Joe Brooker sat in a classroom

Joe Brooker - BA(Hons) Early Childhood

Joe had always felt drawn towards working with children, and when he came to look round UWE Bristol, he felt encouraged it was the right career to pursue.

“I have never been hugely academic, so I couldn’t see myself teaching at a secondary level. But I was very drawn to the idea of supporting young children and working with them to be the best they can be.

"I felt that the Early Childhood degree would be a good general qualification to get to secure work in the primary sector, and that studying it would open me up to lots of different roles, such as working as a teaching assistant or a nursery practitioner.

"I chose to study at UWE Bristol because I love the city.

"I’d also heard good things about the Education courses – and when I came to the Open Day, it was a really nice experience. The tutors I spoke to were very encouraging.

"My experience on the course was overwhelmingly positive. I valued the constructive feedback we were given on our assignments, and the high quality pastoral care. I also liked the variety of teaching styles, with some tutors going into a lot of detail on their subject, and others making the sessions more interactive and discursive.

"I did a placement at a Montessori nursery in my first year and another in a mainstream setting in my third. They were a great chance to see how the theory related to practice, and I was fortunate to secure part-time work at the Montessori nursery in year two, which gave me even more hands-on experience.

"After getting a job helping to run residential summer programmes for children, I began working as a learning support assistant in Bristol at a school for children with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours.

"It’s very different from mainstream education and I have a lot of freedom to work with the children in my own way, and encourage them to take agency over their own learning. That idea was something that was emphasised a lot on the course, so it’s great to bring that value base into what I’m doing now."

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