Gillotts Pupils Gaining Valuable Experience at Sacred Heart Pre-School

Gillotts School pupils have been enjoying work placements at Sacred Heart Pre-School as part of their BTEC Award in Children’s Play, Learning & Development. Students are spending a full afternoon with the children and gaining first-hand experience in childcare.

Sacred Heart Pre-School Leader, Veronika Cintra said, “We are offering the work placement as it is a great introduction for the expectations in the workplace and these students have a real taste of what childcare involves as it is not what it looks like on paper. Being here will enable young students to make a more informed decision about  their future career, and we would just like to support the community as well and there is simply no reason why we cannot have them here.”

Current staff and children in the nursery are seeing the benefits of having students assist them. Veronkia said, “From our point of view, it is lovely to see how they respond to new faces and this gives us a behaviour strategy for the children and helps our observations. Our children love the students and they love coming down, they are always fully involved and it gives us an idea of what our children can do in different social situations.”

Mrs Trish McBain, Gillotts BTEC Subject Leader said, “As part of the course, we highly recommend they have a work placement experience. We currently have 17 Year 11’s taking the course who are all at different placements across different schools. Although it’s not compulsory, it’s really good for their references, personal statements and they learn lots of skills and build confidence – they have to sign in and know who they are reporting to. Professional conduct is so important when they get here, they really get stuck in playing and supporting the staff here. It enables them to do better in their coursework and in order to get a distinction in their coursework, they must give examples and case studies which they can now do. They gain a huge amount from seeing inclusive practice in play, the key person role and planning.”

Ruby Payne, Year 11 said, “I am really enjoying it, it is a really good skill set to have, even if when I apply to babysit, it shows I have experience and it will definitely help me when applying for jobs in the future.”

With regards to future placements within pre-schools, Mrs McBain added, ” It depends on the size of the group, this is the biggest group I have and it is fantastic that people do offer. There is of course staffing barriers with places that took our students for years but now can’t take any. The students really love it, they are enthusiastic about it and, they gain a huge amount from it. The small children are such characters and it gives the students an idea whether they would like to do an apprenticeship or a Level 3 qualification. I would like to say thank you to all the places in Henley that support us, it is really excellent and long may it continue.”


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