I decided to do the childhood graduate practitioner competencies alongside my degree to gain experience in the field, enhance my skills and to gain the extra certificate which I am hopeful will help me stand out when looking for graduate jobs.
During my first year on this route, I have had a placement in a nursery which provided great experiences and skills. I have learnt from observing children during play, I had many opportunities to create activities for children and then observe which was great to include in my portfolio. The experience enhanced my professional skills working with the other staff in the school and seeing what day to day life is like in a school setting, staff involved me with planning opportunities, staff meetings and student reports which also provided evidence for my portfolio alongside the teamworking skills gained. I had opportunities to communicate with parents and can now understand the importance of the open communication parents need with a child’s education. In the setting I worked at there were opportunities to learn more about safeguarding and what it covers, including the smaller things like children’s personal hygiene and missing meals etc, at the setting we had a term where we focused on healthy eating and exercise, and this was another great opportunity to link safeguarding into my portfolio.
Time management is important to consider, I work part time and attend university and do a placement so managing time is crucial. I found writing out notes straight after a day of placement was beneficial and then typing up the evidence for my portfolio every week or two weeks helped to reduce the workload and made placement easy to balance alongside university and working.
I have found doing the competencies route alongside my studies has benefited my education and understanding of childhood studies and found myself making many links to the modules. It has boosted my confidence personally and professionally and provided many transferable skills for my future education and career.