Meet our new health care worker

Shelly Parks, school health care worker and special education needs (SEN) teaching assistant

Q: What attracted you to apply for a job at RGS?

A: In my last job, I headed up a team of six looking after an adult patient with extremely complex needs. But I missed working with children, having previously worked in both mainstream and SEN schools and colleges, supporting and teaching disabled learners. I felt I'd be a good match for the student support role and, as a former auxiliary nurse, the school health care post suited my medical background

Q: Why did you decide work in education?

A:I didn't like school as a child as I struggled due to being dyslexic. I was told I'd never come to anything, so I wanted to help children with SEN, being empathetic about their struggles. No matter how hard we find things, never give up because we can get what we desire if we get support and put our minds to it.

Q: What is the best bit about the job?

A: The best part for me is seeing a child grow in confidence and independence. And in my health care worker role, making a difference and helping a child feel safe and well again.

Q: What was your first impression of staff and students at RGS?

A:The children are amazing, very polite and helpful. The staff made me feel extremely welcome. The ‘dreaded staff room’ on the first day was a lovely experience at RGS.

Q: How does the environment here compare to your previous workplace?

A:My team was small and very close knit. Complex care is very hands-on, with a patient’s life in our hands, so the environment could be intense at times. Here I find it more relaxing and calmer.

Q: What will be your biggest challenges?

A: Due to it being a mainstream school, I think the adaptations needed to accommodate certain students are a challenge. As a school health care worker, I don’t always know about the children who are needing extra support outside school.

Q: How would you describe the RGS school community in three words?

A:Respectful, helpful, welcoming.

Q: Who or what inspired you when you were at school?

A: The nurse who looked after my mum when she was ill made me want to work in healthcare. I was also inspired by a teacher who ‘got’ me.

Q: What subject did you struggle with at school?

A: All subjects apart from child development, cooking and health and social care.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Knitting not so perfectly, helping the homeless, watching my son play ice hockey, fundraising for my friend’s charity, Chemo Hero, walking with my British bulldog, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

Q: Tell us something about yourself which might surprise people

A: I got married at 18 and moved to Germany. I’ve also lived in Canada.