January 17, 2024
Our ‘Meet the Team’ series aims to highlight the exceptional staff and volunteers who work hard to make Camphill School Aberdeen the wonderful place that it is. Next up in our ‘Meet the Team’ series is Aksana Baikova, one of our Teacher’s on Camphill Estate.
How long have you worked at Camphill School Aberdeen?
I have worked at Camphill School Aberdeen for almost 20 years. For around 15 and a half years as a teacher, and before that, as a volunteer.
What brought you to Camphill School Aberdeen?
I came to Camphill School Aberdeen as a volunteer from Belarus where I had studied to be a teacher. A classmate of mine from university was already volunteering for the school and invited me over. Originally, I turned down the offer. However, my teaching probation year was coming to an end and I had no other job offers. So I thought to myself “why not” and Now I’ve been here almost two decades!
What does your role at Camphill School Aberdeen consist of?
My role as a teacher can be very varied. I essentially help the young people in my class learn, help them develop skills, see them progress and support them throughout their time at Camphill School Aberdeen. I teach my young people a breadth of subjects but there is always a strong focus on hands-on activities and learning through arts and crafts.
As my class remains the same until the young people move on to their next stage, it is extremely satisfying and rewarding to see them progress and grow in confidence. Many of my pupils achieved national qualifications and a couple went on to study classes at the college.
I have supported the student council and the Eco-school groups and feel very passionate about helping them grow in their responsibilities and caring attitudes. Also, I have volunteered as the school's Duke of Edinburgh coordinator for around eight years. The last school year we had four young people take part in the Bronze level award.
Are there any highlights that stand out to you during your time at Camphill School Aberdeen?
The biggest highlight for me is seeing my pupils celebrating and being proud of their achievements. Our STARS awards are a brilliant way for these achievements to be recognised. Knowing I had a part to play in my students' successes is very rewarding.
A few years ago, I also had the opportunity to take our pupil council on a trip to meet the Lord Provost of Aberdeen and join representatives from other local Student Councils. Helping my students prepare for the world outside the walls of the school and helping them experience moments like this one are always amazing.
When I became a teacher at Camphill School Aberdeen, it was important to me that the community feeling that the charity had created was also felt within the walls of my classroom – a community within a community. That’s why every single pupil, teacher, volunteer and carer who comes through my door is made to feel like they belong. The fact that I have created an environment where this is possible, means so much to me.
When complete, how much of a difference will the capital appeal campaign make to children, young people and their families at Camphill School Aberdeen?
The capital appeal will have a significant impact on the children, young people and their families. It will also allow us to widen our positive impact as we will be able to open our doors to more pupils who are in need of our sector-leading support.
Also, the opening of Murtle Market, which will be our first public-facing venture, will benefit both our young people and the community. It will allow the public to meet the young people and learn first-hand about the work we do at Camphill School Aberdeen, raising awareness of the charity and our mission. At the same time, Murtle Market will provide the young people with meaningful training, work experience and skills development.