I was always interested in working with nursery aged children. I thought that the apprenticeship sounded like a good way to start my career as a 16 year old just leaving school.
I honestly had not considered working in an outdoor nursery when I was in school and thinking about my career but when I found the opportunity it seemed too good to miss! My most fond memories of my childhood are of playing outside so the idea of creating similar memories for children was great. You can really see how the children develop when they are outside. They become more independent, confident, resilient, happy and content. They get to experience things they may never get to anywhere else such as lighting fires, climbing trees and using tools along with other real life skills.
After being in school for so many years, I guess the biggest challenge was getting used to a different way of working. You have the responsibility of getting your SVQ done whilst working and you have the responsibility of looking after and supporting the learning of individual little people. But it was great and who doesn’t love a challenge!
I feel like the apprenticeship is more relevant than college only study as you get hands on experience of the job you are researching. You find out that everyday is different and to expect the unexpected! I think that having the experience over the 2 years of my apprenticeship has really helped me. I have learnt first hand what it is like to work with 2-5 year olds, and also learn from the experienced staff I have worked with. You can get feedback on how you are working directly from your team.
The best thing is getting to see the children’s muddy, smiling faces! You get to see the positive difference you are making to their lives. You become someone that the children are excited to come and tell their stories to, give them a cuddle when they get upset and someone to laugh at their jokes and new tricks.
The advice I would give to someone considering applying for an apprenticeship would be to go for it! It is the best decision I’ve made so far.
I have always loved being around younger children since i was little and i used to take 2-5 year olds and teach them how to roller skate. I knew i didnt want to go to collage after school so Stramash SVQ i felt was more fitted for me.
Outdoor Nursery reinstates all the natural play children are now starting to miss out on such as climbing trees, playing in mud and general freedom of choice and play space. It gives the children independence to access their own risks instead of someone for them and them realising their own limits.
I found the writing side of the SVQ challenging sometimes but was made a lot easier the more you got into it and writing about your own experiences helped.
I found the apprenticeship more relevant because you are learning on the job instead of role playing scenarios its actually happening every day.
The best things about my apprenticeship: Being able to see how Stramash grows and being apart of it. Having others that were in the same stage in the SVQ that you could chat with to help you. Being outside and seeing what the different weathers can bring to children’s learning.
The weather is not an issue if you wear the right gear and have the right attitude and the children make it so much fun!