Getting her teeth into teaching

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A STUDENT has found her calling after taking up a modern apprenticeship saw her make a U-turn in her career plans.

Leah Turner, 19, originally had plans to be a dentist, but felt seven years of study was not for her.

Now she has decided teaching children is the way forward after embarking on a modern apprenticeship and seeing how she can make a difference to youngsters’ lives.

Leah, a former Shotton Hall School student who lives in Peterlee, went to Durham Sixth Form College, but after a year, decided the traditional A-level route was not for her.

She said: “I had originally thought I wanted to do A-levels and a degree, ultimately training to become a dentist, but I realised seven-plus years of study was not for me.

“While I was at sixth form I volunteered at Gilesgate Primary School in Durham, helping out with the children that had special educational needs.

“I then knew I wanted to work with children. I wanted to start working, get some hands-on experience, but still get some qualifications and a friend suggested trying an apprenticeship.”

Leah started on a Level 3 modern apprenticeship in supporting teaching and learning with East Durham College in Peterlee and staff have found her employment as part of the apprenticeship at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, in Murton.

Carolyn Tempest, a tutor and placement officer in the college’s work-based learning team, said: “Leah has done fantastic and achieved her Level 2 apprenticeship ahead of time and progressed on to the advanced apprenticeship.”

Leah now intends to progress on to the foundation degree in education and care in order to build upon her rapidly developing knowledge and skills.