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Nvq - The Diy Course


SueFinanceManager
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After reading the comments of several other members that were made during a conversation in a topic relating to M7 The Foundation Stage Forum I felt compelled to make the following points.

 

Rea makes a very valid remark about the lack of knowledge that some NVQ students lack during and after completion of the course. Sue R talks about the nature of the NVQ and uses the phrase "As such, it assumes knowledge it does not 'teach', requiring research on the part of candidates where gaps in their knowledge might become apparent. "

 

This is where the problems lie as far as I am concerned.

 

The NVQ course is like a skeleton, the bare bones of the subject. The students must then by various methods gather the knowledge to 'flesh' out the skeleton. For me this process was made easier in two ways. Firstly I was a parent and so had already got the hands on practical experience of caring for a child. I had learned that theory in books and real life sometimes differ. Had I been a sixteen year old candidate straight from school with none of this experience then I would have found much of early units ie C2, C3, C5, C7 that relate to the physical well being and development of children quite difficult.

 

Secondly when it came to the later units relating to planning of equipment and curriculum planning, observations and evalation I had the most brilliant support from my manager and that of my supervisor who I was fortunate enough to also have as my assessor. They were there every session and made themselves available to me at the end of every session to answer my hundreds of questions.

 

Where was my tutor in all of this you ask. I did my course at evening school, one 3 hour session each week. I had her telephone number and was able to call her but often when I tried she was teaching and messages didn't always get passed on. I was unable to finish the course in the first year (I believe some places run the NVQ as a 2 year course, maybe that's better) due to personal reasons but my tutor assured me I could carry on the following year to finish off my studies. The course was cancelled and so I carried on by myself with the support of my collegues.

 

Sue R quite rightly says that students should never be afraid to ask for help from their assessors. But some assessors may not be as willing to give of their time as Sue. I understand they get paid a set fee for so many hours of assessment. I know my assessor gave me far more hours than was recommended. My colleague who has just done her NVQ was visited twice in the setting by her assessor.

 

Lastly it has always bugged me that NVQ's aren't graded. Some candidates must complete the coursework to a higher standard than others depending on their own life experiences or the support they have received from collegues or their assessor or even this website now it exsists. Yet every student just passes or fails so how does an employer know how good a practitoner someone is just because they have an NVQ. Rea refers to the behaviour of staff shown in the 'Nurseries Uncovered' programme - I wonder how many of those staff were NVQ trained.

 

As practitoners good practice is paramount to the welfare and teaching of the children in our care, therefore should the high standard of our training not be paramount too so that we are armed with the neccessary skills?

 

Sue

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Well said Sue..

 

I have a member of staff doing NVQ level 2, on her own the same as you one evening a week.. and she is stuggling, i help all i can and she is managing but finding all the paperwork with working hard. i know that if they graded her 'pass' when she gets it it would be excellent as she is very particular and hardworking, but i do feel without my settings help and input she would be very much on her own. :o

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Hi Hali

 

That's the point really isn't it, if you are a student where your collegues aren't supportive and willing to share their knowledge and experience then your a bit stuffed. xD

 

Even more scary, if your in a setting where the other staff are showing poor levels of practice what chance have you to learn the right way of doing things if the course isn't teaching you enough. :o

 

Sue

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I have to say that it seems like a bit of a lottery, and the sort of training and advice you get varies immensely across the country. :o There also seems to be a considerable difference in the written work that different places expect. Some people are being told that they can only submit one folder of work, whereas others are expected to write reams for each knowledge point. I have been very lucky in that my assessor is excellent and it has been stressed that our folders are our work and as such everyone's will vary in size and content depending on our own individual styles of collating evidence.

 

The one thing that really angered me was someone I knew last year who was taking her SVQ3. She demonstrated really bad practice as a matter of routine in her setting. Her assessor came out regularly, but assessed her doing 'individual tasks' with the children, such as an obstacle course etc. However, she only had to look around her to realise that this woman was not capable of meeting the standards as laid down in the award. How is it possible that she was allowed to continue with it, let alone pass it? xD Sorry, this is one that has really bugged me!! :D

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Oh, Girls!! :o

 

This is EXACTLY what I'm on about when I say NVQ is not understood and not properly handled anymore!! Sorry to say, but you've all got a bit of a wrong angle on this - Sue was probably closest when she touched on the life experience thing. Oh, HOW I wish mynext week or so weren't SO FULL!!!

I've loads to say, but not enough time.

 

Suppose I need to start to lobbying the powers-that-be, but I need time for that, too! Perhaps I should give up work and champion NVQs??

 

Can't get my head together enough to put a proper answer together - we need to be sitting over coffee, together, so I can properly talk, with immediate responses to any probs/difficulties.

 

Can we come back to this???

 

Sue xD

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