Early Years teacher case study - Will Purcell

Early Years teacher case study - Will Purcell

I work as a practitioner at Archfield House Nursery in Bristol.

My degree is in Popular Music and I have 4 years’ experience in early years.

I began studying EYITT in September 2016.

Our setting is a privately owned nursery with many extra-curricular activities such as beach school, yoga, Artfield (an art club), Snappy Snaps (a photography club that I run), Louis’ League (a football club) and Hunger Bugs (a cooking club).

My EYITT mentor is the lead teacher and pre-school leader at the setting and I am very lucky to have such great support from her.

What motivated you to undertake Early Years Initial Teacher Training?

I have no qualifications in childcare and was very keen to extend my understanding of childcare and children’s development. I felt the EYITT course through Best Practice Network was the best route for me to do this as I could work at it around my full-time job.

Can you give us an overview of the EYITT training process? What were the highlights so far?

The training days have proven to be a high point of the training process as I could meet with the Bristol group each month to share ideas and good practice, as well as support each other should we require it. We could all touch base and find out how each of us is doing with the different parts of the course, what’s going well, what is proving difficult. Being able to talk through all of these points with a highly supportive and encouraging group has been very valuable. It is also in these days that I have learnt about new teaching approaches, reading material, professionalism and the importance of my role as an early years teacher.

What have your key learning points been so far during EYITT?

The training course has been a hugely encouraging and confidence-boosting programme for me, making me aware of my capabilities as an early years teacher to offer the children in my care highly stimulating and rich learning experiences. I have also learnt new ways in which to communicate effectively with children through training days and further reading recommended from my personal tutor.

With the help of this training, what impact do you feel you are making on:

·        young children’s learning and development

I have noticed my increased abilities to communicate more effectively with children, which has helped develop higher levels of trust and understanding between me and the children, creating more solid relationships and a safe place for children to learn and take risks in.

·        your colleagues’ learning and development

My colleagues have taken notice of my development and my increased passion for the role, which appears to have had a positive effect, increasing their own passion and desire to learn more. My colleagues value and take on board any ideas I bring and have begun to ask for my input on developments within the toddler rooms.

·        parents and families’ involvement in their children’s education

The parents of my key children have been more involved in their children’s development as a result of me being on this course, as I have wanted to share more of my own learning and desire to help teach their children. I share more photos, videos and learning stories with parents which involves them in their child’s learning and development on a daily basis. I give parents more in-depth feedback and explanations of what their children are learning from the activities I provide, and what I will do next in order to help their children develop further.

When I achieve Early Years Teacher Status, I would like to stay in the same role.

I would like to use my new knowledge to give the children in my care the most exciting and engaging learning experiences, something other nurseries may not be offering. I would like to help the nursery build on our already great environment to offer the children even more rich learning opportunities. I would also like to help train newer staff members.

Is there anything you would like to add?

This really has been a fantastic opportunity for me to learn new skills to do my job in the most effective and exciting ways. It has given me confidence in my ability to teach children and understand what deep learning is going on.