Celebrating Apprentices – Shannon Dunn

We are delighted to share our latest blog, a brilliant piece on the achievements of Childcare Apprentice, Shannon Dunn.

In 2013 Shannon started a Level 1 programme at Total People Burton on Trent site.  Shannon lacked confidence and was very quiet, shy and reserved.  Although Shannon’s academic ability was good it was identified that the foundation level would support Shannon’s personal learning journey. While on the level 1 childcare programme Shannon was able to develop her skills in working with others, but also her understanding of early years.  Shannon grew in confidence throughout this programme and started to see the benefits of developing her confidence.  Shannon went to a local nursery when she felt the time was right for her and this gave her even more self esteem and independence.  Shannon said that “I was happy I got the opportunity to see what would be expected of me in a nursery environment”.

Shannon came to the end of the level 1 programme successfully gaining the Diploma in Caring for children and Functional Skills English and Maths at level 2.

Shannon had developed enough confidence to go for interviews and was able to successfully secure herself an Apprenticeship position at a local school’s nursery.  During her time at the nursery she was given more and more responsibility and was able to develop her relationships with the teacher and teaching assistant.  Shannon was able to develop her knowledge and skills in early years but also continue to develop herself personally.  “The teacher having confidence in me made me feel like part of the team which helped me build up my confidence”  Shannon was able to get involved in a range of different opportunities at the nursery which helped to prepare her for moving on to her level 3 qualification.  As Shannon completed her Certificate in Children’s and Young People’s Workforce she also completed her English GCSE, which she was successful in gaining a C grade.  All of Shannon’s hard work was paying off.  Shannon left the nursery with a glowing reference and a new found confidence.  She was becoming a skilled practitioner ready to take the next step.

Shannon started to look for an apprenticeship at level 3 and was successful in gaining employment in a private day nursery, where Shannon still works.  Shannon started her journey as the Early Years Educator and as Shannon was showing excellent commitment and enthusiasm she was able to work at a pace that suited her.  Shannon developed a good relationship with her assessor, “My assessor helped me through the whole qualification by supporting me when I needed it and gave me confidence to push myself further” This enabled Shannon to progress quickly through the EYE and has helped her to achieve the qualification well before the allocated end date.  Shannon has embraced nursery life and developed good working relationships with the staff at the nursery.  Shannon feels that the EYE has given her lots to support her skills, knowledge and practice “The EYE has helped me to be confident in my observations and be able to make links to the EYFS, and be able to identify the children’s skills and interests.  I have been able to learn about different theorists and see how these can make an impact on children’s learning opportunities.”

 “By going through this process from the start of level 1 through to my completion of level 3, Total People have been supportive and helped me to see myself as a good practitioner, with lots to offer.  I would truly recommend the apprenticeship route it gives you real working experience alongside developing your knowledge and with a supportive trainer and assessor it really did make the difference to me.”