Valerie Knight

Early Childhood Studies

Valerie Knight

One of the things about the Brookes programme that attracted me to the course was how convenient the timings of it were and how easily I was able to fit in doing the course alongside my full-time employment

Before I came to Oxford Brookes I studied a BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social, which gave me experience in different childcare settings.

Before I started studying at Oxford Brookes I was working as a Senior Nursery Nurse in a private setting within the baby room. On starting my foundation degree course I had just become employed as an assistant on a mobile Children’s Centre. Previous to all of this I had been employed as a Teaching Assistant in Plymouth and in a foundation stage unit in Oxfordshire.

As I had been working in Early Years for some years, I wanted to enhance the NNEB qualification I already had through further education, so I decided a degree was the answer. Having not studied for a long time I decided that I would go through the foundation degree route to give me some background knowledge before embarking on the degree top up year.

One of the things about the Brookes programme that attracted me to the course was how convenient the timings of it were and how easily I was able to fit in doing the course alongside my full-time employment. It was just one day out of work a week, with a lot of independent study at home in the evenings and on weekends.

One of the best things about the course was being able to meet new people, as well as having access to a wide range of information through the library and online resources. It has given me excellent background knowledge within the area that I am employed, as well as a whole host of transferable skills. As I already live and work in Oxford the location of the course and its teaching was also very convenient for me.

I think that the support from staff and other students was valuable throughout the course, and being the student representative both on the foundation degree and the BA (Hons) top up year was especially good in getting to know both the staff and students. My dissertation supervisor was also especially helpful in guiding me through a both enjoyable and challenging dissertation.

Finishing my degree has given me a huge amount of confidence and I feel it has enhanced my knowledge, and now I am not afraid to speak out about subjects that I know about. The degree has also given me the chance to start on my journey to leadership.