From education to employment

Inspirational student overcomes challenges to discover her passion for education

Oliwia Paluszewicz.

An inspirational soon-to-be-graduate who had limited English as a teenager has achieved the highest mark in her year.  

Oliwia Paluszewicz has been praised by her lecturers in BA (Hons) Early Childhood for her high level of enthusiasm and excellent work ethic. 

Oliwia moved from Poland to the UK when she was 14-years-old with very limited English and knowledge of the UK school curriculum. Oliwia had to learn English at a fast pace to navigate her way through her GCSEs to achieve the number required to enrol on a level 3 Diploma in Early Childhood Education before she progressed to university. 

She started her degree in September 2021 and achieved high grades through all her modules. In achieving her Graduate Practitioner Competencies (ratified by the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network and the Department for Education) Oliwia achieved the highest mark in her cohort. She is now going on to study for a Master’s in Education, Society and Globalisation at Chester. 

Oliwia said that after arriving in the UK as a teenager with limited knowledge of English she still found it difficult to

“overcome the barrier for the next two years before I finally began to communicate in English. Even in my first year at University I was reluctant to participate in long conversations with my peers and tutors”. 

Thanks to her hard work and commitment Oliwia overcame her language challenges to thrive on the programme. 

Her continued and growing interest in her studies, has led Oliwia to enrol on the full-time MA Education, Society and Globalisation programme at the University, where she will continue to examine some of the topics, she has developed a passion for, relating to children, childhood and communities in a globalised context. 

She said:

“What I liked the most about the course was how the different modules allowed me to explore education through a variety of different perspectives. The hands-on approach to learning gave me an amazing opportunity to develop my professional skills and achieve a Graduated Practitioner Competencies Certificate. This opportunity allowed me to record my professional development, strategies and approaches to practice with young children through which I was able to reflect and develop my professional working standard to a high level and secure a full-time position as a practitioner based on my portfolio build throughout the course. 

“The course leaders empowered me to develop a passion for gender studies, diversity and social justice which I now aim to develop into my ‘area of expertise’ in the future. The support and advice given to me as well as the knowledge I have gained throughout the course had enabled me to complete my research project to a high standard and direct my goals for the near future which I did not expect or even dream of at the beginning of my journey.” 

Jeanette Bell, Programme Leader, said:

“Oliwia is an outstanding graduate of the BA Early Childhood Studies, and an excellent advocate for young children and their families.  She is a superb ambassador for the early childhood specialism.  She has demonstrated excellent practice skills through her achievement of the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies.” 

Dr Paula Hamilton, Dissertation Supervisor and Programme Leader (MA), added:

“Oliwia is a remarkable young woman, who signifies what can be achieved with hard work, enthusiasm and a positive working relationship with tutors. I am delighted she has decided to join MA Education, Society and Globalisation and very much look forward to continuing to observe and support her educational journey.” 

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