School and Early Years education
We currently run a number of nationally recognised childcare qualifications from introductory courses that help commence a career within a childcare establishment to advanced levels for leadership and management.
Early Years courses
- Working with Children
- Childcare Level 1 - beginners
- Childcare Level 2 Certificate - intermediate
- Childcare Level 3 Diploma - advanced
Teaching Assistant Courses
We offer Teaching assistant qualifications throughout Norfolk as taught sessions as well distance learning options.
- Higher Level Teaching Assistant
- Teaching Assistants (STL) Level 2 Certificate
- Teaching Assistant (STL) Level 3 Diploma
There is also a Level 3 distance course available. To find out more email the Admissions team or call 01603 306530.
Before enrolling, ensure you have read the course information sheets. These will tell you any prior experience you need and what you will need to bring on the day.
Sophie Cockburn, 39 was volunteering as a parent helper at Nightingale First School in Taverham before she qualified as a teaching assistant through Adult Education. “I really enjoyed helping out as a mum and thought this would be ideal as a job,” says Sophie.
She enrolled on the Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning course last year at Wensum Lodge and attended weekly classes from September through to March 2015. “There was a lot more to it than I realised,” she says. “We talked about things like policies and how schools are run.” Sophie explains how she benefited from learning in a group. “Being able to talk to everyone really helped – we were all new so it was great to have feedback and be able to bounce ideas off each other. If something’s difficult, it’s nice when you realise it’s not just you who finds it hard,” she says. “It also really helped talking about children’s behaviour and how to deal with difficult situations with everyone.”
After finishing the course, Sophie was successful in her very first interview and started as a teaching assistant at Drayton Infant School in May. “I got the job very quickly so the course has definitely paid off,” says Sophie. “I would definitely recommend doing it – just having that extra confidence and background knowledge is invaluable.”
Helena Laws, 44, from Winterton, is just finishing the final assignment of the Level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning qualification. She had been helping out at Winterton Primary and Nursery School and a teacher suggested she study towards getting qualified.
“I started at Level 2 and then went on to Level 3,” she says. “I’ve really enjoyed the courses. I hadn’t studied in a long time, but I found could still absorb information.” Helena was assessed through a combination of classroom observation and written assignments, and she received lots of support from her tutor. Her advice to anyone considering the same course is simple. “Go for it,” she says.
Owen Spooner, 23 was volunteering at Dereham Neatherd High School before he decided to do the Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning course through Adult Education. “I was mainly working with autistic children and I wanted to get a bit more understanding,” says Owen. “I looked for courses online and found the one at Wensum Lodge and thought it would be brilliant.”
Owen qualified in July 2015 after completing the six-month course, run by Norfolk County Council. “The course was really interesting and helped me a lot,” he says. “We looked at behaviours in depth which has made me a lot more confident in dealing with different situations.”
As part of the course, students are observed in the classroom by their mentors and are then given feedback. “My mentor was an expert in autism, so getting her feedback was really helpful,” says Owen. “She’d tell me what I was doing well and what I needed to work on.” He adds: “She also made the course really fun too.”
As soon as Owen qualified, Dereham Neatherd offered him a contract which he starts in September. “I’d definitely recommend the course – 100%. I keep telling people about it and how much it helps,” says Owen.