A former law, politics and philosophy student from Alloa is flourishing in her new career working with children.
Cairy McNeil (21) from Alloa, recently completed an HNC Early Years Education and Child Care at Forth Valley College and has just started her career as an Early Years Educator with Clackmannan Primary School.
Cairy said: “I originally left school to study law, politics and philosophy at Aberdeen University. Whilst in Aberdeen I started working with a charity (PLUS) who worked with children and adults with disabilities. Through the year I realised that I was more motivated and excited about my job rather than my studies and wanted to pursue a career in this field instead. I began a Higher Psychology night course at Forth Valley College and my lecturer supported me and guided me to the HNC course.
“I had and still continue to have, a great relationship with my lecturers. I provide them with setting updates and information and they inform me of changes and updates in the College. The College facilities are great, if you know where to get them. The staff are so helpful and will support you in anything you need. The only down side would be the library closing early. I was in the library most days and it would be frustrating having to leave when you were on a roll.
“The College gives students the whole experience of being in the class learning theory and methodologies, as well as encouraging going out in the field and gaining practical experience. This is valuable as it allows you to put your learning into practice, as you go along. Studying at college enriched and added to natural skills I already had and gave me the confidence to use these skills in a professional setting.
“FVC also gave us the opportunity to meet with employers and ask them on a one to one basis what they would be looking for, what we should be putting in our application forms and how we should present ourselves at interviews. Our lecturers worked with us to create application forms that displayed our abilities and talents in the field, as this can be a very daunting and difficult task, if you have never done it before.
“I would recommend the college to other potential Early Years students as it provides different levels of study that suit peoples’ abilities and aids them in building up their qualifications step by step. The College is much more personal than university with the same standard of study. This can provide a much more relaxing environment to study and may suit peoples’ individual needs a lot better. FVC provides a great experience both in lectures and in the field. The two experiences coincide well and allow you to have a far more enriching and beneficial educational experience when entering into employment as an educator.
“The best bit for me was the fact that I had a fantastic relationship with my lecturers (Donna Diamond and Nicola Mcarthur). This relationship still continues and allows me to stay informed on updates in the College and specifically to the course and our students. I am still involved in training with students and other practitioners, as I have the unique experience of being in full-time employment and being freshly qualified.”