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Darcey is studying the Children's Play, Learning & Development BTEC Diploma at the North Devon Campus.
Why did you choose to come to Petroc?
I came to Petroc not only because it was the closest college to me, but also because of the good reviews I had heard in the past. All of my siblings came here also so it seemed like the perfect fit. I was attracted to studying the course at Mid Devon because the class sizes would be smaller, but the placements we all based in North Devon so the North Devon campus made the most sense.
And what made you pick this particular study programme/course?
The aspect that attracted me the course especially was the placements offered on the course. There's also the lack of exams with the course being a BTEC, which personally is a far better environment for me to learn in.
Which elements of your study programme/course do you particularly enjoy?
I really like the placements as it gives a chance to try out my skills in a practical environment. We're doing placements all the time, it seems like it's all we do sometimes. The teachers are all very helpful as well and really put in the effort to help you succeed.
What have been the highlights so far (trips, visits, projects etc.)?
I have had lots of fantastic placements, two of which have even offered me jobs at the end. One I had to turn down because I wanted to finish the course and the other has offered me bank work in the summer. All the others have asked me to come back, so it's nice to know that I'm leaving a good impression.
What do you most enjoy about studying at Petroc?
The number of students per class is fantastic, because it gives us the chance to receive support and guidance when required. As well as the facilities and positive environment to learn in, I really feel like I'm treated as an adult and have been allowed to become more independent.
What do you plan to do when you leave college?
I have applied to study primary teaching at University and have already been accepted on a course at Marjon in Plymouth. I'm not too sure yet whether to study early years or primary education with a subject specialism. Eventually I hope to become a teacher.
Any advice for someone thinking of choosing the same course as you?
Be organised and be punctual to all your lectures. Respect staff and other teachers and they will respect you back. Finally, always try your best and make sure to enjoy your experience.
Jas Smale is studying Children's Play, Learning & Development at our North Devon Campus.
I live just around the corner so it made complete sense. I did toy with the idea of travelling to Exeter every day but in the end I opted for Petroc because it offered the perfect course and offered the best lifestyle.
I didn't know at first whether to study A Levels or head down the BTEC route. My dad is very traditional and was adamant that I study A Levels. However my mum teaches on the BTEC course and was able to give me the advice I needed. I'd say that I learn better and take things on board in practical situation, so the placements available on Children's Play, Learning and Development were perfect.
It's certainly the placements; having the opportunity to put my skills into practice and work with children is fantastic. By the end of the course I will have spent as much time in placements as I have in the classroom!
I really like the class sizes. Everyone on my course came from school and are all the same age so it’s been very easy for us all to get along. The course structure is great as well, and because I find exam situations a little daunting, it offers an alternative method of learning. I'm currently on track for a triple distinction star, which is the equivalent of three A*s at A Level.
I plan to study Psychology at university, but whether I go to Cardiff or UWE is still undecided.
The long term plan is to become a teacher so I'll be looking to study my PCGE after graduation. I feel that doing a degree in Psychology first will broaden my horizons and open doors for other opportunities in the future – such as studying a Masters, for example.
Don’t dismiss the idea of studying a BTEC. There's a pre-conception that they're the easier option to A Levels which I don’t think is true at all.