At the start of 2019, we interviewed a handful of students on their time at the college, asking the big questions about life, future and hard work. This is Berivan’s story.
Berivan joined City and Islington College at the recommendation of her family and friends to become a primary school teacher. She tells us that her ambition since secondary school was to end up in a teaching environment, giving something back to the community: “No matter what, I’ll try my best.”
Berivan has a clear plan mapped out from her Level 2 childcare qualification at the Centre for Health, Social and Childcare. From here, it’s only a small step up to a Level 3 Extended Diploma at the college, and then another up to university.
While you do not need a degree to become a primary school teacher, it is a recommended path for would-be educators looking to qualify. A number of programmes are available at undergraduate level, although degree into PGCE is still a fairly traditional route.
“I really enjoy the practical activities that we do, especially the placements in childcare. I work in a nursery and really enjoy it. CANDI is getting me ready for the next step but is also giving me experience doing what I want to do. I can be sure that this is the career I want.
“I’m preparing to be independent. The difference between secondary school and college is that at school they give more pressure, but at college, you either do the work or you don’t. You learn that you are an adult and the responsibility is yours.
“That said, I feel the teachers have been really supportive. If I don’t understand the questions, the teachers help me; they show me the techniques and ideas that I need to know.
“The culture is different, too. There’s an after school homework club, a lot of catch-up sessions – the opportunities for feedback and support are there if you want them.”
Berivan goes on to talk about the different options that become available with a childcare course. She says she did not realise the prospects opened up through the course: “If you leave with Level 2 and Level 3 you can work in a nursery, as a primary school assistant… there’s lots of routes you can choose. It’s not just a primary school teacher. You could become a childminder, a nanny, open your own nursery. There are a lot of opportunities.
“If I were to sum up my experience here in a word, it would be joyful. They really care here. They want me to be successful. I am going to go to university, which makes me happy and proud.
“I would tell anybody to look around before making a decision, but this is a good college. My friends and family recommended City and Islington College to me, but I have found out for myself that it’s a good place to be.”