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Industry placement models for Education and Childcare

There are 3 typical models for placements: Day Release, Block and Mixed.

As long as the total time for each industry placement adds up to a minimum 315 hours (and on average we expect placements to be around 350 hours), you can adapt the models to suit your business needs, and to align with the student’s course.

For the Early Years specialism, in this T Level, the industry placement is a minimum of 750 hours.

The placement model will be agreed between you, the college or school, and the student. T Level students choose their specialism in Year 1 so the placement can take place later in that year, or entirely in Year 2, or across both years.

Early Years students are likely to need to start their placement earlier in Year 1 so that they can do a minimum of 750 placement hours. You will all want to get the best for the student and your business, so the timing needs to support their learning and your organisation’s needs.

Which model is best for you in Education and Childcare?

Questions you may want to ask yourself when determining which model best suits your organisation:

  • is work constant throughout the year, where regular weekly hours would be appropriate, or do you have projects where a block of time would be best?
  • are there particular points in the year when you would welcome someone to support your peak periods of activity?
  • are there periods when you would be quieter and more able to dedicate time to supervising and supporting the development of a student?
  • can your working pattern be flexible for students or does if fluctuate depending on the needs of parents/children?

Placement models

(using c.350 average hours as examples)

Contents

Day release

Year 1: 2 days a week, for 10 weeks using 160 of the 350 hours

Year 2: 2 days a week, for 12 weeks using the remaining 190 hours

When this model might work:

  • Where regular support would be useful as your pattern of work is steady and regular
  • Where you have a variety of tasks that need doing regularly, avoiding too much repetition
  • Where the mentor or line manager would prefer to limit their supervision time during a given week

Example

Primary school

The school has a significant number of children who are unable to speak English fluently. It has initiated a project to accelerate the language learning skills of children.

They have included industry placement students in the project team to help plan activities and work with qualified staff to deliver some of the activities. The regular weekly pattern of attendance has built familiarity between the students and the children and has strengthened their development. The school head said, "They got used to our routines quickly and within a couple of weeks they really started to contribute to the school."

Block

Year one: A single block using 100 of the 350 hours

Year two: A single block using the remaining 250 hours

When this model might work:

  • Where concentrated work over an extended period is needed to meet the specific deadline of a project
  • Where placement blocks can be aligned to projects, events or annual business processes
  • To allow managers to schedule and plan well in advance for groups of students

Examples

Rural Foundation Primary School

2 students were offered block placements to help design an amended term 5 and term 6 timetable for year 6 pupils. Teaching staff wanted to deliver the year 6 curriculum in a more interesting way, reducing the apparent focus on state examinations and increasing pupil engagement and
productivity in term 6.

Students created and sent out a survey to year 6 pupils, staff, parents/carers and some local secondary schools. Using survey feedback and including Pupil Voice from years 4 and 5, they developed a proposed amended timetable for the last two year 6 terms.

They presented their findings to teaching staff and were allowed to support the implementation of some areas of their proposal.

In year 2 of the placement, this included focus on exam preparation and introduced the idea of ‘Experience Learning’, where year 6 pupils learned about topics and undertook fun projects which they successfully completed using maths, literacy, art, design and other subjects. Students also coordinated well received group sessions, set up in term 6, to talk through transitioning to secondary schools.

Primary school within a multi-academy trust

Teaching staff were interested in researching ways to introduce technology to children in a learning context and wished to identify the most successful methods currently deployed within the trust.

Industry placement students joined the team to assist the collection and research and carry out observations according to a set procedure. Further work involved students, with supervision, carrying out testing with children, writing up the research and preparing for presentation.

The block placement aligned well with the project leading to a successful conclusion in year 2.

Mixed

Year one: One day a week, using 100 hours of the 350 hours

Year two: A single block using the remaining 250 hours

When this model might work:

  • Where a student’s course becomes more specialised in Year 2
  • Where a mix of regular and project-based activities can be worked into a placement
  • When it helps a student to understand your organisation in a phased way, building involvement as the student develops
  • Where there are several workplaces within a single employer allowing students to experience several settings

Example

Large inner-city primary school

The school offered industry placements to a group of students to support special events at the end of each term, such as the school nativity play and sports day.

A mixed placement model was chosen. Initially, the students came in one day a week to support teachers to plan and prepare for special events and build up positive relationships with the children.

As each term reached its conclusion, the placement switched to a block model to allow the students to prepare for special events on a daily basis – such as planning and supporting pupils with set designs focusing on key areas of the curriculum i.e. maths, literacy and art or working with the Sports/PE leads, developing and helping to implement new and exciting events for sports days.

This style of placement gave the students a chance to focus on set projects and gain experience across the whole school year.

 

Placement models for Early Years Educator

(using c.750 hours)

Contents

Day release

Year 1: 2 days a week, for 23 weeks using 368 of the 750 hours

Year 2: 2 days a week, for 24 weeks using the remaining 382 hours

When this model might work:

  • Where regular support would be useful as your pattern of work is steady and regular
  • Where you have a variety of tasks that need doing regularly, avoiding too much repetition
  • Where the mentor or line manager would prefer to limit their supervision time during a given week

Example

Medium-sized nursery provider

Students were offered placements, working with pre-school children, from 8am to 5pm, 1 day a week.

The majority of the students’ placements were during term-time when there were more children in attendance at nursery. However, students also came into work on several occasions outside of term time to observe, understand and contribute to planning, preparation, and review sessions with senior staff.

The nursery owner said that she really values the continuity, consistency and familiarity that her placement students brought to the children, particularly when using this model.

Year one: 2 days a week, for 20 weeks using 320 of the 750 hours

Year two: A single block using the remaining 430 hours

When this model might work:

  • Where a student’s course becomes more specialised in Year 2
  • Where a mix of regular and project-based activities can be worked into a placement
  • When it helps a student to understand your organisation in a phased way, building involvement as the student develops
  • Where there are several workplaces within a single employer allowing students to experience several settings
  • Where familiarity with organisational process embeds consistency and quality of learning and contribution

Example

Large nursery chain

The group of four students worked on rotation in a range of settings: nursery, playgroup and crèche. Their responsibilities included helping prepare activities and materials, working with staff to help with sessions/lessons, reading with and to children, number work, storytelling, artwork and practical activities, inputting ideas for children’s games and other activities as required.

The mixed model allowed students to attend the different settings within the chain and so experience a range of childcare workplaces.

Since achieving their qualification, 3 of the 4 students are now permanent staff and industry placements are now a formal part of the chain’s workforce development and recruitment process.

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