Teacher Adam Judd describes how a course with The Childcare Company has improved his practice and opened up new career possibilities…
How long have you worked with children in the early years?
AJ: I’m a sports teacher in a school – we take children from nursery all the way up to Y6. I joined on a part-time basis about 10 years ago, but I’ve been more or less full time for the last two years. I worked with the nursery because I teach the children swimming, as well as other sports.
Why did you decide to take an NVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development?
AJ: A lot of schools are looking for teachers who can do more than one thing, so I looked into expanding what I had to offer. I knew another sports teacher who had done the course, and he’d recommended it and The Childcare Company, so away I went! Completing it meant that I could go into the nursery classroom and work with them there as well as outdoors or in the swimming pool.
What was involved and how was the course assessed?
AJ: Most of it was carried out online, but I also had to have a couple of observations, which involved an assessor coming to watch me in the classroom to make notes on how I interacted with the children. I also had to go into The Childcare Company for professional discussions as well, during which I’d be asked a few questions and I’d have to give the answers there and then.
Online there was a Laser that you had to log in to – there were chapters you could click on and work through, with videos that talked you through what was involved. You then had to find out more about each – for example, in a chapter on health and safety, you might have to write up an essay regarding risk assessments, look at what the difference was between indoor and outdoor work and other issues.
The Laser was fantastic – being able to access the material on the computer was really convenient. You could email straight to your assessor and your assessor could get back to you through it. As you can access it from anywhere, too, if I had a spare hour during lunch break I could log in and type up a bit more work and send it off.
You have to complete the course in a year and I did it in around 10 months, spending around 10 hours a week on it – although in some weeks it would be more and in some it would be less.
Has the course changed your practice when working with children in the nursery?
AJ: Definitely – in particular the way I interact with the children. Whereas before my teaching would have involved me giving out a lot of instructions, now I’ll ask the children open questions. It means the children are interacting a bit more, which I think helps them to get more out of what they’re doing. But the course covered a great deal – everything from child security to food hygiene and manual handling; it was really good and has really opened up what I can do.
For more information on courses available from The Childcare Company, visit thechildcarecompany.com
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