Published on March 8, 2022

Ever wondered what it’s like to study on one of NHC’s Childcare courses? This week, we’re taking you behind the scenes and into one of our Level 2 Children’s Play, Learning and Development classes to take a look at what our students have been learning!  

Students on this course have already taken part in some industry placements, where they’ve been able to help out with practical tasks in childcare settings and see for themselves how children learn and develop. As a result, Level 2 Children’s Play, Learning and Development students have been learning more about the theory behind cognitive development in babies and young children, helping support their understanding ready for their next placements. 

To start with, the students worked together to build a glossary of key terms related to cognitive development. These included terms such as processing, perception, and reasoning – all of which are essential to being able to identify how a child’s thinking skills are developing.

With this theoretical knowledge under their belts, our students then took part in a range of games, activities, and puzzles where they were able to identify these key concepts within themselves and their peers. This also proved a perfect opportunity for reflection, with students sharing their own experiences of what they had observed whilst on placement. Using their previous experiences, their strengthened theoretical knowledge, and their observations of their classmates, our learners rounded off the session by designing their own activity ideas to deliver to children when they are back in their placements. 

Vickie Sharp, the Course Team Leader for the Level 2 Technical Diploma in Children’s Play, Learning and Development, emphasised the importance of students drawing connections between what they’ve learnt in class and their placement experiences. She said: “Taking part in practical activities gives learners a tangible opportunity to underpin their knowledge.” 

This is something that the students have also noticed to be beneficial. Runa Nancarrow, one of NHC’s Level 2 Technical Diploma students, said: “The puzzle activity I completed in class taught me in a practical way that children use trial and error, processing, understanding, and problem-solving skills to do jigsaws, all of which are cognitive processes. When I am in placement, I can now plan to give these types of puzzles to children when I notice they need some help with thinking skills.” 

Runa’s not alone in thinking forward to her placement, either! Abbie Edmonds, another student on the course, commented: “This practical lesson helped me to experience and think about the skills I used to complete the puzzle I chose, and now I understand the process for children much better. I can use this in placement to make sure I am really thinking about cognitive development when I plan activities.” 

If you have enjoyed this peek behind the scenes and you’re interested in a career in childcare, then why not check out NHC’s available Childcare courses? Find who you want to be!