From education to employment

Modern Apprentice Peter sets the foundation for a rewarding career in childcare

Photo of Peter Robertson

Modern Apprentice Peter Robertson recently undertook a Childcare qualification with @BordersCollege Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation (DEBI). Working with the Venchie Children and Young People project in Edinburgh, he has overcome many challenges to complete his studies. Read what his Tutor/Assessor Victoria Anderson had to say about his learner journey:

“Peter had recently left school when he commenced his apprenticeship. He stated in his application form that he really wanted to work with children and young people. His role in his setting is to provide Breakfast Club and support children at the After School Club for children aged 4-12. In addition to this, Peter has helped at the Toddlers Group and was a daily helper at the holiday club, providing outings and activities for the children.

“Peter found the written work challenging so I worked closely with him and his employer to adapt assessment strategies in the form of additional observations and undertaking professional discussion in place of reflective writing to enable him to achieve his award. Due to Peter struggling to evidence the requirements of his award, together with his employer, Peter took 10 weeks to focus on developing his knowledge, understanding and experience to allow formal assessment to take place.

“Following this, we met weekly and worked very closely carrying out carefully planned professional discussions about his work and developing his knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation, policies and frameworks that he must adhere to in his role. Working this way enabled Peter’s confidence to grow, which was reflected in both his and his employer’s comments in his quarterly MA reviews.

“Throughout undertaking his award, Peter has developed his skills in the planning and delivering of activities for the children in his care. He has undertaken additional training in his setting and was particularly influenced by training he completed at Forest Schools. He took this training and implemented it in his setting, giving the children opportunities to develop their play skills outdoors.

“Peter would set up loose parts play for the children each day where they had fun working as a team to make rope swings in the trees or use a tarpaulin to make an outdoor cinema. He worked hard to risk assess all these activities without limiting the children’s opportunities to develop their skills, and they thoroughly enjoyed this, which in turn promoted their self-esteem and problem-solving skills.

“Peter had challenges in this as his setting is in a recognized deprived area in Edinburgh and so he had to ensure everything was taken down every day because if he left it out it would sadly be vandalized and set on fire. Also, Peter is working in a predominantly female role and so is a positive male role model for the children he supports.

“He is keen to remain working with children and young people to give them opportunities to learn, be nurtured and have a safe and consistent place to spend time out of school.

“Peter grew up and went to school in the area he is working in, therefore he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by youngsters growing up in the community.

“He has demonstrated that he is keen to give children opportunities to build positive relationships and be valued members of their community, meeting the four capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence to be: successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors, and responsible citizens.

“It was a pleasure to support Peter through his award, and once we found the assessment strategy that worked for him he made great progress. Peter was always keen to learn and develop his skills, and I hope this is just the beginning of a rewarding career in childcare for him.”

Commenting on his studies, Peter said:

“I worked hard to gain this qualification, it brought out more confidence in me and I also learned a lot more when doing this. The skills and knowledge I have gained from this course will keep improving in the future.”

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