Adult Education Success Stories

Follow up from former Varndean students



Studied: ESOL Entry 3 & Caring for Children Level 1

I am from Syria. I came to the UK with very little English. After living here for two years I started my journey in learning English. When my language skills started to improve I wanted to combine English with studying for a career. I was very happy when I heard about the course 'Level 1 Certificate in Caring for Children combined with ESOL Entry'. I knew that this is what I wanted because I love to be with children. I started the course with Varndean College, and really enjoyed it; it's a great course. I learned a lot about children and my teacher Martina was amazing; we all loved her and I appreciate the way she helped and supported us. As well as studying, I have been volunteering in a nursery for one and half years. This has helped me to practise what I learned from my course.

When I finished the course I was very excited about the next step. I applied for CACHE Level 2 in Caring for Children and was very happy to carry on with my journey. I started the course online because of lockdown. Even online we learn very well, our teacher Sybille is very kind and helpful; her feedback always supports us and gives us the stimulation we need to carry on.

When I have finished the Level 2 course I hope I can find a job with young children. I would love to take level 3 as well but will need to gain more English qualifications first. I am so grateful for all the knowledge that I have gained from the course at Varndean College. Thank you!



Studied: Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning

I'm originally from India and moved to Brighton in 2008. I was a teacher in my home country and I really missed my time working with children; I was always passionate about working in a teaching environment. This inspired me to start studying again and I started the Adult Education course 1 Level 1 Award in Working with Children' with Varndean College.

I would like to say a huge thanks for all the support and the amazing opportunities that I received. I successfully completed the course and with my tutors help and advice, I joined the 1 Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning' course. It is a great experience, both with my tutor and my classmates. As part of my course I'm so pleased to start volunteering at West Hove Infant school. I am excited to start working with children in a school again.

I really enjoyed both of my courses; I enhanced my skills and I learned how to deal with children in different situations with effective communication and being approachable.

I'm so happy and proud of my decision to start studying again and I have received great support from all my tutors. I have developed a lot of knowledge and skills to achieve my dream of becoming a teaching assistant. I will continue to enhance my knowledge and experience to achieve my goals. It is a pleasure to be part of this college. Thank you Varndean College!



Studied: Level 3 Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools

"I originally enrolled on the Level 2 Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools (STL) in 2019. I had been a stay-at-home mum for the previous nine years and when my youngest child started school, I wanted to return to work but had no idea what I was good at. I saw an advert for the STL course and thought it looked interesting; I was used to taking care of children so thought it would be something I would enjoy. I asked my children's school if I could do my placement there and they readily agreed. The course was more than I expected it to be. I learnt so much, not just from my tutor, but also from the other students and the teaching assistants I worked with in school. As the weeks went on, I knew I had made the right decision in choosing this career path.

I went on to study Level 3 STL and the course really helped me prepare for working as a teaching assistant (TA). Studying whilst in lockdown was very strange at first, but my amazing tutor really took the stress out of it and I learnt new computer skills. One of the great things I really got from both courses was meeting people from different cultures and learning about each other; I now get to call them my very dear friends. I have made lifelong friends whilst studying at Varndean.

I have been working as a TA since finishing my Level 3 course and I absolutely love working with the children and feel honoured that I get to support them in every aspect of their school life and well-being.

Completing both courses at Varndean gave me the confidence to study a degree with the Open University in Childhood and Youth Studies. Varndean offers many courses in childcare and I am sure I will study with them again to enhance my knowledge and increase my chances of career progression."



Studied: Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools

I started my 'Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools' course in September 2020, after having spent a year as an au pair looking after two lively children. During the first lockdown I learnt that I get on easily with children even in such challenging times.

I chose this course to get experience in a teaching environment; I was under the impression that a primary class was a merry place to be. I have had the opportunity to volunteer in a school where I soon felt part of the process thanks to all the teachers and experienced TAs who supported me by involving me and giving precious advice.

The Varndean College course demanded reflection and study on the different tasks about aspects of children and schools, but the effort has paid off. Applying the theories in the working situation has made me more confident and aware of how to act to get better results. During the months of the winter lockdown the sessions continued. The online teaching had been planned in advance and it has been faultless. My classmates and I have been able to continue our worthwhile habits of working together and exchanging our ideas.

As the only male on the course, I was worried about being out of place but this has passed due to the positive experiences, such as the children, their questions and their little necessities. I have got a lot of experience which is also useful in everyday life. I am now sure that a primary class is not only a merry place to work in, but it is also incredibly rewarding.