I started as a student at Running Deer on 18th February 2018. I found being a student was boring and staff said I was horrible, I had all my defences up and a lot of attitude! And an answer for everything (and I still do!).
Becoming an Apprentice
As time went on I grew up a bit, I opened up a bit and started talking about my experiences in life including being a Child in Care.
What felt right for me at Running Deer was the freedom of the open spaces of the woodland. Being in a classroom was really claustrophobic and I hated being in a regular school.
The best project was the creation of the rock den with staff member Richard and another student. It took forever! But it was awesome when it was finished.
I had a really tough time settling down to do exams but I managed to do enough to be able to start Countryside Worker apprenticeship with Running Deer, after leaving Running Deer school in July.
Becoming an Apprentice has given me more freedom, and a wage! My job is really varied including fencing, brashing, path clearing, working with the Running Deer horses, coppicing and charcoal burning plus more! I am really happy and proud of myself in what I have achieved whilst I have been at Running Deer.
I am gate monitor in the morning and evenings when taxi’s arrive which helps keep students safe when they arrive in the morning and leave at the end of the school day.
I also support another member of staff with a group of students who visit and really enjoy sharing my skills and knowledge with them.
One of the biggest concerns staff had was whether I would be able to transition from being a student to being a member of staff. I did it better than expected but one of the hardest things was making a break from an in-school friendship with one of the other students – I couldn’t lark about with him any more!
But that went surprisingly better than expected and CG totally respects the change from student to member of staff.
For those of you who don’t want to go to college, or sixth form, an Apprenticeship is a really good alternative. I am really enjoying life at Running Deer.