How CACHE Alumni helped me: Educator
Jennifer Coke is Curriculum Leader for Early Years, Humanities and Teacher Education at Bolton College. Jennifer’s early years cohort use CACHE Alumni to support them with their learning and development, to prepare them for their placements and entering the workplace.
We spoke to Jennifer about how CACHE Alumni supports her and her learners.
Can you tell us about your organisation and your current role?
My current role is Curriculum Leader for Early Years, Humanities and Teacher Education at Bolton College. The early years department deliver CACHE qualifications for Childcare and Education ranging from Level 1 to Level 3.
From September 2020 we will begin the delivery of the Level 4 Certificate for the Early Years Advanced Practitioner which I’m very much looking forward to. We’ve spent the last 12 months planning the delivery and course content, meeting the requirements of the qualification.
What has been your career journey in the sector so far?
I qualified as an Early Years Practitioner when I was 18 years old! I progressed my career in to early years education and studied towards a degree in Children, Young People and Their Services and BA Hons in Education and Professional Studies. I then enhanced my knowledge and skills by completing an Early Years Teacher Status course at Edge Hill University.
I worked in the early years sector for ten years progressing from practitioner to senior practitioner and to early years teacher. I then decided I wanted to share my knowledge and skills with others and completed a PGCE and Masters in Childhood Studies.
Entering the FE sector, I’ve progressed from lecturer, to Programme Leader and now Curriculum Leader.
How do you engage with CPD and ensure your skills are up to date?
I carry out mandatory CPD at the college. I also enter the early years setting at the college to observe, play and engage with children keeping my early years practice up to date. I attend webinars regularly, and complete short courses.
How did you hear about CACHE Alumni?
I found out about CACHE Alumni via LinkedIn. I contacted Dawn (CACHE Alumni Editor) for more information and thought it would be great for our learners to sign up to.
We were lucky enough to have Dawn visit our Level 3 Childcare and Education learners at Bolton College for a careers and CPD session. The learners thoroughly enjoyed Dawn’s visit. So much so, that she is often referenced in learners assignments regarding advice and feedback on CPD and job searching skills!
Are you, your learners or your colleague’s members of CACHE Alumni?
I’m a member of CACHE Alumni and the early years Work Based Tutors are also. They advise apprentices to access CACHE Alumni as part of their off-the-job training.
What benefits does CACHE Alumni have for you, your learners and your colleagues?
The information, articles and CPD opportunities are excellent in raising awareness and keeping knowledge up to date! The podcasts are extremely beneficial for me as I can hear professional’s perspectives on changes across early years sector. This enables me to share information with learners when delivering qualifications.
Would you recommend CACHE Alumni to others?
Most definitely. It is an excellent resource! I have shared CACHE Alumni information with employers across Bolton, who provide our learners with placements, to share with their own workforce. It certainly helps to underpin some professional development units across the CACHE qualifications. Having CACHE Alumni for learners to register on lets me know their learning can continue after their learning journey at the college.
You can join the CACHE Alumni network for free. Sign up to gain access to articles from subject experts, careers advice and guidance, podcasts, e-learning and our members benefits discounts.