Name: Jo Starkey.
Course Studied: Foundation Degree in Early Years.
Why did you choose Bucks New University to study this course?
I have worked as a Teaching Assistant for 9 years and love working with children. I started working in a school just as it fixed around my family life. However, I realised that this was the path for me and that children are my passion. People kept telling me to become a teacher but doubted that I could do it later on in life. As my children were growing up and I didn’t need to do the school run anymore I thought it was the right time for me to start studying and actually do what I enjoyed on a day to day basis. I was so lucky that Bucks New Uni offered this course and that it is very local to me.
What are your fondest memories/What was the best thing about studying this course?
All the other students’ experiences, knowledge and opinions were invaluably. It was part-time so I could still work to support my family.
Building good friendships knowing that others are in the same boat as me and were always at the end of the phone if I needed them. That goes for the tutors too, they were so knowledgeable, friendly, fun and always there to help you.
Where were your placements? What positive experiences/learning did you take away?
I had no placements as only part time and was already working in a primary school.
I always knew I was good at my job but because I had no actual qualification it was always hard for me to ‘back-up’ my reasons for doing something different. This course gave me the courage to say ‘no’ but to also confidently give reasons as to why.
What are your plans/the next steps after graduating?
My aim was to be an Early Years Teacher after 4 years, but I found it difficult to study, work full-time and juggle family life, so decided to stop Uni after the 3rd year and after obtaining my degree. I thought that I would not get to my goal in becoming a Teacher.
However, I secured a fantastic and exiting new role as a Teacher in the Reception Class, due to my Foundation Degree in Early Years! My new school recognises Early Years Foundation Degree as a valued profession and without this there was no way I could have secured this new post. They are as passionate about Early Years education as I am and I am so pleased that Early Years is finally getting the recognition it deserves, as we are, the foundation for every child’s learning.