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Alumni

Bethany Ramsey

Career Path: Senior Nursery Practitioner at the Co-operative Childcare
Location: Newcastle, UK

I started to love childcare and education when I took on a placement in Year 10 at high school. Since then I knew I wanted to work in childcare. I took Health and Social Care at A Level which included a module on Early Years Education. This further reinforced my love of education and childcare. I applied to 4 universities in the hopes of going into either Early Childhood Education, or Early Years Teacher training. I was accepted into 3 and offered an interview at the 4th. I confidently chose Northumbria as my first choice and was accepted onto the course after I received my A Level Results. After I graduated my Childhood Studies and Early Years course I looked into applying to do a further year of study to get my teaching qualification in Early Years. I went through an application and interview process with a company called Best Practice Network, and was accepted onto a graduate entry teaching programme for Early Years teaching. I was very excited and began a placement at the Nursery where I currently work. Around 4 months in to my training, I decided it wasn’t for me and I interviewed for a job at my placement nursery. Education is a sector in which experience is vital, therefore I decided I wanted more practical experience before continuing on my teacher training. I was offered a job at my placement Nursery in the baby room, as a Senior Practitioner. 

What are you doing now?Bethany Ramsey

I am currently working as a Senior Childcare Practitioner in the baby room at the Co-operative Childcare Nursery in Newbiggin Hall.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I am from Newcastle and so staying in my home city which I love was a big factor in my decision. Also, Northumbria is well known for its teaching courses, more so than Newcastle University and I always knew Northumbria was the university for me.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying at Northumbria was always exciting. There was a mixture of lectures and seminars which were interesting and fun. I learned a lot in my lectures and then I was able to take part in group discussions and activities in the seminars. We were given reading prior to each session for us to get an idea of what we would be learning about which I thought was very beneficial; I was then able to use a lot of this reading in my assignments throughout the years. We were given a lot of constructive feedback on each assignment we submitted which helped us to prepare for the next. During the seminars we were able to receive on-the-spot feedback on discussions we were having, or on presentations given in front of our peers.

How connected was your course with industry?

Yes, I had two placements over the course of my three years of study. The first being in my Second Year; one element of my course was to complete an assignment on an early years setting, by observing practice, asking questions and gaining experience as a working practitioner. My second placement was during my 3rd and final year of study. This placement was longer and more in depth. I felt both of my placements were valuable and helped me gain some experience in what it would be like to work as an actual practitioner. It was also nice to have a different way of learning.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

My placements prepared me for what it would be like to work as an actual practitioner. My second placement was very valuable and helped me to see what I was passionate about. During my second placement I visited a Forest School nursery. I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot, so much so that I decided to do my dissertation on outdoor play with many references to Forest Schools. Ultimately I would like to do further training into Forest school education, and this it thanks to my placement in 3rd year.

What was the best thing about your course?

I would say the best thing about my course was my lecturers. They were incredibly supportive and passionate about what they were teaching. They helped me through my assignments and I felt as though they genuinely cared about my education. My dissertation tutor was very helpful and gave me a lot of good ideas to help me through this very stressful time.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Without achieving my degree at Northumbria University I do not think I would be where I am today. My education at Northumbria was very valuable and it has helped me achieve my dream of working in childcare. Many of the practitioners at my nursery are qualified to a Level 3. With my degree it means I am qualified to Level 6. This means I have a lot of knowledge to share and it has definitely given me an edge. I believe the knowledge I gained and the experience I had helped me to successfully get my job in the nursery.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The Early Years side of my course was most valuable to me. I learned so much about the EYFS curriculum and about Early Years education which is so important when working in a childcare setting. During my interview I was asked various questions about the EYFS curriculum and my degree helped me to be able to answer these.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I enjoyed learning about a subject I was deeply passionate about. I have always enjoyed writing assignments therefore that aspect of the course was enjoyable for me; I do not perform well in exams so the coursework-based element of the degree really stood out to me. The friends I made during my time at Northumbria were also a big part of what I enjoyed.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

I would always say to weigh up your options. There were many reasons why I eventually decided to put Northumbria as my first choice. It’s important to be very happy with your decision, so you should definitely take your time and be certain it is the right choice. Always attend any open days the university hosts; it really helps you to get a feel of the campus and makes your first day less scary if you have already been for a visit.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Educational Unforgettable Worthwhile

For more information about me visit:

  • Facebook: Beth Ramsey
  • Twitter: @bethramsey

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