Saskia Appiah-Kubi is a Health and Social Care and Sociology teacher at La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School. As part of the preparations for delivering the Education and Childcare T Level from September 2020, Saskia completed an Industry Insight placement at St Bedes Infant and Nursery School. The placements are part of the T Level Professional Development support offer to provide opportunities for professional updating for teachers that is industry relevant and that facilitates knowledge transfer and professional exchange.
What were your key objectives for going on a staff placement in industry?
I wanted to gain knowledge and understanding of the day-to-day running of a nursery and experience the environment that our learners will experience. I also wanted to develop a better understanding of how to support the learners within the classroom, providing a clear line of sight to work.
Furthermore, the Industry Insight placement offered a unique opportunity to obtain practical experience, alongside teaching in the classroom, and equipped me with the relevant skills and knowledge to guide my teaching and enable our learners to have a first-hand experience of the world of work.
Tell us about your experience and the highlights from the placement
The layout of the nursery, including prayer and writing corners, was very good in cooperating the Catholic ethos in each child’s every day activities and routine. The children have a very well-structured environment and followed a set routine. I also observed how teachers were able to use Makaton and other strategies to effectively work with children with autism and other social and behavioural challenges.
A highlight was understanding the curriculum and how activities are implemented to meet the early years learning goals. It was amazing to see how learning through play is demonstrated effectively in a nursery setting.
What did you value the most about engaging with St Bedes Infant and Nursery School?
Sharing of experiences and resources, including policy and procedures around safeguarding children. I also valued the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of what our learners will be engaged with, on their placement in an early years setting.
What has been the impact on you, your colleagues and organisation?
We were able to share policy and procedures with colleagues, the placement coordinator and the Head of Sixth Form. Senior Leaders are now confident from this experience that our learners will be safeguarded on their placements. We are now more confident that we are equipped to deliver T Levels, due to the first-hand experience gained through this placement, along with other relevant T Level professional development support.
How will this positively impact on future T Level learners?
Being on placement in a nursery has given me ideas and strategies that will help us as an organisation to put in place a childcare room for learners, to experiment and research. We also gained knowledge of how to deliver the T Levels effectively.