National Apprenticeship Week 2019 Laser Learning Early Years Childcare

National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Childcare

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 Childcare?

Many of our staff at Laser Systems have a background in early years childcare. Therefore, as a team we are passionate about delivering the best possible training to those who want to begin a career in childcare, and an apprenticeship is a fantastic first step for anyone considering working with children.

Working with children is an incredibly rewarding career path, and it’s also a lot of hard work! As an early years practitioner, you are responsible for the daily care of babies and children, which also means you have a impact on each individual child’s development.

You might consider starting and apprenticeship in childcare if you enjoy looking after children, have experience taking care of young children, and want to learn about how to provide the best possible environment for children to grow, learn, and develop.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator), 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 care for babies and children while taking into consideration their individual needs. You will develop the skills to support each child’s health and well-being, gain a knowledge and understanding of legislation, frameworks and professional practice, and build the skills to promote play, development and learning for school readiness.

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 successfully complete a longitudinal study, and 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 good practice example video included with Laser Lessons resources and filmed specifically for this qualification:

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 with children aged 0 -5 in a variety of environments including nurseries, pre-schools, reception class, and children’s centres. You can also go on to specialise in specific areas of childcare such as training to support children with special educational needs, or to set up your own childcare service.

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 work with children in your desired environment.

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.

Music for All FREE Laser CPD Teaching Short Course

Music for All NEW Free Short Course

We’re delighted to introduce our new short course, Music for All.

This short course is a free addition for those with an account on Laser Short courses and is a teaching short course guiding you step-by-step to establish a ‘Music for all’ initiative in your school.

The course includes template documentation to put together a presentation that will introduce the approach to your governors and the senior leadership team, to introduce parents and children to the idea and to share with staff how it could be used to raise attainment and improve behaviour and well-being. The course will guide you through the process of finding staff and structuring and organising lessons.

You will be able to watch a short documentary filmed at Langley Hall which explains their ‘Music for all’ approach and the children’s resulting activities. We hope that this will inspire you to adopt a similar approach in your school.

Finally, the course will give you the opportunity to think through the questions and challenges you will face in adopting a ‘Music for all’ initiative at your school and being prepared for this by having counter arguments to hand and practical solutions to problems that will be presented as reasons why it might not work in your school, setting, or environment.

Find out more about Music for All or see a full list of available short courses.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

Safer Internet Day 2019

Tuesday 5th February 2019 is Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day 2019 will take place on Tuesday 5th February with the theme ‘Together for a better internet‘.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of schools and organisations join together to raise awareness of online safety issues and run events and activities right across the UK.

Educating children and young people about being safe on the internet, how to recognise threats, and where they can go to for additional support is an important task in today’s society. Ensuring the online world is a safe space is an integral part of ensuring the well-being of the young people in our care.

Laser Learning support Safer Internet Day 2019

You can equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to protect young people by completing our online CPD short course Keeping Children Safe on the Internet. Internet usage has increased enormously, but so have reports of the safeguarding issues linked to abuses of internet communication. This course will introduce you to some of the risks and dangers, and how to deal with them – including where to report online concerns and risks.

This short course is endorsed by the awarding organisation, CACHE.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day 2019 and get involved! www.saferinternetday.org.uk #SaferInternetDay2019

A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop Short Course by Laser Learning

What is A Winning Attitude for Parents?

Rosie Hamilton-McGinty and Professor Pat Preedy are passionate about the importance of parents or guardians working with practitioners and carers to support children. The first step towards this is often providing parents or guardians with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve this.

A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course is written by Professor Pat Preedy and Rosie Hamilton-McGinty and is designed to train practitioners and teachers to be able to deliver the A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop to the parents or guardians of the children they work with.

We asked Rosie and Pat to explain more about the course, A Winning Attitude, and why they believe this training is essential for ensuring the best outcomes for children.

How did you come up with the idea of A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop?

Rosie: My background is as an author on character and attitude development of people. I organise a range of training with presentations on ‘How to Bring out the Best in People’ for organisations. When Pat and I first met in 2011 at the school where Pat was Executive Principal, she told me how she used quotes from my A Winning Attitude book in her school assemblies.

Pat: Rosie went on to speak at the school’s speech day and to present A Winning Attitude books to the leavers. I had been doing a lot of work with parents and from that time we partnered and developed A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop, with a course tagline ‘How to bring out the Best in your Child’.

What makes you so passionate about the role of the parent(s) in a child’s development?

P: I completed my masters on effective ways of partnering with parents and went on to work with Dr Kay Sanderson on the Parents and Carers as Play Partners Project. There is considerable research available e.g. by Professor John Hattie, that when parents engage with their children by sharing, encouraging and talking about their learning there is an acceleration in academic and personal outcomes for children which can be the equivalent of two years of schooling.

R: Schools have a major role in helping parents to engage with their children. We designed A Winning Attitude course in order that teachers and early years practitioners develop the skills and have the resources to run effective workshops to support parents.

Why did you choose to make this course available online?

R: At the launch of A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop in March 2017 we ran two pilot courses at The Revel School and Pattison College which were extremely successful. The enthusiasm from teachers and practitioners for this new course led us to develop the course further to include an Introduction to the Parent Workshop.

P: Following on from this standpoint we decided to combine the two courses and with the assistance of Laser Learning the online version allowed us to reach schools throughout the UK and internationally. The online course was launched on 1st November 2018. We are delighted that providing the course online enables us to reach many more schools and settings.

Professor Pat Preedy and Rosie Hamilton-McGinty recording for A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop with Laser Learning
Professor Pat Preedy and Rosie Hamilton-McGinty recording for A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop with Laser Learning

Can you tell us a bit more about what you consider to be ‘a winning attitude’?

R: Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. One’s attitude, the attitude you adopt when interacting with others, sets an emotional platform for happier and successful relationships to develop. Your interactions and attitude can make a person feel significant valued and loved, which is everyone’s birth right.

What are your hopes for parents who attend a workshop?

P: That every parent leaves the workshop motivated to make positive changes in the way they interact with their children. Parents need to become strong role models if they wish for their children to become well rounded individuals in life.

R: Small changes can lead to a more fulfilling happier relationship.

Can you briefly outline what the course covers?

P: The A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course covers four sessions/modules:

Session 1: Meeting your Child’s Emotional Needs; Making Choices

Session 2: Code of Conduct, Behaviour and Manners

Session 3: Discipline, Children Need Limits, Structure and Consistency

Session 4: Fun, Engagement and Play; Building Strong Relationships

By completing the course, you will also then have access to the resources needed to deliver the Parent Workshop yourself.

What are you most proud of in the A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course?

R: We are both interested and passionate about our work in helping to make a difference by enabling schools to assist parents to realise and bring out the best in their child. We are proud to have written a course that can make a positive difference to children and parents.

P: We understand that teachers and practitioners have very demanding jobs. It is very rewarding to know that the resources we have written are appreciated and enable the parent workshops to happen with the minimum of pressure on staff. 

Any other comments you would like to make?

P: If we can attract funding for this course it will enable us to fund schools in underprivileged areas of the country to receive the course free of charge. We would really like all schools and settings to be able to implement A Winning Attitude for the benefit of their children and parents.

A Winning Attitude: Parent Workshop course is also a strong contributory factor when inspectors judge the quality and impact of the partnership with parents within the school or setting.

 

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.