A Day in the Life of Our Learning Officer

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work at Winterbourne? Our Learning Officer, Eleanor, shares what a typical day is like for her in her role.

A large part of my job is to schedule and administer the RHS and short courses we run on site. The role involves a lot of emails, quite a bit of paperwork and several meetings a week. Saying that, we’re a small team at Winterbourne, so there’s often something different to get stuck into every day; the job keeps me on my toes and can occasionally test my organisation skills to their limit!

As some readers will probably know, I moved to the Learning Officer role after being on the Visitor Service team for many years. I have been in my role for nearly two years now and am still finding new things to tackle each day. This is in part due to the many challenges and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because there’s still so much left to learn. I haven’t personally done one of the RHS courses (yet!), so I often need to familiarise myself with how the courses work, as well as keep on top of all the administration that goes on behind the scenes.

One of the big differences between my old role and my new one is that I am now office-based and only man the front desk for lunches or holiday cover if required. I get an early start these days as my office hours usually start at 8.30am. I make a cup of tea and then I’m ready to go!

After checking my emails, I work out priorities for the day. I have not long finished enrolling and registering our new RHS learners. Registration means data entry, setting up new profiles on the Virtual Learning Environment where we share worksheets, and sending all the right information to the RHS qualifications team. Learners need to be properly enrolled before they start their practical assessments, so it’s important to get all the details right. I also like to get a head start on the printing for the classes – we try to make sure that learners have hard copies to help make notes in their lessons.

As well as the important stuff for the day, I often have half an eye on the future to make sure that marketing, payment and attendance information is available as needed for any future workshops. This year’s beekeeping courses have started, and every week I must make sure that the room is set up correctly to help the tutors run the class. We are also currently thinking about the programme for 2022, so I’m starting to plan our talks and workshops for next year.”

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