Ayrshire College encourages the promotion, training and recruitment of men into Health, Social Care and Early Years and inspires more men to consider a Career in Care.
We spoke to students who are training to work in Early Education.
Scott Thomson, from Irvine and Calum Black, from Kilwinning, are studying NC Higher (L6) Early Education and Childcare.
Scott said “For me, my interest in wanting to work in Early Education started in my last year at secondary school. I did a volunteering course in 6th year, where, for a couple of days a week I would go to Lawthorn Primary school during lunch break, helping out the teachers with the primary one classes. I got the opportunity to assist the teachers in lots of ways.
It wasn’t just something I felt comfortable doing, I also really enjoyed it. The teacher even said to me that I was a natural!
I worked for a couple of years when I left school. I’m 20 years old now, and I feel like it’s the perfect time to start the career I really want.
The course is great so far. We cover so much. At the moment, we’re learning the best ways for children to get the most positive learning experience. There’s a lot of theory, games development, and activities to take part in, that kind of thing.
It’s all about what we can put in place in order for the children to be constantly learning.
The course is a progression for me, so this is only the start. I’d like to go on to university, and my goal is to become a Primary School Teacher.
I would say give it a go. I felt a little bit daunted when I was in secondary school. I thought to myself, I’m going to be the only guy wanting to do this. Even starting the college course, I was worried because I thought I’d be the only guy. But, I needn’t have. Everyone in the course is great, everyone is treated the same.
It’s not a matter of because you are male, you shouldn’t work in early years, it’s about the opportunities available to all, and there are so many opportunities!”
Calum said: “Last September, I lost my wife and having 6 children, I suddenly found myself in the position of dealing with the family on my own. As I was more involved taking them to nursery and school, the nursery was really helpful, always considering our situation.
They made sure that my children’s well-being was a priority, and so I started to become more involved with the nursery and got to see how important it was for our family. I really enjoyed being involved, which helped me make the decision to look into early education as a career.
Before moving to Kilwinning last year, I had worked for a windmill company in Campbelltown, building windmills. We moved so that our kids could have better access to a good education, being closer to colleges and universities, in order to give our children more opportunities. I’ve decided to stay in Kilwinning and the course is giving me a focus.
Education now is all about giving the child the best opportunities possible. It’s all about nurturing the child. From a personal point of view, I’ve seen it, the early interventions that helped me and my family for example.
I got a lot of support and I wouldn’t be in the strong position I’m in now if it wasn’t for this support. That’s when I really bought into wanting a career in early education, for me to give something back is important.
I’ve not been in education since 1994, so learning core skills has been a challenge. When I was in school we didn’t even have Microsoft Windows! But, the amount of support I’ve had at the College is tremendous. It’s like a totally different way of learning from what I’ve been used to. The lecturers are really involved with your learning journey.
I’d like to work in a nursery eventually, so it’s a case of doing all the necessary courses in order for me to get there.”