T Level Education & Early Years students from Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) recently ventured beyond the classroom to Kingwood Children at Muddifords Court, Devon.
The day was designed to provide these keen future educators with real-world insights into how to support young learners in a distinctly outdoor-oriented, nature-focused, and nurturing environment.
The day began with students working alongside the outstanding educators at this unique nursery setting. They each had the chance to interact with different age groups, ranging from 0-2 year olds to 3-4 year olds.
One student, Sophie, spent her morning with the youngest children, and observed the importance of a calm, dimly lit, and homely environment in helping young children feel safe, secure, and happy in their nursery setting.
Other students enjoyed a fun and informative morning working with the 1-2 year olds. They played hide and seek, explored a mud kitchen, and even assisted in getting the children to sleep for their naps. The students were delighted to discover how interesting and fun this age range was and how tactile and engaging these young children are.
Another student, Emily, spent time with 3-4 year olds, and highlighted their independence, engagement, and curiosity when in a natural outdoor setting. Simple elements, like rainwater gathered in a tub, fuelled their play and learning.
In the afternoon, all of the T Level Education & Early Years students joined course leader Kay Davey to learn valuable outdoor skills that they can apply in their future careers working with children.
Activities included building perseverance to make ‘fairy’ fires, whittling, cooking pancakes and twisty bread on open fires, learning about safety and boundaries in outdoor play, and participating in various activities and crafts that support children’s learning through nature.
The day culminated with reflections around the campfire and toasted marshmallows – a fitting end to a day of growth and learning.
This experience allowed the students to step out of their comfort zones, explore the diverse opportunities available when working with children, and bond as a team.
BTC extends its heartfelt gratitude to Kingwood Children for providing this unique opportunity, equipping students with skills for a bright future in the industry.
Kay Davey, Course Leader, said,
The relaxing and playful environment has left a lasting impression, and I’m especially proud of all of my students for their enthusiasm in tackling this new setting, and rising to new challenges outside of their typical day-to-day experiences – a testament to the strength of what our T Level provision offers young learners. A huge thank you to Kingwood Children for their support.
I was ecstatic to see how much our students gained from the experience, and to hear their positive accounts of the day; they’ll be able to embed these practices into their skill-set as they continue to develop into outstanding educators of the future!
If you know of a local nursery setting, childminder, or preschool interested in a Stay and Play session at BTC, please contact Kay Davey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about our Education and Early Years course offerings and facilities, visit www.btc.ac.uk, call Information & Guidance at 01278 441234, or come to one of our events.