Innovative Ayrshire College students take Early Years online

Innovative Ayrshire College students take Early Years online

In Partnership with Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP), Early Years students have adapted a programme aimed at children under the age of five and their parents or carers.

The programme encourages parents and carers to help their children become confident communicators, learning by talking, singing, sharing books and playing together.

Lecturers are trained as Peep facilitators, and with Level 6 Early Years students supporting, the sessions are an alternative work experience for students.

Peep sessions ran every week last year on each of the main Ayrshire College campuses and were well attended by parents, carers, childminders and grandparents. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic the students wanted to continue to offer the service and so decided to run the sessions online, from the comfort of their own home using Microsoft Teams.

Early Learning and Childcare student Dawn McLean from Saltcoats told us what she gets out of participating in the sessions. Dawn said “I am enjoying learning about the set-up of Peeps and how it can support parents and children in a completely unique way as everything is now online.

“The planning behind the activities is particularly good and gives clear guidelines for students. It’s great as we can apply our skills, encourage each other to join in and give feedback to help each other out. The experience has been life changing in terms of my Early Years career, and I feel very positive for the future.”

Early Years Lecturer, Laura Niven said about the benefits of the online sessions. “The sessions benefit both the students by providing opportunity to develop practical skills through our online PEEP project.

"Within each session the students focus on a session aim and share that with the group. These aims are taken from sessions strands like early literacy, early maths, personal social and emotional development, communication, health and physical development.

"The students also have a Facebook page with over 500 followers which continues to go from strength to strength. The page has a range of students, practitioners, parents and those with a keen interest in Early Learning and Childcare.

"I am immensely proud of the students this year. 2020 was a challenge doing the last few months learning online but this year we are continuing online and they have really embraced it. As they adapt to the situation, the students will be taking a new resilience out in to the workforce which is fantastic!”

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