Elderly carer sitting with two of her patients in the care home. They are enjoying some cake and tea.

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Health and Social Care

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 4 – 8 March and is a time to celebrate the legacy of apprenticeships, while also taking the opportunity to inform young people and businesses about the positive impacts apprenticeships could have for them.

Our team of educators and writers believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning and apprenticeships. This is why we work hard to create the best possible online learning resources for colleges and training providers to use as part of their blended teaching and learning approach for their learners.

Why choose an apprenticeship in Health and Social Care?

The health and social care workforce is integral to our society. Whether it’s taking care of the elderly in their homes, working in a care home, or supporting people with additional needs; health and social care practitioners make an incredible difference to the lives of so many people and their loved ones.

As with childcare, working in the health and social care sector is an incredibly rewarding career path, and once again it’s also a lot of work! However, your commitment can mean bringing a smile to a person’s face and giving them the support and confidence they need to enjoy their day.

You might consider starting an apprenticeship in health and social care if you want to provide care to those who need it and are passionate about improving the standards of care to ensure all those who need support receive the very best individualised care to meet their varying needs.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE CACHE Level 2 Diploma in Care, though our learning resources are relevant to the standards for a wide variety of awarding organisations.

Throughout your apprenticeship, your on the job learning will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively provide individualised care to service users. Your learning will cover a wide variety of areas including dementia awareness, mental health and well-being, supporting individuals with their physical and emotional care, daily living needs and healthcare procedures.

How will you learn?

As an apprentice you learn ‘on the job’ which means you gain hands-on experience from day one. This gives you the advantage of gaining invaluable experience from colleagues and managers in a real work environment. It also means you earn a salary while working towards achieving your qualification, and in most cases your apprenticeship costs are covered by Government funding.

To achieve your qualification you will need to produce work to show you are competent in each of the qualification criteria, which means you will successfully pass each unit. You will also need to show you are competent in your work environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are asked to produced a written piece of work for each of the criteria as there are many different ways to collect evidence for your portfolio. You may also take part in a professional discussion with your trainer, produce reflective accounts, take part in group discussions, produce videos to show your competence, and be assessed via observation in the workplace.

If you are completing a qualification with a training provider or college who use our Laser e-portfolio and/or Laser Lessons resources, you will be supported by a trainer who will guide you through your qualification, set your workplans, and mark your work. They are the person you can contact whenever you have a question about your coursework or need advice about your learning journey.

Your trainer will conduct teaching sessions with you and you can then use the Laser Lessons resources to continue your study during your allocated learning time.

Here’s an example of a Think and Challenge section of a Laser Lessons resource created specifically for this qualification.


Rebecca and Irina are best friends and both work at Sunnyside Rest home looking after elderly residents, many of whom have symptoms of Dementia.

One day, Rebecca is late back from lunch and is told off by her line manager. Rebecca is then very annoyed at Irina for not helping her to complete her tasks or covering for her until she was back from lunch.

The girls are quite obviously upset with each other and many of the individuals they care for are starting to show signs of distress.

1. If you were Rebecca and Irina’s manager, how would you encourage them to sort out this problem?

2. What would you say to Rebecca and Irina about how their argument is affecting the people they look after?

3. How will you encourage Rebecca and Irina to develop a good professional relationship?

As our resources are online you can access them with an internet connection anywhere and at any time. If you are using the Laser e-portfolio you can also upload work, read feedback comments, and email your trainer at any time.

What roles can you go on to work in?

You can go on to work as an adult care worker, healthcare assistant or support worker, or personal assistant within a variety of environments in either the private or public sectors.

There are also higher levels of qualification you can achieve at levels 4, 5, and 6 which can aid you to move into manager positions or to further specialise your knowledge and skills to provide support and care to specific groups of people; this may be vulnerable adults, vulnerable children, or adults and children who are living with specific needs.

More about our Laser Lessons resources

Laser Lessons resources are written by subject specialists with vocational experience in their chosen area. Each lesson follows our unique Laser format, giving each learner:

  • A filmed tutorial with a professional presenter and accompanying text for those with hearing difficulties
  • Selected reading available in PDF format and also from trusted websites
  • A presentation to give further explanation of a specific topic
  • Good practice example videos, including videos scripted by Laser Systems for Canal Wharf Studios to cover specific criteria
  • An interactive quiz to test knowledge gained
  • Evidence opportunities which allow the learner to produce work towards their course
  • Extended learning materials for those who want to develop their skills and knowledge even further
  • A think and challenge activity which asks the learner to put the knowledge they have gained towards a real-life scenario

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship, look for local apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

If you are a training provider, college, or business who would like to more about using the Laser e-portfolio and Laser Lessons resources to deliver apprenticeship teaching and learning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Early Childhood Education Redefined – Book Launch

On Friday last week members of the Laser Learning team were lucky enough to be invited to attend the launch of a new book by Dr. Kay Sanderson, Professor Pat Preedy, and Sir Christopher Ball at Blenheim Palace.

Their book Early Childhood Education Redefined, evaluates the impact of the Start Right: The Importance of Early Learning (RSA, 1994) report which was originally written by Sir Christopher Ball, and highlights the shortcomings of early childhood education in the UK today while giving solutions for a better learning foundation for early years children.

The launch day focused on their new manifesto for early childhood education which campaigns for fundamental changes to the way young people are educated around the world.

Start Right Report – what’s changed?

In Sir Christopher Ball’s introduction to the book and manifesto he described the three main points he wanted everyone to understand about learning.

Firstly, the importance of human learning. Learning always pays, whether it is in health, wealth, or happiness, and that the most important thing we can teach young children is how to learn efficiently and effectively.

Secondly, the extraordinary capacity of the human brain to learn and improve. No one ever reaches their capacity or limit to learn as there are no limits. No one ever feels there is no room for improvement, and this is true of both fast learners and slow learners – all learners have a remarkable brain.

Thirdly, evolution has shaped us to do just enough to get by. We live by the belief that just enough is good enough, but in reality, it doesn’t have to be. It’s a choice to transcend the realm of ‘good enough’ in pursuit of excellence and we admire heroes like even though we are all capable of it.

This is why the greatest gift we can give our children and adult learners is the skills and knowledge to learn efficiently and effectively.

He then asked the question: is our educational foundation provided for the children in this country aged 0-7 good enough?

The authors of the book think not, and this is why they propose a fundamental rethink of early childhood education.

Education is a combination of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. Sir Christopher Ball argues that curriculum has been given greater credence and we have, therefore, forgotten pedagogy. He goes so far to say that it doesn’t matter what we teach children as long as we teach them well as then they will have the tools to effectively teach themselves. On top of this we are also heavily focused on summative assessment with this often being the be-all and end-all of achievement.

He then went on to describe the two pillars of good education:

Contribution and support of parents/guardians

Contribution and support of society, government, and its agencies

This is similar to the triple partnership set out in his Start Right report in 1994.

‘Raising a child is the greatest challenge in life and it is a life-long challenge.’

He summarised that ensuring that parents/guardians work alongside teachers is essential to the foundation of a child’s learning. If a child isn’t given the best possible foundation for learning this can have an impact on their life-long learning that they may never fully recover from.

‘Hold hands and learn together.’

This is the best chance we have at success when teaching young children. Parents/guardians, teachers, and government agencies must hold hands together in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for children.

Early Childhood Education Redefined Manifesto

Involving parents

One of the biggest fundamental changes the book authors want to see is the involvement and education of parents.

Professor Pat Preedy and Rosie Hamilton McGinty undertook research into the importance of involving parents in a child’s play and learning and have gone on to create the A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course.

This course is designed for teachers and practitioners to give them the skills, knowledge, and resources to provide training for parents, so parents/guardians can understand their place in their child’s education and can contribute alongside teachers and childcare practitioners.

What’s involved in the A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course?

  • Explaining the positive message of parents working alongside teachers and childcare practitioners in an informal setting without lecturing parents
  • Understanding the demands of parenting in today’s society
  • Explaining the importance of respecting all cultures, religions, backgrounds, and choices which will influence the education of young children
  • Ensuring that parents lead by example and provide security and protection for their children
  • Explaining the concept of ‘tough love’
  • How to deepen attachments with your children by dedicating time to them
  • Explaining the ’10-minute rule’
  • How to engage with children through fun and play, and how to make them feel special

The course is endorsed by the awarding organisation, CACHE and is available online. Once a teacher or practitioner achieves the course, they will be able to hold parent workshops and train groups of parents using the resources provided.

Play, movement, and time

As the day came to a close, Sir Christopher Ball commented that what he had learned from the talks given by the book’s authors and the contributions from attendee teachers and educators was that it is overwhelming clear that what children need from us is play, movement, and time. These are the key ingredients to happy children who learn efficiently and effectively.

The authors of Early Childhood Education Redefined firmly believe that implementing these fundamental changes which are rooted in significant research carried out by experts across different fields of education will have a positive impact for all children and particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and children will additional needs.

You can read more about the manifesto and the research studies accompanying it in Early Childhood Redefined: Reflections and Recommendations on the Impact of Start Right available now.

Laser Learning Year in Review 2018

End of Year Review – 2018

New Lessons in 2018

The content team has been working hard to add new short courses and qualifications with lessons to the laser this year. In total, we added 15 new short courses and 17 new qualifications.

Highlights include:

  • The new CACHE STL suite, which has increased in size and the scope has changed to include learners providing support in colleges. It has also been updated to include radicalisation, mental health, and e-safety.
  • L1 Certificate in Well-being, which encourages learners to make healthy lifestyle choices and support others to do the same. Find out more by watching our webinar on areas of well-being.
  • L3 Award for Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Early Years Settings, which covers the role and responsibilities of the SENCo, strategies and techniques for supporting children and their families (including the local offer, EHC plans, and the graduated approach), principles, guidance and legislation underpinning practice for children with SEND in early years settings, and English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • L5 Diploma in Education and Training, which prepares trainee teachers to teach in a wide range of contexts. The qualification covers planning and developing schemes of work, delivering learning sessions, developing teaching and learning strategies, and assessment practices. Find out more by watching a webinar presented by Laser and NCFE.
  • Teaching Assistant bundle, a new bundle of short courses perfect for learning support practitioners who work with students of all ages to ensure individual needs are met. The bundle covers developing English and Maths skills, promoting positive behaviour, working in partnership on Assessment for Learning, and contributing to learning activities.

When writing lessons for qualifications, we add lessons for all mandatory units and make sure there are enough optional units to achieve the minimum credits, with a handful more for choice and variety.

Feel free to get in contact with us if you would like to chat about the new courses or want any added to your Laser.

Award Nominations and Endorsement

In 2018 Laser Short Courses were finalists in the NMT Nursery Awards and Teach Early Years Awards.

Laser Short Courses awards nominations

We are so proud of the reception our short courses continue to receive and we have many more to be written and produced in 2019.

This year we also secured endorsement from Skills for Care for our health and social care short courses and care certificate. We continue to work closely with NCFE CACHE to delivered endorsed learning resources for full UK qualifications as well endorsed learning programmes as part of our Laser Short Courses.

Laser Systems endorsements

Help Videos and Webinars

Our team have spent time this year creating further help videos and webinars for our YouTube channel in order to provide additional support for those who need guidance around using the Laser as well as guidance on IQA and assessment topics.

If you would like to suggest any further topics for help videos in the future please don’t hesitate to let us know.

International Clients

We’re delighted to say that the Laser continues to be the choice for e-portfolio and learning resources for clients around the world.

Vivette has been in high demand to support clients, new CACHE centres, and IQAs and assessors across the UAE and Asia, and was a guest speaker on the specialist educator panel at the CIIE launch and education retreat on the QE2 in Dubai back in October.

All of us continue to be inspired by each centre’s enthusiasm and passion when it comes to providing the best possible training for their staff from entry level to management.

What’s Happening in 2019?

In January, we will be attending the NMT Agenda (South) in Basingstoke to meet with nursery managers from across the UK.

We will also be guests to support Professor Pat Preedy, Kay Sanderson, and Sir Christopher Ball at the launch of their new book Early Childhood Education Redefined.

In February, Vivette will be back in Dubai to exhibit at the GESS exhibition alongside NCFE CACHE. If you would like to book some time with Vivette while she is in Dubai, please get in touch.

Vivette at CIIE Launch October 2018 on behalf of Laser Learning

Thank You

We have had another wonderful year with some notable achievements, and we would once again like to take this opportunity to thank you for being a part of our success.

Wishing you all a peaceful break if you are closing down for the Christmas period and a fantastic start to 2019.

Laser Learning exhibiting at The Care Show, Birmingham this week

Join us at The Care Show this week

We will be exhibiting at The Care Show at the NEC in Birmingham this week.

Join us on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th October at this unmissable event for care professionals. This year sees the introduction of a new CPD accredited world class conference as well as the largest collection of care equipment and services all designed to improve positive outcomes, make your job easier and boost your care business.

Register today for free 

You can find us on stand B46 where we’ll be giving short demos of Laser care short courses, essential CPD courses for care professionals, as well as the Laser care certificate learning resources.