cohort.

Starting a new journey on my placement year from University was a tough choice but I found City Year UK and decided to give it a go, it wasn’t necessarily based around a role I was looking to go into but I knew how valuable the experience and skills and progress development was going to be. Within my first day of visiting Crumpsall Lane Primary School and being given the tour and introduction to all staff I saw first hand how caring and kind all members of staff are. All of us volunteer mentors felt so welcomed and it was an extremely quick transition into feeling part of the school team and not like we were outsiders and we could tell that we would form substantial friendships throughout our time there.

I genuinely enjoyed learning and evolving throughout the year and having opportunities that have helped me gain experience. The school staff have all been so supportive, providing me with advice, determination, guidance, feedback and building working friendships. With each term that went by, I recognised my own personal development which gave me a morale boost and the drive to keep working hard, while noticing the real friendships and working relationships I was building with my fellow colleagues, Team Pride members and especially the connection I’d made with the children in Year 6.

Through the Leadership and Development Days, CMI course and other opportunities City Year has provided me with, I have seen such a huge development in myself. My confidence in my ability in public speaking has improved greatly and was highlighted through feedback. Teamwork activities and independent speaking moments such as the Red Talk and Social Action Day have been so valuable in building on my skills. Being a part of the cohort, and Team Pride especially, was incredible. Everyone was so supportive and kind as we were all on different journeys in life but worked together to create something special, rewarding and beneficial to the cause, I made great friendships and connections that will last a lifetime.

From my experience, I have learnt how beneficial it is to support all children in their learning and development and how much effort and passion the teachers and other staff put in, to work effectively as a team. I have also gained knowledge on how to teach and help kids get the best out of their school time. Observations and feedback were really useful, but also the detailed conversations and advice we gave each other in the team, so that we could all improve and succeed.  Getting to know every kid and what works best for them, as well as how to deal with their specific problems, have been a very important part of my learning. In addition, all City Year staff provided the best advice and support while feeling like friends and not bosses which definitely created an amazing aspect of being a part of City Year.

Throughout the year at the school I really enjoyed being able to get involved with the sports clubs, PE sessions and activities for the children. As my course at university is sport based, I knew getting some experience while on this placement would be beneficial for my future. I have started to look at my future career and sports/football coaching is very high up on the list and I thank the school, teachers, especially Miss Edwards and Mr Bloodworth for the opportunities given to me, both being involved in learning but also as leader of the sessions. Now it’s my time to go back and finish my course but I cannot emphasise enough how much I value the time I have spent at Crumpsall Lane with all the kind, friendly and helpful staff. The Year 6 team was like a family and I will miss the help, guidance and laughs dearly. I cannot thank City Year enough for the experience and improvement it has provided to me in all areas particularly the family feeling City Year and the school have given to us as volunteers. I will use everything I have learnt and gained in my future growth and career.

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