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If someone had told me three years ago I would be where I am right now I would not have believed them!

I have been at IES for two and a half years now and I can honestly say that I do love my job. I started at IES part time doing two days a week to help with a new student. That soon turned into five days a week, full time and I was having a variety of students. I was so happy when this happened as it is so rewarding and satisfying knowing what I and IES as a team do to help all our students get the bespoke curriculum education that they deserve. Everyone has the right to education! Right?

Before my job at IES I was a pub landlord for two and half years and my lifestyle was very different to how it is now as running a pub is a lifestyle rather than a job and is challenging. So, I guess this set me up for what was to become of my future. I had many challenging days whilst I was in the pub and that’s where I found out I had the talent of being able to talk people out of difficult situations and calm them down which is a great skill to have for my employment now.

Kirsty Simper

At the start of this PFM (performance management), I was asked by Leanne and Shaun if I would like to take on the role of Exams Officer. I was like ‘who, me?’ It didn’t take me long to consider it and I agreed so the challenge was set!

I booked onto an Exams officer course which took place on 15th January this year. It was all the way in Guildford and would be my first challenge – and what a challenge it was! I set off the night before and had booked an hotel room just around the corner to the venue. I arrived in Guldford and went to look for the venue first so I would know where to go in the morning. I found it but it was dark and I couldn’t find anywhere to park as it was on a university campus so I thought I would get a taxi there and leave my car at the hotel until after the training (after all the hotel was less than five minutes away). I got to my hotel and the car park was tiny and shared with the gym next door so after 30 minutes of waiting for a parking space I was in the hotel.

Then… I got to the reception desk only to be told that I had booked for the following night! After several phone calls to the head office it was not a good outcome – I had to pay for another room and this was three times more than I had originally paid when I booked it on the internet L

Anyway… I was settled in my room and the following morning I called for a taxi and when I arrived at the venue there was a massive car park next to it more expense! The training went well and I completed it and had the satisfaction that now I am now an IES exams officer.

The moral of the story being – always check twice and don’t try to find things in the dark!

By now, I was ready to enter the students in for their exams and with the much help from Natalie Lodge I could do this. It’s a learning curve and we had a few minor hiccups, but it’s all worked out in the end and was a success.

I want to say a huge well done to our IES students for sitting their exams as I know it was very scary when I sat my exams.

When the exams sittings are over my work is not finished. Natalie and I meet up once a week to ensure and update all our exam policies and procedures. This makes sure that the next year can run as smoothly as possible and all students get the opportunity to be entered for exams and leave IES with the qualifications they deserve.

During the rest of the year all students work towards AQA Unit Award Schemes and certificates can be gained for a large variety of topics and subjects.

My challenges don’t stop that I am also extra-curricular activity lead. I have arranged a variety of trips such as PGL, our third one coming up in November. A successful trip to Snowdonia also took place earlier this year. Keep your eyes open for upcoming trips and adventures!

I also listen to what each individual student would like to achieve and where possible I make that happen, dreams can come true.

My final challenge is being the SENDIES lead (our school charity) which I am very passionate about and I love organising charity events. I have been doing this for two years now and hope that I can continue to do it in the future. All the monies raised during my events contributes towards the trips that I organised for all the students.

One of the things that I love about IES is all the training that we are provided with. We have staff training once a week, which enables us as a team to keep up to date and used best practice with curricular based teaching and learning. We are also provided with training from external companies who come in and give us a full day training courses such as safeguarding and first aid. IES also gave me the opportunity to have completed my Level Three Teaching Assistance course. This took a year and being at college one night a week. I am proud to say that I passed J

Here at IES we are ever growing and who knows what opportunities may arise. I am so passionate about my job and extremely satisfied every single day knowing that I have helped develop a student’s education.

I look forward to my future with IES.


Natalie LodgeKirsty Simper
Cross Street
Exams Officer / Learning Support Assistant