Gurjinder Bhopal is on the Graduate Entry Route of the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programme with SCITTELS in Stratford, East London.
I have a real passion for early years and want to work with very young children in my career. I started the EYITT course last September and since then have become more and more confident in developing my passion for high quality in the early years. The training involves 120 days’ placement time in at least two early years settings, which is a fantastic learning opportunity.
I am on my second placement now at Al-Falah, the Sunflower Nursery in the London Borough of Redbridge. I feel it is going really well and I have had brilliant feedback from the room leader and manager. I have taken on extra responsibilities and had new opportunities. For example, I have introduced new ideas to the setting such as a communicating book between the parents and practitioners so parents know and understand how to do simple activities at home to support their child reach their targets.
I have also delivered a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) training session to all staff, including two managers. At the training I shared all the resources I have bought and made with the staff. I explained what the SEND Code of Practice is and staff responsibilities. I talked about inclusion, EAL and the role of the SENCO is in the setting. I had noticed that the Nursery needed more visual aids for special needs children so I showed the staff how they can make their own by thinking about the child’s interests and developing resources that way.
Another opportunity I have had is settling-in new children to the setting and also communicating with parents and have been involved in carrying out a two year old check.
All of this has helped me to communicate clearly with parents what the check is about and what to expect. I have also signposted parents to services they may need to refer to. The 2 year old check has shown me how important it is to really know the child you are working with and understand the effect the parent might have if this is new to them.
Next, I will be organising a coffee morning for parents and will be signposting parents to services that will be useful to them. I will also be supporting the staff in refurbishing the foyer of the nursery where the parents will have access to new and useful information. My ideas and thoughts are always taken on board. The manager has offered me a job at this setting but I want to commit to my full-time study and then think about jobs after my training has finished.
At the Unity Schools Partnership, the pandemic hiatus has provided an opportunity to re-evaluate and focus on what really matters in education. Yvonne Gandy looks at the trust’s principles of recovery.
Leading a primary school through the lockdown has had its fair share of challenges for executive principal Sophie Murfin. She speaks to Yvonne Gandy about how this period has triggered changes that will continue when normal service eventually resumes.