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Our Lady's Catholic
High School

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Past students talk about all things Apprenticeships

Two exceptional students came back to Our Lady’s to discuss all the exciting things they have been up to since leaving the school.

Deborah Goncalves and Megan McDonagh

Megan is completing her 18 month Apprenticeship in Childcare Level 3. She always knew that childcare was for her, so even before her Apprenticeship she volunteered at a host of primary schools to gain as much exposure as possible to the career she had chosen, these included Betty Layward, St John Vianney and Stamford Hill Primary School. Deborah is also completing her Parenta Apprenticeship in Childcare. 

Deborah and Megan have both completed a whopping 200 hours of volunteering. Deborah said, ‘What makes Health & Social Care so enjoyable, is the volunteering you undergo. We were not just limited to childcare placements, but a diverse and enriching selection such as a food bank, healthcare, working with the older generation and a placement where we promoted health to children.’ Both girls agreed that by getting ‘tasters’ of these different careers, it helped them make an informed decision on the career they wanted to enter.

They would like to say a special thank you to all their tutors and Ms Stanton and Mr Shine for all the extra hours they put into helping them get onto their Apprenticeship scheme.

When asked if both girls considered university, they realised they would be just ‘following the crowd’ and instead of sitting in a classroom with a textbook, they would like to apply what they are learning in a work environment, earning whilst they learnt.

Deborah is by no means book-shy, as she states ‘An apprenticeship is not an easy option’. You are getting to the end result, just in a different way. When compared to her peers at university, they are learning similar things, but done in a completely different environment. Deborah is head of EYFS – (Early Years Foundation Scheme) at her work, as she really enjoys applying what she has learnt in her job.

In just a year and a half of leaving school, both girls are in no debt, qualified in their field of work and are both in full time employment, earning at a children's nursery in Bounds Green.

Megan loves working with the children in her nursery, even though she has been thrown in the world of work, working 40/45 hours per week with coursework on top. She states ‘Working in childcare you develop a bond with the parents and the children alike, as they are entrusting the care of their children onto you. It is unbelievably rewarding to watch the children reach their full potential, by learning developing and growing, and knowing you have helped them on that journey.’

Both girls are excited about their futures and realise that by having this qualification they can go into many different fields of childcare.

Deborah is currently applying to primary schools to be a TA, with the hope of becoming NQT qualified in the future.Megan is doing the same, but is still deciding whether she would like to stay in a nursery environment or go on to a primary school.

Both girls achieved excellent results with D*D*D* in their level 3 hsc course, which is the equivalent to 3 A*s. 

We wish both girls good luck in their next childcare ventures!