Ahead of the Kilmarnock graduation ceremony on Friday 27 October, we are revealing one of our prizewinners each day.
Today we reveal the Kilmarnock Outstanding Achievement award winner, Fiona Rochford – HNC Childhood Practice.
Once my child had started school, rather than go back to my previous job in HR, I volunteered at a local school with children with additional support needs.
I knew that if I wanted to apply for a role with children, I would need a recognised qualification, so the HNC Childhood Practice was perfect as it would allow me to apply for Early Years Practitioner roles within local authorities.
It was quite overwhelming starting the course at first as I hadn’t studied for a number of years. However, once I overcame that, I enjoyed learning the theory and building up my knowledge.
I have a greater understanding of the qualities and skills needed to be an Early Years Practitioner. I understand the importance of children’s wellbeing and of being able to observe, plan and assess children’s learning to allow them to successfully develop.
Personally, my confidence has increased through meeting new people, being in placement, and undertaking assignments. I am enthusiastic about the future and looking forward to applying my knowledge and skills in the workplace.
Taking part in a work experience placement at a local nursery, really enriched my experience, as it gave me the opportunity to apply all the knowledge I had gained in college.
I enjoyed interacting with the children, observing them, planning activities for them to enhance their development and learning. I also learnt so much from observing and interacting with the other practitioners. They made me feel part of the team and were helpful in sharing knowledge and experience.
I was shocked to find I had won the award as I genuinely don’t think I worked any harder than others on the course. However, it was a challenging year for me going back to college as a mature student which was a daunting prospect.
I also sacrificed important family time for the duration of the course to ensure that I always met assignment deadlines. It was bittersweet to receive the letter informing me of the award as my mum had died earlier that morning before I received the letter and I wasn’t able to share the news with her but I know she would have been delighted for me.
Once I have gained experience working on supply I would like to apply for a permanent role as an Early Years Practitioner. I am also a big believer in life-long learning so after a few years I would like to complete the degree in Childhood Practice.
I would absolutely recommend the College! I know I would never have been able to complete the course if it wasn’t for the commitment of the Early Years lecturers.