Aspiring leaders within the early years sector have celebrated success after completing their programmes of study at the University of Derby.
Twenty-five trainees who have been studying the Early Years Teacher Status were recognised at an awards ceremony held at the University yesterday (Tuesday, February 23).
The course is designed to support trainees in becoming specialists in early childhood development and enable them to gain a certificate which reflects their role working with babies and children from birth to five-years-old.
Jenny Boldrin, Subject Leader for Early Years Teacher Status at the University of Derby, said: “There is something very inspiring about being in a room full of people dedicated to improving outcomes for children.
“As a team, we are incredibly proud of what these Early Years Teachers have achieved throughout their programme and what they are now achieving in employment.
“This year’s celebration feels particularly special; we are thrilled to congratulate our Early Years Teachers but we are also using the event to thank them for the role they played in our first Ofsted inspection as an Early Years Initial Teacher Training provider.
“Throughout our inspection we were humbled by the professional way in which this group of Early Years Teachers presented themselves and the work they have been involved in at the University of Derby. They have been instrumental in us being judged Good overall with Outstanding leadership.”
To recognise the achievements of the trainees, the teaching team organise a celebration event for them where they are presented with an award in front of family members and friends.
The Early Years course is available in three different pathways:
- Assessment Only – a three-month process of assessing trainees against the Teachers’ Standards
- Graduate Entry – a 12-month full time pathway for trainees new into the sector
- Graduate Employment Based – a 12-month part time pathway for those who are working within the sector.
All pathways ask trainees to demonstrate their practice and leadership against Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).
To demonstrate this, trainees are assessed in practice regularly and are asked to put together a portfolio of evidence which showcases the work they have been involved in with children and families.
The programme combines University-led input based around effective pedagogy and the Early Years Foundation Stage with practical application of theory in a number of Early Years settings and schools.
Sophie Deacon, of Uttoxeter, was among students who collected their certificate of achievement at yesterday’s event.
The 26-year-old said: “I took up this course as I wanted to build on my confidence and professional development within Early Years. I’ve worked in nurseries and have always known this is the sector for me.
“I loved the course at Derby. It was hard work but very rewarding and I had so much support from the outset. I have gained so much more knowledge of the Early Years, so many new relationships with settings all over the country, as well as a boost of confidence that I am now becoming an expert in my field.
“As I become more experienced I would love to develop my role as an Early Years trainer/consultant and this status has given me the confidence to continue building my professional development and given me the skills to be able to mentor my colleagues and other practitioners in the field. I am proud of myself for what I have achieved not only for me but for my setting, and overall for the Early Years sector.”