At the recent UWS graduation ceremonies held at Paisley Abbey, we were proud to celebrate the first cohort of UWS Graduate Apprenticeship BA Early Learning and Childcare students, as 27 new graduates received their awards.
UWS was one of only two institutions in Scotland to be successful in their bid to develop the pilot programme.
Programme leader Joyce Leslie said: “The group have completed their degree in really challenging times- during the national expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland, and providing high quality services for children and families during COVID. Some of our GAs volunteered to work in Early Years Hubs during the early stages of the pandemic to ensure services were provided for vulnerable children and families of key workers.”
Graduating student Ashleigh Kerr (pictured below) said: “I have always wanted to go to university and when I was given the chance to apply, I was so appreciative for the opportunity. I am extremely grateful to the university staff for all the support I received, especially given most of my course was during Covid-19 lockdowns when we had to adapt to distance learning. I believe the knowledge I have gained throughout this course will enable me to improve my practice in Early Years. I recognise now that I will forever be learning in this sector, using reflective practice, and adapting to new and exciting changes over the years. Thank you to all my lecturers for a wonderful experience.”
Fellow graduate Katie Murdoch (below) said: “I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at UWS for making this possible! It has been an amazing experience!
“I never thought it would be possible to get my degree, I was always middle of the road when it came to school and academics. This course has made it possible and with the help of all the amazing staff at UWS we got through it. Through Covid-19 and online learning all the staff and also the other students made the impossible seem possible. Not only have I gained my degree, but I have gained the confidence and knowledge needed to thrive in my practice. I have gained lifelong friends and experiences which I will cherish throughout my career. So, thank you UWS for giving me this opportunity - I will forever be grateful!”
Another member of the first cohort, Caitlin Milligan (pictured below), said: “I have had a lovely positive experience studying at UWS. I value the opportunities that were given to me and the skills that I have learned. The skills and knowledge I have gained I will be able to use and build upon for the foreseeable future. It has enhanced my professional development and has provided me with more opportunities for progression in my career. From this course I have developed a level of initiative and drive that has inspired my own practice and others around me. I would like to take the time to thank all of the lecturers that has supported me on this challenge.”
You can find out more about the Early Learning and Childcare Graduate Apprenticeship at UWS here: https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/undergraduate-course-search/early-learning-and-childcare-graduate-apprenticeship/