Early Years students learn about the importance of play

Early Years students learn about the importance of play

School pupils are learning all about working with young children, by studying a Foundation Apprenticeship at Ayrshire College.

A Foundation Apprenticeship is a subject choice available to S5 and S6 pupils that allows them to continue studying at secondary school, while also experiencing a college subject and the college environment two afternoons per week.

A new group of Social Services: Children & Young People students at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus were recently treated to a session on ‘Play with Children’, delivered by two guest speakers from Cairns Early Years Centre.

Taylor Ferguson and Joanne Glover are former Childhood Practice students at Ayrshire College, and they spoke to the group about how play is a great way to develop a child’s learning.

Taylor, who works in the 3-5 year old room at Cairns Early Years Centre, said “We’re back at Ayrshire College to talk about the importance of play and getting down to the child’s level. Everything should come from the child; their interests, their individual needs, what level are they at and how can we build on that.

“It’s looking deeper at play, yes they might be playing with playdough but they’re actually developing language skills and using mathematical language. It’s showing play can help a child learn.

“It’s a great job and very rewarding when you see the children developing, and knowing you’ve impacted on that.”

Joanne, who works in the 2 year old room at Cairns Early Years Centre, said “It’s important to let the students know what it’s like to work in a nursery, and give them real-life examples. We’re here to let them know that as a practitioner, the learning continues. It doesn’t stop just because you’ve got a job. Every day is a school day!

“We’re constantly learning and trying to improve our practice and the experiences for the children so that they’re getting the best outcomes.

“Play can help to build a child’s independence and self-esteem. People might just see the play without realising how much goes on before they get to the play stage. We plan activities by observing the children’s interests and planning something that will help encourage the development of their language and social skills.”

There are now plans for the Foundation Apprentices to visit local nurseries, to put into practice what they have learned about the importance of play.

Laura Niven, Ayrshire College lecturer in Early Years, said ”Making links with practitioners and local settings provides an invaluable experience for our students to understand the industry which they aspire to work in. The staff at Cairns Early Years Centre have been so supportive and I am grateful for their continued support and enthusiasm.”

For more details on the Foundation Apprenticeship course in Social Services (Children and Young People), click here.


25 October 2018

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