Early Years Experiences - EYITT case study - Natalie Sehayek

Natalie Sehayek lives and works in South West London and began the EYITT programme in September 2014.

Before making a career change to the Early Years sector, Natalie worked in the interior design industry, including running her own interior design company. She has a BSc and MSc in management and a very strong commitment to her new career with nursery age children.

I have been working full-time with children since September at Miss Daisy's Nursery in Belgravia. Before that I worked part-time with four other nurseries. Once I was established in my full time post, I knew I wanted to improve my qualifications so I set out to achieve my Early Years Teacher Status. I was motivated to do this because I was fascinated by and wanted to learn the theory behind childhood development in order to obtain a deeper understanding of children with different ages and abilities. I am very passionate about doing the very best I can for the young children in my care and the more I know and understand about how they learn and grow, the better I will be able to support their development emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially.

I am about half way through the EYITT programme and am pleased to say that at this stage in the course I am much more certain about what is expected of me and the standard required. To extend my experience beyond my own setting, I have placements arranged in a nursery to work with babies and also in a school for experience with Reception and Key Stages 1 and 2. Both placements are due to be completed in the next month.

I feel have established a good method of self-reflection from writing my monthly learning journal accounts. We also build up an eportfolio of documents as part of our evidence that we are demonstrating the Teachers' Standards (Early Years) and again I am pleased that I have obtained a decent amount of evidence to date - it is just a matter of finding the time to edit and upload it to the system. I still have quite a bit to complete but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I have really enjoyed meeting all the different personalities, from children to practitioners as well as other trainees and tutors. I feel I have really progressed in my knowledge and practice since starting both my new job and the EYITT course in September. The most rewarding part has definitely been the relationships I have built and the experiences we have shared along the way.

My mentors both in my work setting and my placement have been readily available if I have needed anything, from obtaining policies and other information to providing opportunities to teach the children. My tutors have been so supportive in observing me and feeding back my strengths and any areas for improvement and responding to me should I have any questions or concerns. I also feel that the monthly training sessions have been a great way to get up-to-date with the other trainees and tutors and taking my learning forward. It really feels like we are all part of a strong team.