Former Lipson Co-operative Academy pupil Tilly Shaw has her heart set on a career working with young children and is one of the first to study for a T Level in Childcare and Education.
Having achieved two grade 8s, three 7s, three 6s and a 5 in her GCSEs, Tilly could have chosen the A Level route for her post-16 education, but wanting more independence she chose City College Plymouth, where she is studying for a new A Level-equivalent qualification that is designed to prepare students for both university and employment.
Tilly said: “I like how the T Level combines classroom learning and a work placement. I’m currently doing work experience at Tops Day Nursery and I’m loving getting to know all the children – just sitting in a classroom all day would never be as fun and useful as this. I’m gaining valuable experience by being able to put all I’m learning into practice, and I’m actually helping young children to learn whilst I am learning myself.”
Tilly said she has had a very positive experience at City College, where she has received excellent support from her lecturers. Tilly said: “My lectures support me by always giving me feedback on my work and giving me ways to improve so that my work is the best that it can be. They are always available if I need any extra help.”
Tilly has also had some incredible opportunities during her course, including travelling to Iceland – a country that has one of the highest enrolment rates in early childhood education and care.
Tills said: “Being able to travel to Iceland and experience their early years education system was amazing and really helpful as I continue to develop my own practice. It is also somewhere you wouldn’t necessarily get to travel to.
Regarding her next steps, Tilly said: “I’m still not 100% sure about my long-term goal. I would first like to work in a nursery or perhaps as a nanny, but I’m also considering studying primary education at a later date.
“So far, my time at the College has been really positive. If you’re considering childcare, I would definitely recommend finding out more about this course.”