Routes into teaching: becoming an Early Years teacher in the South East

Birth to Five

Why train to be an Early Years Teacher?

Charlie Taylor, National College for Teaching and Leadership gives the following reasons in his speech at the Nursery World Summit on 12th November 2014 which, we, The Early Years Foundation Alliance, endorse.

“So what are the benefits of employing an early years teacher?”

I believe early years teachers bring huge benefits, firstly and most importantly early years teachers make a difference for young children. The evidence is clear that teacher-led provision leads to better outcomes for children. The Graduate Leader Fund research in 2011 showed nurseries with a leader with Early Years Professional Status made significant improvements in quality for pre-school children. More recently, research led by Sandra Mathers for the Nuffield Foundation looked at provision for disadvantaged 3 and 4 year olds and showed that where private, voluntary and independent providers (PVIs) employ graduates, quality is higher and the quality gap between settings in disadvantaged and more affluent areas is narrower.

This research makes the case for increasing the number of early years teachers a compelling one.

Secondly, early years teachers make a difference to the nursery team. Carol Hedditch-Grey, the manager of Pear Trees, talked passionately about the impact of early years teachers and how they have inspired team members and acted as fantastic role models. Many other nurseries describe the enthusiasm, skills and expertise that early years teachers bring to their settings.

Thirdly, early years teachers make a difference for parents, who all want what is best for their child. Parents should expect the highest quality. They recognize and understand the title of teacher and are likely to have more confidence in a team of high-quality staff educating and caring for their children.”

Finally, early years teachers help boost the status of the early years workforce. There is now one title of teacher across the early years and schools. Over time, this will influence the perception of parents, colleagues in the wider children’s workforce and society as a whole, and improve the professional identity of the workforce.”

Charlie Taylor November 2014

Early Foundations Teaching School Alliance & University of Greenwich

School Direct (Early Years) PGCE Early Childhood Education and Care (0-5) with Early Years Teacher Status

One year full time study with placement experience of teaching and leading practice in a registered early years setting and school.

Course description

Train to become a teacher in early years with Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) on a course run in partnership with the University of Greenwich, and linked early years settings and schools.

Throughout the course you will spend time between placements and training provided by Early Foundations Teaching School Alliance and the University of Greenwich, where your tutor will give you support and feedback; gaining both critical and practical perspectives of all aspects of learning and teaching in the 0-5 age phase.

Key points

  • Prepare for roles leading practice in early years settings (0-5), including Children’s Centres, Nursery Schools, Private Nurseries, Childminders, Infant and Primary Schools.
  • Have experience of two contrasting early years settings to develop your potential as a creative and reflective teacher.
  • Enhance your professional skills to plan and lead changes in practice that improve outcomes for young children.
  • Develop your collaborative skills for working with parents, colleagues and staff from other sectors.
  • Develop your academic skills so you can ensure your practice is underpinned by a secure understanding of theoretical perspectives.

This course is aimed at people interested in a career working with young children aged 0-5 years in early years settings including children’s centres, schools and private day care. Through the course and work based learning experiences you will have an opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and early childhood development for young children.

During the course you cover developing the curriculum and pedagogy for the age groups 0-3 years and 3-5 years.

You will also gain knowledge and understanding of a range of relevant transition issues, including :-

  • The observation and assessment of young children’s development
  • Children’s development and learning through play
  • Children’s participation and inclusion
  • Collaborative working with parents and carers
  • The leadership of staff teams

During your training you strengthen your expertise in teaching early literacy, including reading and early writing mark and marking also mathematics, including numeracy. The course also enchances your skills in supporting children’s learning and development across all the prime and specific areas of the EYFS. You will deepen your understanding of the characteristics of effective learning that are key to this stage of development.

You will complete assessed teaching practices in two early years settings. Placement experience is organised so that you gain experience and cover the three age groups within the 0-5 age range.

Throughout your course you are supported to develop a range of relevant academic and professional skills at graduate and postgraduste level. This supports and enhances your career potential, opening up opportunities for higher level posts within early years services. During the year further enhancement of your professional development will include a weeks experience in Swedish Pre-Schools and Day Care facilities.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education

You will be taught by experienced, graduate early years staff and Higher Education teaching staff from Northfleet Nursery School, an outstanding provision, and the University of Greenwich. Most of the PGCE will be delivered in the University of Greenwich either with face to face sessions or through the use of a web based virtual learning environment. There will be opportunities for visits to other early years settings, schools and childminders in the region.

Course content

Key areas include:

  • Child development for babies, toddlers and young children
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Play in early childhood including outdoor play and the Forest Schools approach
  • Working with families
  • Safeguarding children
  • Inclusion and diversity issues
  • Early Years policy
  • International perspectives
  • Leadership
  • Working across professional boundaries

Assessment

Course work will be submitted throughout the year which will be professionally focussed and will include reflective writing, presentations and the development of a portfolio.

Practice during placements will be observed and assessed by your trained setting mentor/school mentor. A link tutor from Early Foundations Teaching School Alliance and University of Greenwich will provide support and monitoring throughout the course

Professional recognition

By meeting the standards for Early Years Teacher Status, you are recognised as an
Early Years Teacher (0-5) with EYTS by the National College of Teaching and Leadership.

Early Years Teacher Status will be seen as the equivalent of Qualified Teacher Status as the entry requirements are the same as for primary ITT.

Entry requirements

  • 2 degree or above
  • GCSE grade C or above in English, Mathematics or Science or the You must hold the GCSE requirements before applying.
  • Ideally at least one year’s work experience in an early years foundation stage setting, working as an early years practitioner, teaching assisant or unqualified teacher.
  • At least 15 days recent experience of working with children in an early years foundation stage setting.

You must also succesfully complete pre-entry tests in numeracy and literacy as designated by the National College for Teaching and Learship.   As you will be working with children, you must complete a declaration of criminal convictions and health check forms.

Fees

There are no fees associated with this course and training opportunity. (Graduates with a 1st Class honours degree will receive a bursary of £9,000 and for those with a 2.1 £4,000)

How to apply

Please complete the Early Foundations Teaching School Alliance/Greenwich University application form available by clicking here or by requesting a form by e-mailing office@earlyfoundataionstsa.org.uk

Send the completed form to Charlotte Dinning, Early Foundations Teaching School Alliance, 140 London Road, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent DA11 9JS

Contact details

Charlotte Dinning

Early Foundations Teaching School Alliance, 140 London Road, Northfleet, Kent, DA11 9JS

Call: 01474 567869
Email: office@earlyfoundationstsa.org.uk
Website: www.earlyfoundationstsa.org.uk

Final reflections from Schools Direct students about their school experiences

James McGrath

Throughout this placement, I feel I have developed my teaching practice in many different ways and has developed me professionally towards becoming a teacher. Throughout the placement I have been able to assess the learning of all students within my class which has helped ensure progression in learning was made across all lessons that I planned for. I feel this was most evident within numeracy lessons that I planned for as this was an area where my subject knowledge was best; assessment of pupil progress after each lesson allowed for maximum progression possible. Prior to this placement, I had little experience within a classroom and this placement has allowed me to experience all aspects of the teaching career. I had identified literacy to be my weakest area for subject knowledge and this placement has allowed me to further develop my knowledge to the point I was able to be more confident when delivering lessons that I might have previously been worried about. The continuous assistance and guidance of all staff at the school have provided me with the advice that has allowed me to develop myself as a confident teacher while guiding me towards the areas that I now need to improve for the next placement.

“I will continue to maintain my improved behaviour management as I am aware of the impact this has on the children and the outcomes of lessons.”

James McGrath

Hollie Slater

As a teacher, I understand the importance of setting high expectations and creating lessons that challenge, inspire and motivate the children to learn. I am looking forward to putting this into practice with a creative curriculum next year. From my University teachings I have learnt the importance of incorporating the wider environment into children’s learning and hope to have the opportunity to plan lessons that involve outside learning with KS1. I have observed how practical activities (particularly Science) and school trips really impact the children’s learning; their engagement and motivation increases dramatically when they are able to have hands on experiences. I would like to encourage this as an NQT, creating lessons that are practical, multi-sensory and fun, where children can be creative and contribute to their learning journey.

In addition, I have learnt a range of behaviour management strategies (including non-verbal) and aim to apply these as an NQT, to deal with situations where children are off task. My target is to improve transition times to avoid potential opportunities where children could become disengaged and distracted.

During my time at Hoo St Werburgh, I feel my understanding for assessment for learning has improved immensely. I feel confident going into my NQT that this will only develop further and I will continue to use the skills I have learnt in order to promote children’s progress in the future. My target is to ensure that all formative marking is effective and this has an impact on children’s future work.

“When I have planned sequences of lessons particularly in maths, I have been able to see the progress children have made. This has helped me to gain understanding of the importance of assessment to inform planning for individual children.”

Hollie Slater

Dalene Hudson

Throughout this placement I have strived to become a successful teacher. I have developed my knowledge and skills in many aspects of teaching particularly with behaviour management. This has been one aspect that I have had to work hard at improving in order to gain effective classroom management. I have worked well with other teachers and participated in collaborative planning, as well as sharing resources with my partner class. I have acted on feedback from observations and worked hard to improve my standard of teaching by putting particular actions in place and this has been successful. I have had the opportunity to teach most of the curriculum subjects and feel that my subject knowledge is good. I have developed my skills in the planning of well-structured lessons in order to ensure the children are aware of my expectations regarding behaviour and amount of work to be completed. Since using the school policy behaviour system more consistently, I have found that children are clear of my expectations which have resulted in an effective working environment. Working in year three has provided me with a good understanding of children’s level of ability and the next steps of learning. I have used gap analysis to assess children’s learning and used this to inform my planning. This has been successful with regards to being clear about individual needs and next steps.

“I have gained a wealth of experience from working in year three and will continue to develop my skills and knowledge further in order to become a good teacher or even better in the future.”

Dalene Hudson

"We learnt how to conduct Helicopter training in our setting. We also learnt the value of the training to benefit the children."

− Emma Ellson - St Albans - Helicopter Technique

"How so many maths aspects can be applied in so many simple ways."

− Katie Styles - Cedar Primary - Maths

"Refreshing activities which are easy to implement. Loved the box ideas."

− J Beesley - Cedar Primary - Maths

"It was brilliant and really interesting to watch the children."

− Parents Woodwork / Intelligent Materials Workshop

"Good, really enjoyed it. Liked the short intro talk about what and why, good advice to support but not lead your child."

− Parents Woodwork / Intelligent Materials Workshop

"A great training session - this improved my confidence and I now want to use the firepit with our children."

− Roz Munday - Northfleet Nursery School - Campfires and Cooking

"Thank you for teaching me a new way to deal with the fire and how to be safe."

− Genny - Northfleet Nursery School - Camping and Cooking

"Great ideas, enjoyed initial practical activities and the video was great."

− Claire Holder - Shears Green - Pete Moorhouse

"Lots of Ideas on how to use scrap materials of all sorts ie metals, wood and plastic."

− Carol Wills - Cecil Road - Pete Moorhouse