Ellie and Cassia are 1st year Psychology Students at Manchester Metropolitan University. They did a work experience placement at Z-arts as part of their studies.
When we were told an eight-week work experience placement would count for the majority of one of our degree units, we were sceptical.
Where would we be going? How would it be relevant?
Our doubts were immediately swept away when we arrived at Z-arts and were welcomed into a vibrant, creative environment. Each week, a new activity was always waiting for us. Whether it was school linking projects, screen printing or Art Stars, we were immediately engaged and invested.
We learned many skills and experienced many different activities and classes at Z-arts. We developed confidence and social skills through interacting with children we met during classes. By assisting and instructing we developed our own confidence and self-esteem alongside them. We learned how to work in a team environment alongside Z-arts staff members, helping however we could. This included prep for classes, data entry and assisting in bigger class groups.
We were impressed by the range of different activities on offer at Z-Arts. There are a multitude of activities on offer for all age groups. We were also surprised at how excited and engaged all the children were. It was easy to get along with everyone as there was such a strong team ethic. Most importantly we were never bored!
Our favourite part of our placement was helping with the Art Stars every week. Each child has such a unique character and it was a joy getting to know them. They were all so engaged and you could tell they were all happy to be there. It was great to work with Janine and Ben, watching them pre-plan and deliver highly engaging activities. Observing this process gave us much creative inspiration.
This placement has helped us improve many skills necessary for both our degree courses and future experiences in the working world. We’re so grateful we got to experience such a wonderful placement. We are going to work towards improving our newly acquired skills even further as we do more work-based learning placements in the future. This placement has given us an insight into work with children and the arts and has aided us in our career decisions after university.
We would definitely recommend enquiring into a work experience placement or volunteering at Z-Arts. You will have so much fun and learn valuable skills at the same time. Working in a place like this is always rewarding as you can see the progress the children make and you are made to feel so comfortable straight away. Come and give Z-arts a visit – you won’t regret it!
Ellie & Cassia