Skills for Work Early Education and Childcare – Daniel and Sophie

As the 2016/17 school-college pupils were finishing up their college course with us, we thought now would be a good time to catch up with them and find out what their ambitions for the future are.

The school-college programme is open to S4, S5 and S6 pupils across Ayrshire and offers a range of qualifications that enhance a pupils employability and progression pathways. A range of courses are on offer from Creative, STEM, Sport, Childcare and Hospitality.

Skills for Work Early Education and Childcare Level 5 is a school-college course that aims to give pupils an understanding of the demands and responsibilities of working in the sector.

Early Education and Childcare

Pupils interested in any careers involving children and young people would find many valuable and transferable skills from this programme. It is equally a great introduction for those hoping to progress to a full-time course in early education and childcare at college.

We spoke to Daniel Smith, S5, from St Matthews Academy and Sophie Lawson, S5, from Kilwinning Academy who told us all about the programme and their future ambitions.

 Why did you choose the Early Education and Childcare programme?

Daniel – I wanted to figure out what I might like to do when I leave school. A friend of my parents told me about this school-college course. They work in a Nursery and knew a lot about the courses in the early education at the College.

Sophie – A few of my friends took the course last year and really enjoyed it. I want to work with children when I finish school and thought this course would help me. I am quite interested in social work at the moment.

Did you have any experience in early education and childcare before the programme?

Daniel – I completed my S4 work experience in a local primary school, in P1 and P2 classes as well as the nursery. This inspired me to look into a career in early education.

Sophie – I helped out at the school nursery when I was at primary school and supervised some of the younger pupils during break time. I didn’t complete my S4 work experience in a school. The only recent experience I had was looking after my nieces and nephew. Which is what actually helped me decide what I wanted to do as a career.

Tell me about the programme. What have you been doing throughout the year?

Daniel – One of my favourite activities was making play dough out of cornflour and water, to help us learn about sensory activities. I also enjoyed the Book Bug session by the Scottish Book Trust, which gave us an insight into children’s literacy skills.

Sophie – We studied a variety of topics in the course including social, physical, emotional, cognitive and language skills, all aspects of a child’s development. We also learnt things like how to prepare a bottle for a baby and how to bathe a baby.

What have you enjoyed the most about the programme?

Daniel – It has just been a very fun course.

Sophie – The activities are fun and have helped me to know what to expect in a workplace.

What’s been the most challenging aspect?

Daniel – Some of the theory has been a bit more challenging.

Sophie – I haven’t really found anything challenging. Anything that feels more challenging is in a good way. The course has mostly just been fun.

Do you feel any different since starting the programme?

Daniel – I feel more confident, especially if I was to go into a nursery now. I feel more equipped to interact in that environment.

Sophie – I don’t feel a huge difference, I have learnt a lot though.

What are your future ambitions?

Daniel – I have chosen to stay on at school and complete my 6th year. I am not studying anything related to this course in 6th year but will be looking to go to college when I finish school. I haven’t decided what kind of career route I am going to choose yet.

Sophie – I was hoping to be able to complete the Foundation Apprenticeship course while at school but I will be in 6th year next year. I might go to college and complete some Advanced Highers (school-College programme) and then apply to University. I think I would like to work in a Nursery, this course will help me get there.

To find out more about our school-college programme:

For more information or someone to speak to regarding school-college programmes please contact


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