'Unlocking doors' with CACHE – Yvonne’s journey
Yvonne had always had an enthusiasm for children’s education, often helping out at schools when her own children were young, but work commitments meant she had never found herself in a position to consider a new career.
However, years later, when Yvonne’s children left for university, she realised she was ready to pursue her goal of working in schools, and started looking for an online course.
After coming across the TA College, Yvonne quickly got in touch, and decided that studying the CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools with them would provide her with the right level of flexibility needed to continue working alongside her studies.
Once she started the qualification, Yvonne was surprised to find herself enjoying her teaching and assignments early on, and while she continued to work and volunteer at a local infant school during the days, was determined to do well – often getting carried away reading and working on assignments late into the night.
The practical, hands on experience that Yvonne was getting at the school was also proving extremely valuable to her studies, and she quickly passed the certificate. However, she soon realised she wanted to experience new and different educational environments, and after working at various schools as supply staff, undertook a longer term placement working with a KS1 pupil on the autism spectrum.
Encouraged by her “absolutely brilliant” experience with the Certificate, Yvonne began her Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools, and continued to study online on nights, weekends and holidays. While she admitted struggling at times, she says that the simple learning resources and continual support and feedback from college staff proved invaluable:
“The support network at the college was amazing – although doing an online course is not like being in a classroom, help was only ever a quick phone call or an email away. I can’t thank the team at the TA College enough.”
Yvonne increasingly found ways to apply her learning to her everyday practice, and further developed her abilities in supporting children with special education needs (SEN) through individual SEN focused units.
Now that Yvonne has completed her Diploma, she continues to work with a supply agency, and feels as though her qualifications have given her the knowledge to go into any school and feel confident about her ability to provide high-quality support to pupils.
She now hopes to use her knowledge to train others, and gain a permanent role where she can have a real impact on the next generation of support staff in schools.
As someone who previously who lacked confidence in her own abilities, having left school with no qualifications, Yvonne thinks she would now recommend anyone considering a Certificate or Diploma to “go for it”, saying:
“These qualifications are the key to unlocking so many doors, and I know personally if I had not decided to gain my CACHE qualifications, my career would be very different.”
“Studying for the Certificate and the Diploma has been the most amazing experience of my life, and I’m now confident that I have the knowledge to do a good job and make a difference”.