Penny Post Work Experience Blog by Year 10 King Alfred’s Student Georgie Hartley

Georgie and Marmite

At King Alfred’s Academy, Wantage we are given a week at the end of term where we do work experience to help us decide what we would like to do when we leave school. During the week of the 11 July 2022, I did my work experience at Penny Post. I chose to do it here as I enjoy writing about all types of things so I thought that it would be a good fit for me.

Here is a diary of my experience which included learning how to use many pieces of software, writing and editing articles, featuring on a radio show, making a video and

Monday 11 July 2022

This was my first day of work experience so I was quite nervous. After I arrived, Penny gave me the basic run down of how the website worked and the tools used (such as WordPress and Elementor). It was a lot of information to take in but she explained it well and I soon began to pick it up. I then started to update the post on the local larders. After this, we worked on the summer holiday guide for 2022, finding new and exiting activities and added to the post. 

Mid-way through, we decided that we deserved a rest. During this break, Penny showed me what Slacklining is, similar to tight roping but on a 10cm wide strap ratcheted between two trees which they had set up in their garden. After a bit of testing, we discovered that we weren’t very good (only being able to balance for a few seconds before falling off). So I helped her set up another slackline higher up to hold onto so that we could walk between the two trees which helped us practice. 

Georgie Hartley & Penny

I had lunch in the garden, in the shade as it was definitely too hot, by British standards anyway. We then worked on the article for another few hours, being ‘helped’ by Marmite (one of their cats) who insisted on standing between me and my laptop. Afterwards, Penny introduced me to her chickens, one of which had escaped so we had to go for a chicken hunt. But thankfully it hadn’t roamed too far were able to heard it back into the garden. Mission successful! 

At around 3pm I sat in on a zoom meeting about accounting and financing. It was all very new for me but I found it interesting and it was a big insight into business financing. We finished the day by polishing off a few things on the summer holiday guide and edited an existing posts about geocaching. Both of which Penny continued that evening after I had gone home.

When I got home I was exhausted so I had dinner and watched England – Norway women’s Euro game which they dominated with a score of 8-0 (the largest win ever in a women’s euro match) before going to bed.


Tuesday 12 July 2022

This was my second day of work experience so I was definitely felt less nervous. We got straight down to work and polished off the summer holiday guide, finally! Penny had arranged to meet with Ryan (who works at the Lambourn Food Hall and Butchers) the previous day to discuss them advertising with Penny Post. So Penny drove us to Lambourn to meet up with him but when we arrived he was out delivering so we sat and worked in a café for an hour. Penny showed me how the newsletters worked on Mailchimp and how to change where different posts and pages went and I read the Wantage newsletter before we left to go make our way back to the Lambourne Food Hall.

We met up with Ryan who was very nice and very chatty and Penny explained what the advertising deal would be which he took and we were soon on our way again. When we got back we started to work on his business directory page and Penny explained to me how to start his page and lay it out. With help from Penny I started to fill in their information including their social media and a brief description of their company from their website.

Then, it was time for lunch. I sat outside again and thankfully it wasn’t as hot as the previous day. While I was eating Cleo (another one of their cats) insisted that I gave her attention jumping on my lap and headbutting my arm until I stroked her. After I ate, I had another go on the slackline and to my surprise I managed to walk along the whole line (even if it was only around four meters). I discovered that it was easier to try and walk along it quickly before you fall off.

When I went back inside, I created a new post and started to document the events of the previous day. Then, Penny showed me how to use Photoshop to make the header image for Lambourn Food Hall’s page and we fiddled around with it until it was satisfactory and we added it to the page.

We then added end screens to several of her YouTube videos so that they directed you to the next in the series which took us a while to figure out but soon got the hang of it, concluding the day. 

Wednesday 13 July

I worked at home this day and I soon discovered that it was a lot harder to stay focused throughout the day as there were a lot more distractions but I think that, overall, I concentrated well. After I sat down at my desk I got straight to work finding events that were happening in the Wantage area in the upcoming week and sent them to Penny so that they could be added to the local newsletter. Then, I proof read the newsletter to check for any inaccurate information so that it could be corrected.

I continued to work on this work experience diary, logging what I had done the previous day as well as editing a few things from the Monday. Completing this, I created a new post on 10 ways to keep your kids hydrated in hot weather; including recipes and general advise. I already had some ideas of what to put in but I had to do research as well to find additional tips.

Half-way through I stopped to have lunch with my mum as she was working from home too. After eating, we went into town to buy ingredients for pad thai, as I was going to write a recipe for it for Penny Post later that day and I would need a picture of the final dish for the header image.

When I got home, I finished writing out the guide to keeping hydrated but not adding any images yet. I then wrote out the recipe for pad thai by using the existing recipe that we have and adapting it to how we prefer the dish. I cooked the meal taking pictures from numerous angles so that I could choose my favourite to add to the post. 

Thursday 14 July

I worked from home again today was a lot more relaxed. After I got up, I started to write about what I had done on Wednesday. Then, started to edit the two posts that I had worked on the previous day, getting them ready to be published.

At 11am I had a zoom call with Penny and I showed her what I had done for the last two days. She taught me how to edit the header image which I hadn’t been able to work out how to do so I added the image of the pad thai dish to the recipe using her helpful guidance. She also showed me where I could get good-quality images from (Pexels) where I found a header image for the post on 10 ways to keep your kids hydrated in hot weather. As well as this she showed me how to edit the tweet that would be set out when they were posted. After that she left me to continue to work on these posts. I spent a while adding pictures to the posts and stopped to have lunch with my mum again.

Afterwards, I made a few finishing touches and then called Penny to tell her that I had done. Then, focused my attention on writing up the events of the day so far on my diary.

Next, I started a new post about the Dolphin Gallery in Wantage as they were hosting an exhibition celebrating the ridgeway for Wantage art month which I would visit later that day. I did some research on the artists and wrote a paragraph for each of them ready to finish the post later that evening.

When I arrived at the gallery wasn’t very busy as it was only 6pm (opening time). They were handing out free Pimm’s in the garden which had lots of sculptures on display and where they were playing music. At the front desk, they were handing out a sheet with an OS map of the Ridgeway around White Horse Hill. It had five numbers on it in different locations. You had to find the five art pieces with the letters next to them and try and work out what the locations of those pieces were on the map, then, write them on the back. If you got them all right you would get a chance of winning a £200 voucher to buy an art piece of your choice.

My mum and I managed to work them all out so hopefully we got them all right, fingers crossed…

Overall, the art was stunning. With a wide range of styles and medias there really was something for everyone. 

Friday 15 July

This was my last day of work experience at Penny Post. When I arrived at her house Penny showed me the changes that she made to my posts. This included the post about hydration were she had cut out some of the pictures that I added so that there was less empty space.

It was then time to leave to go to the 4 LEGS radio studio for Penny to present her weekly show. It is just in the next village of Eastbury and when we arrived Penny introduced me to the producer Chris who was very friendly and seemed to be able to make a joke out of everything. Chris and Penny introduced me to the listeners and caught up. Then, a guest called in and talked about the new yoga class that had recently started in Lambourn at Friday lunch times for people struggling with their mental health. Afterwards, we talked about my experience as a footballer and goalkeeper, which I had been doing since I was seven. Chris was particularly interested about this topic as he is a former goal keeper. During the show, we also talked about cooking (which was an on going joke between Chris and Penny), the women’s euros and my experience of working from home during lockdown. You can listen to the show here.

Georgie Hartley work experience with Penny

After this we headed to Wantage, dropping off some herbs and plants to the Trindledown animal welfare centre in Great Shefford on the way. Trindledown were desperate for greens to feed their guinea pigs, rabbits, tortoises and even birds; so to help out, we dropped off some spare vegetables from Penny’s garden on our way past.

When we got to Wantage our first stop wasSt Katharine’s House Care Home where we got a tour around the grounds and facilities and Penny talked to Seung Ping about getting their advertisement renewed.

From there we went to the Wantage Community Larder at the Beacon which I volunteer at every Friday for the volunteering section of my silver DofE. We interviewed (and filmed) some of the volunteers about how it worked and the members about the impact that it had on them. We also filmed how the whole system worked. Penny then showed me how to edit the footage and condense it into one video which I had never done before but I picked it up quickly. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to finish as we had to head off to the Kingsgrove residential estate that is being built on the outskirts of Wantage. That afternoon, the planners were answering questions about the altered plans of the estate. Penny talked to one of the women about the changes so that she could write about it in the local newsletter. I listened in and found the topic really interesting as architecture is a career that I am interested in as well as writing.

This week has been an amazing experience and pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many different ways, especially talking to people that I don’t know. I am extremely lucky to have been able to do my work experience with Penny who has been an amazing teacher and I am incredibly thankful to her.


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