“Before coming on to the HNC this year, I studied the National Certificate last year. It was a really good and interesting course which gave me a good basic knowledge of the principles of childcare.

“Prior to starting the National Certificate, I had been working in South Korea working as a sports coach. This meant spending half my day in the games hall, and the other half doing cultural experience – speaking to the children in their classrooms. I found I was enjoying the work I was doing in the classroom more than repeating the same drills over and over again on the football field.

“So, when my contract came to an end, I moved back to Glenrothes to explore my options for studying childcare. I’m getting on a bit now – I’m probably too old to be running around a football pitch! I applied to Fife College and was accepted.

“I’m finding the HNC very interesting. I’ve found a massive step on from the National Certificate and there is a lot of theory involved including frameworks, policies and procedures – which I don’t think you fully understand before you start your placements because they’re just words and phrases on a bit of paper. It doesn’t really click until you can see them in practice in the real world.

“There’s a symbiotic relationship between the theory parts of the HNC and the practical placements – without one, you really can’t appreciate the other. I’ve also been really lucky to work in such an accepting placement environment as Pitteuchar West Primary School and Nursery.

“What I enjoy most about the HNC is the hands-on work with the children on placement. Because I’m only on placement and seeing them two days a week, I can really see their development each week. One week a child can be really shy, but then I’ll come in six days later and they’ll have come out of their shell and started to run around and be more boisterous.

“You actually get to see them grow up to be unique little individuals, and that’s fascinating to watch.

“Once I’ve finished my HNC at the end of this year, I’m hoping to gain employment – either full-time or part-time – as an Early Years Officer (EYO) with Fife Council. This will allow me to build up more of a bank of experience working in different settings.

“My long-term ambition is to come back to the College and study HND: Additional Support Needs: Managing and Supporting the Services, then work more one-to-one with children with additional support needs.”

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