A group of pupils from Kirkwall Grammar School have been given an insight into early childhood development to help them gain knowledge and skills that will support them in their future career.
Staff from the OIC’s Early Years team have been visiting the school to deliver the Solihull Approach for Young People - Understanding Yourself and Parenting. The course gives an insight into early child development and looks at how babies and teenagers’ brains develop, how relationships are built between child and adult and the importance of play as a tool for learning.
The course was delivered to 12 pupils earlier this term. All the pupils have expressed an interest in a career working with babies or young children, including becoming an Early Years Practitioner, Teacher or Midwife.
Delivery of the course was arranged by Leah Rendall, DYW School Co-ordinator and Catherine Diamond, Service Manager Early Learning and Childcare. It was delivered by Lorna Barry and Leonie Scott, both Lead Early Years Practitioners (Community Based).
The course was offered to pupils as an alternative to a work placement, as Leah explains, “I have been working with pupils to identify a suitable work placement. Due to the number interested in going to an early years setting, I knew that it wouldn’t be possible to get a placement for everyone. I still wanted to give them an insight into this career, so spoke with Catherine Diamond about how we could do this. Catherine suggested delivering the Solihull Approach for Young People.
“The course has been a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to develop their knowledge and will be beneficial when they move on from school, whether it is directly into work, onto a Modern Apprenticeship or applying for a college or university course.”
Catherine Diamond, said, “We were delighted to work with DYW Orkney to offer this opportunity to young people. The Solihull Approach is delivered to practitioners across the children’s workforce, so this course – which is specifically aimed at teenagers – will be beneficial for anyone who is considering a career in a nursery or early primary school setting.
“As employers, delivering this course in school is also a good way for us to engage with our future workforce. We are helping them to develop knowledge that will be beneficial if they come to work with us or when they undertake further training or qualifications after school.”
Lorna Barry, who delivered the training alongside Leonie Scott said: “We have really enjoyed delivering this course to the pupils. They have all worked together well with everyone contributing and taking part in group discussions.
Leonie added, “We hope it has given pupils an understanding of the importance of early childhood development and the crucial role that parents, carers and those who work with children have in this development.”
One of the pupils who took part in the course said: “It’s been a very insightful course into what parenthood/childcare is really like! It’s definitely been an eye opener.”
All pupils who attended the course have gained a certificate in Understanding Yourself and Parenting and can speak about what they have learnt in an application or at a job or college interview.
We hope to offer this course in the future, so interested pupils should speak to their Guidance Teacher, Careers Adviser or DYW School Co-ordinator for more details.