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Celebrating 10 Years at R.E.A.L.

We’re celebrating those fabulously dedicated staff members who have worked at R.E.A.L. for 10 years or more. This month we’re focusing on the wonderful Andrew Brader. 

Andrew joined R.E.A.L. in September 2010 and has been an invaluable member of the team for 11 years. Andrew works as a one-to-one teacher, teaching Maths and English to GCSE (Foundation) level and Functional Skills to learners.  

Talking about a typical day at R.E.A.L., Andrew said: “My day begins with driving to the learner’s home for 9am to pick them up. This presents a fabulous opportunity to build a relationship with the learner’s family, which should not be overlooked. If the parents or carers are onboard, it opens up the door to engagement with the learner.  

“Once in the car, I have another fabulous opportunity – this time to start setting the tone and agenda, and to dig into the session and type of response I’m likely to have. There is much preparation, work and discussion that takes place during the car journey, which should not be underestimated. It also allows me to mentally prepare for a plan B, C, or D accordingly! 

“Once at the venue, a good session usually starts with a game connected to the main activity. This helps to settle and focus the learner and provides routine that many learners appreciate. Depending on my relationship with the learner, the main work is then introduced gradually over the session (often with ninja-like stealth!). 

“From my twenty years’ experience, one of the common patterns I see is that pupils will more often than not withdraw if the work is too formal. As you get to know the learner better and build a relationship, more and more work can be introduced. A variety and range of different informal and formal educational activities helps, along with breaks for reflection, a change of scene, or a drink to punctuate the learning. 

“As a film fanatic, I often finish a session with 20 minutes from a film, which the learner and I will have chosen together. This is a fantastic example of an informal activity that can spark some excellent discussion, talking points and opportunities for learning. 

“My morning finishes with my reviewing the session, reflecting on what went well and/or needs improvement before the afternoon lessons begin. Then it’s onto my afternoon session, which unfolds pretty much along the lines of the morning session.

“Good ‘housekeeping’ is essential so I plan activities and learning targets a week in advance and formally review the sessions mid week unless there are any pressing issues.”

Andrew completed a degree in Philosophy and History at Lancaster University, after which he set up various business ventures in photography, clockmaking and private tutoring. He then worked in Social Services before completing a teaching qualification in 1993 at Nottingham Trent University. After qualifying, Andrew spent 10 years working in primary schools in all year groups, before moving out of mainstream teaching into alternative provision – which led to his role at R.E.A.L.. 

After working for an impressive twenty eight years in education, Andrew had this to say about R.E.A.L. Education: “The work that we do at R.E.A.L. fulfills the guiding principles of giving disadvantaged young people equal life chances and could never be described as dull or predictable.”   

R.E.A.L. offers a wide range of benefits for staff and is an amazing place to work. If you’d like to find out more about our work or are interested in joining our supportive and dynamic team, please click here to visit our website.