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Working at R.E.A.L.

Antonia Germany, Provision Manager at R.E.A.L. Mechanics talks about what it feels like to be part of a great team…

Antonia Germany

Antonia (Toni) Germany has worked at R.E.A.L. Education for nearly four years.

Toni says: “R.E.A.L. Education is 100% learner focused. Each learner is seen as an individual, and life at R.E.A.L. is adapted to their specific needs. 

“One of my favourite things about my job is seeing learners who have potentially struggled previously, thrive in an environment which is tailor-made to help them accomplish their goals. It’s also incredible to see learners who have moved on to employment or are attending mainstream colleges – it shows that  the time, effort and hard work that they, and R.E.A.L. staff, put in is so worth it.

“I work with the most amazing team at Kingsmill Way Mechanics who not only support and encourage our learners, but are also a fantastic support to me.

“The team at R.E.A.L. are genuine people who care about the learners and each other. As staff members, we are urged to spread our wings and run with ideas which could further develop our sites and benefit learners. As a company, R.E.A.L. are also always keen to ensure that staff morale is high and are willing to put themselves out there to accept new ideas and develop.”

“I feel really lucky to work in a place where I have been able to develop my own skills and take on challenges which I didn’t think I could do. I’ve had great encouragement from my line manager, that gave me the confidence to aim high, just like we do with our learners.”

Click here to see what current opportunities there are to join the team at R.E.A.L.

Victoria Miekle, School Lead for R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision School (RAPS), on her favourite things about working at R.E.A.L.

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Victoria joined the RAPS team in 2019.

Victoria says: “One of my favourite things about working at R.E.A.L. is the passion and commitment running throughout the entire company to help the young people that we work with. The family work ethos for our learners and their families is brilliant – it also applies to staff, creating a supportive environment to work in with a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw from.

“I feel that there are lots of benefits associated with working at R.E.A.L., but what has been most significant to me personally is having the support from all departments to implement strategies that impact positively on a young person’s ability to succeed. It is clear that every member of staff lives and breathes the R.E.A.L. ethos – we are all working together in the same direction to support our learners to achieve and progress. 

“R.E.A.L is different to other educational settings as it challenges a more traditional approach to learning and is able to really create a bespoke learning package to each individual learner that suits their interests, future ambition and needs. It can do this by having such a wide range of both academic and vocational courses available. 

“The organisation encourages and supports staff with ideas that will help benefit the young people we work with and truly builds a curriculum around a learner’s own aspirations and needs. This way of working creates an environment for change and ultimately the success of the lives we touch.

“The culture and environment R.E.A.L.’s curriculum structure creates is one where learners become highly motivated, responsible and engaged in their education. This is because their needs are not only being met but are being heard in terms of their choices – they are also encouraged to be the leader on their own learning journey. 

“The culture that R.E.A.L has created means that staff teams are empowered, motivated and trusted. This is vital and something that the company does really well.

“R.E.A.L shapes and changes lives for the better – and that makes me so proud. It’s amazing to see learners that may have struggled with education in the past, or lost confidence, start to rebuild those foundation blocks and come to school happy and excited, leaving with a smile on their face.

“Working at R.E.A.L has made me excited about education again – it has redefined traditional structures that don’t work for some young people, and has clearly invested so much time and money into creating the best possible opportunities for all of it’s learners and staff. It has been an amazing experience so far and I look forward to what happens next!”

Click here to see what current opportunities there are to join the team at R.E.A.L.

Chris Newman, Strategic Lead at R.E.A.L. Education, and based at R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision School 2 (RAPS2) in Hinckley tells us why he’s passionate about R.E.A.L.’s approach to learning…

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Chris joined the R.E.A.L. Education team in October 2019. He previously worked as a coach at West Bromwich Albion Football Club in community outreach and as an academic coach in some Birmingham schools. Chris then trained as a history teacher and progressed in mainstream education becoming a head of year, head of department and then assistant headteacher.

Chris says: “My favourite thing about working at R.E.A.L. is the ability to be creative with the curriculum for individual learners. It is very different to the mainstream approach – learners at R.E.A.L. have a wide choice of options which gives them a greater chance of fulfilling their ambitions.

“I love the flexibility and variety that working at R.E.A.L. brings. The way of working is very different to my previous roles and the variety of locations and provisions is really refreshing.

“Difference is celebrated at R.E.A.L. which really drives the innovation that’s needed to re-engage learners and allow them to flourish. I love how traditional education outcomes aren’t the sole focus for ‘achievement’.  

“As strategic lead for Quality of Education, I will be working side by side with Michelle Farr to develop all curriculum areas.  We want to work to remove obstacles our learners may face so that they can turn their strengths and interests into success and achievement. Michelle and I are really excited about working together with the whole curriculum team to help build R.E.A.L. into an industry leading provider for our young people.

“Although still in my early days, what makes me proud to work for R.E.A.L. is the pride that the staff show in their learners and how much they care for them. Every learner and their families are known inside out by at least one person (and usually by more) because of the time that has been invested by staff in getting to know them. The young people at R.E.A.L. aren’t merely a group of learners, they are individuals who contribute to the whole community.

“The welcome that I have received from R.E.A.L. staff has been brilliant. Wherever I have been – from Sandhills down to Hinckley – there has always been a warm welcome and support on offer. I’m looking forward to crossing paths with more of the R.E.A.L. team in the future.”

Click here to see what current opportunities there are to join the team at R.E.A.L.

Siobhan Stevenitt, Teaching Assistant at R.E.A.L.’s Ilkeston hub, talks about why she loves her job…

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Siobhan began working at R.E.A.L. Education in 2018, and  is primarily based at R.E.A.L.’s Ilkeston hub (the Gallows), occasionally working with learners at their homes.

Siobhan says: “I just love my job – everyday is different! It’s amazing to work with a young person and to see how they transition throughout their time at R.E.A.L. I love being able to make a positive difference to learners’ lives, equipping them with life skills and getting them ready for adulthood.

“The ‘R.E.A.L.’ in R.E.A.L. Education stands for ‘Re-thinking Engagement & Approaches to Learning’ – I feel that the organisation 100% lives these values for our learners. 

“Working at R.E.A.L. means that I can really focus on individual person-centred learning. The sessions I plan are all bespoke, diverse and flexible – one size certainly does not fit all! I have the flexibility and time to make sure that the session is right for the individual learner and also supports their mental wellbeing.

“I feel ‘looked after’ working at R.E.A.L.- my wellbeing and mental health are put first by the leadership team. There is a real focus on staff wellbeing. You get a lot back from working here – it’s a very rewarding place to work. I feel appreciated from parents, Learning Managers (and even sometimes the learners themselves!)

“I am very proud to be a part of the R.E.A.L. Education team.”

Click here to see what current opportunities there are to join the team at R.E.A.L.

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