Isaac Pilkington (Age 22) Level 4 Sports Coach Apprenticeship

How would you describe your apprenticeship journey?

“My apprenticeship journey as a Level 4 Sports Coach apprentice has been an experience that provides endless possibilities.”

Isaac has been on an apprenticeship pathway since leaving sixth form after he finished his BTEC in sport.

Currently working at St Nicholas C of E Primary School, Isaac has been on his apprenticeship journey with the same one-form entry school, since he started there as a Level 2 Community Activator.  He is now in his fourth year at the school starting his Level 4 Sports Coach apprenticeship.

By his admission, Isaac disliked being at school having struggled to focus and being disruptive.  Isaac was later to discover he was undiagnosed for Dyslexia while he was at Primary school.

Going from disliking school, Isaac has been able to turn his relationship to education into a positive experience and, at the end of his apprenticeship Isaac hopes to become a dedicated PE/Sports Teacher within a school.

Isaac has attended many Central Training Days, where he has been able to work with his Tutor and take the lead on workshops that focus on planning, preparation, and supporting the teaching, working with Level 2 apprentices, to share his knowledge and offer guidance.

Isaac chose to embark on an apprenticeship as it was a different way to learn practically and gain on-the-job training, instead of going to university and ending up in debt.


What is the biggest thing learned during his apprenticeship training?

Growing in leadership and self-confidence is one of Isaac’s biggest learning developments. The confidence Isaac has gained during his apprenticeship training has enabled him to take the initiative at his school and lead after-school clubs each week.  He has been able to increase confidence in younger children, running a games club for the early years and KS1.


What skills have you learnt?

“The behaviour management skills I have learned whilst attending Central Training Days have really helped me to evolve lessons to make them accessible for all children.”


How have you found working with primary children?

Isaac is working in a primary school and one of the most difficult things working with primary children has been adapting to meet the needs of every while at the same time making lessons engaging.  He has found that pupils listen to and respect him because they can relate to him and see him as close in age.


Which aspect of the apprenticeship has been the hardest?

Isaac initially struggled with the coursework and getting it down on paper and writing.

Having been diagnosed with high tendencies of Dyslexia .

With the support of his Educational and Sporting Futures course tutor, Mark Heath, he suggested Isaac use the dictate function in Word, which is permissible for written coursework.


How have you found attending Central Training Days?

PE Training Days are an essential part of the apprenticeship training programme, they are an opportunity for all apprentices to meet with others who are working and building skills in similar settings.  Isaac has formed friendships with other apprentices through attending regular training days.

“I felt nervous at first, but I have made good friends who I have been able to bond with and who I keep in touch with to meet for drinks.  My confidence has grown from working in a group and I have learned how to adapt lessons according to the different abilities of a class.”

What sport do you enjoy teaching?

Isaac enjoys teaching football the most but finds that tennis can be challenging, due to the hand eye co-ordination of pupils.

Riding on the success of England’s Lionesses in 2023, Isaac has embraced encouraging girls to get involved in sports and has grown the school girls’ football team over two years, from a non-existent team to a girl’s A and B team.


Future Aspirations

After completing his Level 4 Sports Coach apprenticeship, Isaac hopes to become a dedicated PE/Sports Teacher and would like to continue working at the same school where his apprenticeship journey began.

Isaac’s ambition is to become a Head of PE and be able to contribute towards the promotion of sports apprenticeships.


Comparing his apprenticeship experience, to those of his friends who went to university

Not only has Isaac developed the skills and knowledge to become a teacher, he has been able to earn money at the same time.  He has managed to save money to pay for driving lessons and to buy a car.

The confidence Isaac has gained during his training has enabled him to take the initiative at his school and lead after-school clubs each week, from tag rugby to a girls’ football club.

If you are interested in applying for an apprenticeship with Sporting Futures Training, please contact Adam and have a chat today.