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Early Years Teacher Birth to 5 leading to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) PGCE : What our students say

Student profiles

Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.

Sophia Abbas

Name: Sophia Abbas
Course: Former EYITT Trainee

What did you think of the course?

The course was a great transition for me to consolidate the practical and theory of being an Early Years Teacher. It has allowed me to gain a deeper insight into the different practices across various settings through engaging with other students on the course.

What did you learn or like most about the course?

The University encompassed both the EYITT with the PGCE to allow for a wide variety of teaching and practical expertise.

How is it helping you now in your work?

I have been able to utilise my previous skills and qualifications in a different field with becoming an EYT to progress to a Headteacher in an independent school.  

Why would you recommend it?

Kingston University have great Lecturers with a depth of knowledge. They are eager to share their knowledge to help students develop.

 

Saffron Blevin

Name: Saffron Blevin
Course: Former EYITT Trainee

What did you think of the course?

The EYITT course enabled me to meet like-minded individuals from a range of early years settings, we were able to share our practice and as a result we have remained in contact and continue to share our experiences and ideas through cluster meetings and our Facebook group.


The course enabled me to develop my practice by applying what I had learnt during the university sessions to my daily practice. 

What did you learn or like most about the course?

The MA part of the course was particularly interesting because it enabled me to think critically about aspects of early years and link my practice to different theories. I particularly enjoyed the "change management project" as it enabled me to work with the other practitioners at my setting to evaluate and develop our practice on "risk management".

How is it helping you now in your work?

Since finishing the EYITT course I have been able to reflect on and apply my experiences from my Key Stage 1 placement to my practice in the Pre-school room to enable me to prepare the children for school. I have been able to do this by evaluating how I prepare and deliver small group activities.

I have become more confident in working with some of the other practitioners in my setting to enable them to provide stimulating activities for the children in their rooms, that enable the children to be challenged.

Since finishing the course, I have become Room Leader of the Pre-school room, which is in combination to my EYT role. This has allowed me to build my confidence in leading and managing a team of practitioners.

Why would you recommend it?

I would recommend the EYITT course because it enables you to complete a teaching award whilst being employed. I found this beneficial because I could share what I had learnt directly with my colleagues and as a result it enabled me to improve my practice during the course.

The chance to undertake a placement in a KS1 setting enabled me to compare my practice in a pre-school to the expectations and practice within a year 1 class.

 

Name: Sarah Howard
School/Setting employed at: Stepping Stones Pre-School

How long have been working in an early years setting?

I have been working in early years settings for 10 years now. I have worked in after school clubs, holidays clubs, managed a day nursery and my most recent role is managing a Pre-School.

What made you want to go into Early Years teaching / what was it that made you want to gain Early Years teacher status?

The experiences that I gained through my degree gave me the opportunity to work with different community groups. My confidence to perform, sing and dance meant that I felt at home instantly in an Early Years setting; where most days involve a degree of performance, and the ability to adapt yourself to different situations. Once I began building relationships with children and families, I could see the impact of my input into children's learning and development. This was both personally and professionally rewarding and so I felt that teaching was the right path for me. I believe Early Years Teaching Status has been a long time coming within the sector, and I'm proud to be part of the first group of Early Years Teachers. Having gained a wide range of experiences I wanted to validate them and also continue my professional development, the Status felt like the next natural step for me.

Can you give us an overview of the training/ how are you juggling both working and studying?

The training involves a mix of theory and practice. There are lecturer and peer lead learning sessions, and also some independent study. Part of the training involves building up knowledge and experience with different age groups by going on the appropriate placement for you, so that you will be able to support children from birth-5 in their learning.

Juggling working and studying was a challenge, so I would say that it's really important that your employers know the level of support that is required in order for you to complete the training successfully. I was very lucky to have such a supportive setting, who could see the direct impact on my practice from training, which benefitted me as a teacher, and the continuous improvement of the setting.

What support have you received through the training process?

The lecturers at Kingston were always on hand to support us in everyday practice as well as our studies. We also had a lot of support from our peers, as we had a huge wealth of knowledge within our EYITT group, this was invaluable. I had a setting based mentor, who had completed the Early Years Professional Status, and she was able to provide me with practical advice about my studying and my practice. We also had a University Liaison Tutor, who was the link between students and the University, and was also on the end of the phone whenever a question about an assignment, teaching folders, or practice arose.

Can you take us through the day-to-day life of an Early Years teacher?

The day starts bright & early, and I begin by checking for messages for any changes in attendance. I then review the weekly planning, and begin setting up the days learning experiences, along with my team of Early Years Practitioners. The children arrive and we support them in the transition from leaving parents to settling into the Pre-School environment, and engaging them in individual planned learning experiences, across all areas of the EYFS. Occasionally I may need to attend a child protection meeting, complete a 2 year development review, go on an outing with children and parents, meet with staff to support them in their planning, observation and assessment cycle. I also regularly work with outside agencies, such a;, our local children's centre, settings that children are transitioning from or transitioning on to and speech and language therapists. The day ends with reviewing the learning that has taken place and amending planning as necessary for the following day, and catching up with the staff team on funny anecdotes that have taken place!

What sort of impact do you think you have on children's education and lives?

The role of an Early Years Teacher is to support children's development and move them on in their learning, through purposeful planned play and teaching, which is based on their interests. I think learning through your own interests is the best way of learning, and by doing this you will foster a lifelong love of learning, I don't think the impact of this is measurable.

How rewarding is it working as an Early Years teacher?

It's great to see the progress that children make as a result of my impact. The relationships that you develop between children and families is very special, and very unique to the Early Years Sector, it's a privilege working with them.

 

Sophie Beadle

Name: Sophie Beadle
Course: Early Years Teacher Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

Sophie took part in a course trip to Sweden to observe early years teaching in an overseas setting.

Sophie, what did your trip to Sweden mean to you?

It was a great opportunity for me to compare early years teaching practice in a different setting, and to reflect on how I am influenced by various approaches to early years teaching. It was also a way of seeing my learnings come to life as I was able to see teaching theory carried out in a way that really made sense to me.

How has what you have learnt impacted upon your professional thinking and pedagogical approach to practice?

Seeing how much trust was given to the children in Sweden made me realise how it allows them to be independent and manage risks. I now encourage myself (as well as other staff) to consider how we can encourage the children to become more independent. For example, if I see a child show interest in a pair of scissors I help that child explore them safely, instead of simply taking them away.

Do you have more examples of how you've tried to reflect these learnings in your everyday practice?

I encourage the children to be as independent as possible in many ways, such as letting them put on their coat themselves, serving themselves their own drink or selecting and engaging in their own play.

Another inspiration I took from my trip to Sweden is to use natural resources to create artwork and features which I put on display, much like the beautiful hand-crafted mobiles I saw on my trip.

 

For further information:

Early Years Teacher Initial Teacher Training administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5145
Email us

Location

This course is taught at Kingston Hill

View Kingston Hill on our Google Maps

For further information:

Early Years Teacher Initial Teacher Training administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5145
Email us

Location

This course is taught at Kingston Hill

View Kingston Hill on our Google Maps
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