Early Years student makes a difference to the lives of children during pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on education across the world. In response to significant demand, our past Level 3 Childcare and Education student, Ella Young, got involved in a project by the University of Worcester. As part of a collaboration with schools in India, Ella taught two children from Mumbai each week online for about 2 and a half months.
Ella, who at the time was taking an Early Childhood Studies degree at the University, planned her English lessons to make sure they were interesting, fun, and worked for both children’s language abilities.
“There were many challenges with online learning and being so far away,” she said. “I am a person who loves visual teaching. When I teach children, I will be as physical and visual using objects to support my students. Therefore, being online and being across the other side of the world was very difficult, as I could not support them in person when they needed help. The main problem was the internet difficulties.
“The two children I had in my class had very different abilities, both living in the slums of Mumbai. Even though there were language barriers there, I used my initiative to create ways for them to understand me, this was using pictures, and whiteboards on the screen.”
After achieving a First Class Honours in her Early Childhood studies degree she is now doing a teacher training qualification through the Early Years PGCE course at the University of Worcester.
“This experience has already improved my teaching skills before I even started my PGCE at Worcester, as I learnt new ways of breaking instructions down, to support the children in their understanding. In settings, I have not had the opportunity to work with an EAL (English as Additional Language) child, therefore working with two students from India with basic English skills was such a privilege."
Ella also shares her plans for the future: “I aspire to work with children who have experienced trauma, and adverse life conditions in the near future. Working with children within a Pupil Referral Unit on placement, changed my career mindset completely, and this is something I have wanted to do for a while now.”
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