T Level Route Specific CPD courses, suitable for middle managers and frontline teachers, focus on delivery and assessment methods, planning considerations and route-wide teaching approaches. In this blog, Lauren Patton, College Lecturer at New College Durham, speaks to Claire Trainer, one of the ETF’s CPD Trainers, about her experience of delivering training on the Education and Childcare Route courses.
What are the benefits of the Education and Childcare Route Specific courses?
They are great to give you a good idea of what T Levels in Education and Childcare look like and to look at T Levels from the teachers’ point of view. It is an opportunity to share experiences, reflections, and what we have learned throughout this year – what we have done well and what has not worked so well. We reflect on this with the participants which has been really beneficial.
Another benefit is that you are able to network with colleges up and down the country. Having the opportunity to work with colleagues nationally is great as this is not something that is always possible. It enables us to share ideas with each other, see what each other is doing, and have discussions to support each other’s journeys. You can discuss what’s going well, what isn’t going so well, what plans are in place now, and it gets you thinking a little bit more about what you might plan next for your T Level. The sessions are collaborative spaces to share ideas.
How did participants find the course?
We’ve had some really good feedback throughout all of the courses we’ve delivered and we’ve received some wonderful emails. People have said that the sessions work well and the content is brilliant. Some participants have said they enjoyed the sessions so much they are going to tell their colleagues about them and get them to come along.
Participants enjoyed the discussions in breakout rooms and said these are really beneficial because they get the opportunity to share with others and network. We get asked questions about our planning and assessment plans and the resources we have, so we look at those and share them with other colleagues.
As a trainer, these courses were a confidence boost because delivering training is very different from teaching, so to get those wonderful emails coming through as we did was absolutely brilliant. We have had some good praise from our Vice Principal as to how the training is supporting others too.
What is the highlight of the course for you?
From my personal experience, the highlights are my growing confidence in delivering T Level training and being able to reflect on our own practice to see if there is anything we might change to our delivery. Also, talking to other colleagues, sharing ideas, and thinking about trying new things ourselves for September.
More highlights are the detailed training specific to the Education and Childcare T Level and the opportunity to become part of a network of practitioners nationally. We look at how to manage T Levels in terms of curriculum planning and timetabling. These courses really support you as a college in being able to plan for your T Level by exploring the occupational and subject specialist requirements. They will help you to think about what to focus on, what your upskilling needs are in preparation for delivery, and give you the opportunity to work collaboratively, have discussions and share planning ideas and resources. It is a great opportunity to hear from a Wave 1 T Level provider in Education and Childcare.
Why would you recommend a Route Specific course to other providers?
It will help you to be able to support your team that you’re working with and it will help with their knowledge and understanding of T Levels. It gives you the chance to unpick and explore T Levels a little bit more, think about reflective practice and different training courses that we do, and put this into practice. We talk about the Professional Standards and explore those elements throughout the whole training course. It will boost your own CPD, improve your own practice and enable you to develop yourself. It will help you to communicate with your team to make sure they have the knowledge and understanding of what a T Level is and what it involves.
Get some meetings booked in to really start thinking about the plans you have in place. Look at your team’s expertise and think about what they would be best suited to deliver on the T Levels. Planning ahead will help you to work with your assessor when planning industry placements and assessment for the Education and Childcare T Level. It will get you to think about getting employers on board and ensure that you have a three-way agreement from early on in the planning stage.
Do you have any top tips for other providers preparing for T level delivery?
I would advise that they look at assessment methods and how assessment is different on a T Level. Looking at how to track your learners’ progress, and developing their knowledge and understanding, will help them to be successful when doing their T Level.
It would be good to look at sequencing and think about how you are going to teach all the different elements. It is important to think about how you would sequence your core knowledge across the year. We are already planning changes for September; we are going to have a little wiggle around and reflect on what would work best for our learners. This will help to align to the OFSTED requirements too when thinking about impact and implementation.
Initial assessments are key, as well as knowing what your learners’ starting points on the course are, to help you to plan their target grades and focus learners on how much progress they have made throughout the T Level.
Find out more about the Education and Childcare route specific courses here.