Teachers who want to become outstanding specialists working with the youngest children can now undertake professional training at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.

In September last year, 13 trainees were the first to begin the new PGCE Early Years with EYTS (Early Years Teacher Status) programme at BGU – and the university will recruit another cohort this autumn. The course has been tailored to suit both those working in early years settings who can be released for study and those who are studying full time.

It enables trainees to gain the recommendation for Early Years Teacher Status which is equivalent to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) through 120 days teaching young children from nought to five and 10 days looking at the progression children make into Key Stage 1.

“The new Early Years Teacher Status introduced by the Government is an important development because there is clear evidence that high-quality early education and childcare can have a powerful impact on young children and can fully prepare them for school and later life,” said Amy Stancer, Academic Co-ordinator for the Early Years Programme at BGU.

“The new programme is a good fit with our other courses which include QTS (working with ages three to 19 years) and teaching in the lifelong learning sector. Early Years Teacher Status broadens the scope of our training so that we’re now teaching people to teach all age ranges, from babies to pensioners.”

Places are still available on the EYTS programme for this September – and two students currently on the course can thoroughly recommend it.

Ryan Gilbert (30) from Halifax graduated with a degree in primary education from Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett University) and was working as a supply teacher in West Yorkshire when he decided to enrol on the EYTS programme at BGU.

“During my time with the supply agency and in settings when I was studying for my degree I found a fondness for early years more than Key Stages 1 and 2,” said Ryan.

“Add to that the comments I had from schools about how positive it is to have a male teaching in early years, and I firmly decided that I wanted to become qualified to teach within the age range. When I wanted to progress more into early years Bishop Grosseteste University was the only university which responded promptly and guided me through its application process. I have enjoyed the course immensely, from the dedicated team of lecturers at BGU to outside professionals who have come to speak to us and the passionate members of my course who really do want the very best for young children. Being surrounded by all these makes me want to continually improve my own skills, passion and knowledge relating to early years.”

Ryan continued: “I have learned far more than I realised I would, and I’m still only halfway through the course! I am truly shocked at just how little I knew about early years and how the course content from my degree did not even begin to scratch the surface of what I now know.”

Jenna Farrow (22) from near Sleaford volunteered at a nursery between lectures and coursework while studying for a degree in Visual Communication at Birmingham City University as she had always taken a keen interest in how young children learn.

“After I’d worked there for a year the manager signposted me towards a new postgraduate opportunity that specialised in the early years,” said Jenna. The course so far has been an enormous learning curve, enabling me to build on all areas of my professional development. The opportunity to work with all ages from birth to seven in a range of placements has given me a clear insight into how the process of the early years practice supports foundations in school.

“I would highly recommend this course to others interested in working with young children as it has broadened my knowledge and understanding of the wider social context around early years practice and how early learning must be understood and fostered as a vital component to support our next generations.”

To find out more about the PGCE Early Years with EYTS programme at BGU contact Amy Stancer on 01522 527347 or email enquiries@bishopg.ac.uk.

9th February 2015