In this month’s Staff Spotlight we speak to Paula, who joined the Learning with Parents team as a Content Manager this spring.
Tell us a bit about what you did before joining Learning with Parents
I started my career as a Primary teacher in Inner City London and spent 15 years teaching in schools there and also in Bristol, Bath and overseas. My love of the outdoors and growing interest in supporting children who find mainstream education challenging led me to a role with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. I spent several years leading forest school sessions for children in mainstream schools and in alternative provision. Along the way, I completed a Masters in Education and then went on to do a Professional Doctorate investigating how anxiety about maths is transmitted from parents to children.
What first drew you to Learning with Parents?
Everything I learnt from studying parental engagement, particularly in mathematics, suggested that short, enjoyable, practical activities were likely to be the most effective. I was amazed to find that Learning with Parents were already doing just that, and were based only a short train ride away. When I saw that they were also advertising for someone to develop their maths offer, it seemed too good to be true…
What’s the day-to-day of your role like?
My role is varied and is focussed around creating and improving the Learning with Parents maths content. Firstly, I go on filming trips, heading off to schools across the country, with our intrepid videographer in tow, to record new content for the site. Back in the office, I create activities that parents and children will enjoy doing together. I also use the feedback we get from parents and teachers to make improvements to the content that is already there – whether that is clarifying instructions or adding an extra challenge! In any spare time, I keep myself up to date with changes in the world of mathematics education so that our content stays relevant and up to date.
What’s the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
I’m just starting to film the first videos for our new Financial Literacy programme, which will be released next year. After many months of planning and consultation with school leaders, teachers and parents, we have designed a programme which we hope will support families to build their children’s confidence and knowledge around money.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Learning with Parents?
I love seeing in real time the difference the site is making to families’ engagement with learning. There is nothing like creating an activity that you think people will enjoy, and then seeing photos of families around the country having a fantastic time trying it out.
I also love working with such a fantastic team of people who are committed to the charity’s vision and are always totally up for trying new ideas.