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Student blog: Lucy Hookway, Childcare and Early Years Education Student
Hi, I’m Lucy and I’m currently in the second year of my course, studying Childcare and Early Years Education at level 3.
By the end of my course I need to complete 750 placement hours, so during an average week I will spend two days on placement. In my first year I did Thursdays and Fridays, but now in my second year placement days are on a Monday and Tuesday. Alongside my placement hours I am also completing a portfolio which includes the activities I have done with children, reflections on my practice and the feedback I have received from my tutors.
Placements can vary from working with childminders to a foundation class of primary school children, but so far my experiences have been valuable, fun and hands-on.
Being out on placement is my favourite part of the course because I get to see everything that I’ve learnt in practice and it all falls into place. What we learn in the classroom is really helpful in placement as it helps us to understand everything that we’re doing. I’m currently in a foundation class with a school and I have so much fun. This course has definitely given me the confidence and skills I will need to go into primary teaching.
When I’m not on placement, I spend the remaining three days of the week at College. We have allocated computer time to complete assignments and placement portfolios, and whilst preparing for assignments and doing key learning takes up a lot of time, we also have lots of fun too. Our learning at College doesn’t really involve much sitting around listening to our lecturers read out PowerPoints, we learn in fun and active ways such as: class discussions and debates; creating and presenting our own presentations, work and ideas; reflecting and sharing things that happened in our placements that week; creating posters/leaflets; making resources and using the library and other facilities around us.
Recently when we were completing a unit about child health, we went on a visit to the Children’s Ward at Derriford Hospital. Whilst there we met a lady who worked as a Play Worker. She taught us all about her job and what she has to deal with on a daily basis. She gave us a tour of the ward and gave us a real insight of what some of the poorly children we work with deal with and their hospital visits.
We also did an event for Children In Need the other week. As a class we did a bake sale and raised just over £227. Everyone got involved by bringing something in, dressing up and we each spent an hour in total running the stall by ourselves.
So that’s a bit of an insight into what it’s like to study childcare at City College Plymouth. If you want to come and see the College for yourself, come along to an open event.