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Nicole’s story

Nicole, 24, joined City Year UK after completing her master’s degree.  She shares her typical day.

“My team was based at a Primary school in Greater Manchester.  At first it was so daunting; with just under 600 staff and pupils, it is not a small school.

“Every morning we’d walk an hour route, picking up children and walking them to school so that they were on time. It was tough in winter!  We were given a focus list, which is a list of pupils who may be suffering academically or behaviourally who we’d work with daily to help bring their grades and spirits up.  Our focus was reading and spelling, so as well as supporting them in their morning English and maths lessons, we’d take them out of class and do extra work on those.

“Then, we were out every day – rain, snow or sunshine – doing break and lunchtime duties. We sometimes felt like the superheroes of the playground, spotting and preventing problems and fights, dealing with injuries and fallouts, and supporting those kids who were left alone.

“In the afternoon, we read with KS1. The excitement and enthusiasm that lit the children’s little faces when I entered the classroom was everything. When it was time for me to leave, they’d all shout ‘Bye Miss!’ waving at me or giving me tiny high fives.

“By the end of the day I was knackered! I’d go home, end up falling asleep pretty early and wake up the next morning to do it all again, but I wouldn’t have changed it. It’s been a challenging but very rewarding journey.”

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