Shirebrook special school pupils enjoy work experience spell at Mansfield Tesco

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Three pupils from a Shirebrook special school swapped their classroom for a Mansfield supermarket for a week of work experience.

Marshall Birks, Lee Pope and Cody Fretwell are all sixth form students at Stubbin Wood School in Shirebrook and went on a weeks’ placement at the Tesco Extra store on Nottingham Road.

They were the first three students to go on the work placements, but after their success it is hoped that others will be able to go in small groups.

Lee (17), said that his favourite part of the week was working in the bakery.

He said: “We got to use the machine that packages the bread. All the freshly made bread kept coming so I had to do it all really fast.

“It was a bit confusing at first, but it was really good, and fun to be able to use the machine.”

Mandy Nussey, a teaching assistant at the school, spent the week with the pupils at Tesco and she said it was incredible.

She said: “It was so great to see the pupils working so hard and the Tesco staff were so incredible in taking them under the wing – but showing them the world of work.

“We got a tour of the whole store and shown how every department, it was a great to see it all behind the scenes.”

Holly Rea, the sixth form teacher who organised the work experience, said that it was important to show the students what working in the ‘real world’ is like.

She said: “In school, much of the time, work can roll over to the following day; it’ll still be there if it doesn’t all get finished.

“Working in Tesco showed them that that’s not always the case. With the bread, for example, there was so much to do and it was on a production line, so Cody had to keep up with the stream of loaves.

“We can’t replicate things like that in school so it’s great to give them a taste of working life.

“We’re in touch with Tesco and hope that more of our pupils get the chance to experience what it’s like to go to work.

“The staff were very complementary of Marshall, Lee and Cody and said they all worked very hard and were an asset to the team. We’re very proud of the work they did.”