From education to employment

British Sign Language success for Cambridge Regional College’s Imogen

During her teenage years, Imogen Smith was home-schooled, where she found herself enjoying art, cooking and sports. Living in a bilingual household, in which her father and younger brother have hearing impairements, led Imogen to start studying British Sign Language at the age of 14 and before she had turned 16, she had gained her Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications.

As Imogen approached her GCSE year, she was preparing to sit her English and maths exams when the global pandemic prevented external candidates taking exams in the summer of 2020. In September 2020, Imogen enrolled onto the Level 1 Care, Health & Early Years course with Cambridge Regional College, a course that would enable her to re-visit her studies in maths and English alongside.

Imogen said, “I’ve always enjoyed looking after my younger brother and little cousins both of whom have varying degrees of autism. I had many babysitting jobs and, this coupled with encouragement from friends and family, made me realise that childcare was for me. When I looked at CRC as a place to study, I found that they offered the course I was interested in, with work experience built into the course content.”

Imogen competed her work experience at Castle School, Cambridge and, despite only completing 5 days at her work placement due to further lockdowns, she discovered a passion for working with pre-school children with additional needs. Imogen plans to progress to the Level 2 Care, Health and Early Years course next year and will continue her BSL studies at Level 4.

Imogen adds, “The course is enjoyable. If you are interested in childcare, this course gives you the foundation knowledge and helps boost your confidence. I would love to make a difference for children with additional needs, proving once and for all they can achieve anything with the right support.”

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