Award Nomination: Nyrie-Paige Rushby

Nyrie left school, aged 16, in 2018 with less than 5 GCSEs. Her preferred job was to be a teacher and even though she managed a grade C in English and Math’s, she wasn’t eligible to pursue the traditional route to be a teacher through sixth form and university. Nyrie also had quite a complicated home life and the school she attended were worried she would become NEET once leaving school. As there was pressure to look after siblings and work or claim benefits to support paying bills at home.

With this in mind, St Davids High School, offered Nyrie the opportunity to attend the interview process for a vacant teaching assistant role that Achieve More Training were advertising to start in September of 2018. Nyrie was successful in this process and started her journey within the school setting by enrolling on to the Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning framework. Nyrie gained experience and enjoyed the role, but after four months, it became apparent that the high school was not the right setting for her, as she was close in age to the students she supported.

Instead of giving up, Nyrie continued to attend her placement, but kept looking for local apprentice vacancies within the primary school setting. In January of 2021, Nyrie applied for and interviewed for a new TA Apprentice vacancy at Queensferry primary school. Which again, with a lot of support and preparation provided by her assessor, Nyrie was successfully appointed and her placement changed to a setting more suited to her.

In this new role Nyrie takes small groups of children who need extra support in an area, such as literacy or numeracy, out of a class. This can also include working with children with additional learning needs (ALN) as targeted interventions. After completing her Level 2 qualification, Nyrie progressed straight onto her Level 3 supporting, teaching and learning apprenticeship.

As a level 3 teaching assistant, Nyrie continues to lead on group interventions, but also helps the foundation stage teachers prepare for lessons by preparing resources or putting out equipment at the start of each lesson. Nyrie is passionate about becoming a teacher in the future and is willing to complete any training that will support her career progression, this has included the level 2 digital literacy qualification and a forest schools level 2.

Nyrie is a valued member of the team within Queensferry Primary School and her proactive approach led her to gain a full time permanent position at the school since completing her apprenticeship qualification.

After not gaining the required GCSE qualifications or having the full support from home she desired. Nyrie’s maturity, persistence and commitment are glowing qualities she portrays as a when working with children in her schools. Regardless of the additional learning needs or coming from an area of deprivation. Nyrie is a relevant role model for the children she works with and still has future ambitions of going to university to complete her PGCE and become a qualified teacher.

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