A Future in Early Childhood Education
The College offers a strong focus on providing students with opportunities to not only learn for today, but also learn for the future. Different programmes and certificates run by the College are selected to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to prepare them for the workforce and a career of their choice.
Mrs Natasha Shields, Teacher of Religion, Humanities and Cert. III Early Childhood Education and Care, has been successfully running a Cert. III in Early Childhood Education and Care for the last three years. This certificate course is offered to Year 11 and 12 students who are interested in working with children. The course, which is run in conjunction with Fremantle Education Centre, consists of 18 in-class units and 120 hours of work placement.
The students who complete this course will be industry-ready. It can also provide an excellent steppingstone for a future in Teaching. Several of our students have gained employment in the Industry as a result of successfully completing the course last year.
To provide hands-on learning opportunities, the College runs Play Café sessions in a purpose-built Early Childhood Centre. Parents in the local community can bring their toddlers along. The sessions are very popular among local mums and dads and are often booked out.
In recent sessions, the students were able to implement the practices and principles from the Early Years Learning framework. They were able to establish relationships, explore nature play and engage with the children. They created Mother’s Day cards, love hearts, paintings and pictures, read stories and sang songs. Both students and toddlers have a wonderful time during these sessions. The response from the parents and the community has been very positive.
One of the students Ciara, said: "Play Café was a great, fun and an amazing experience. The little girl that I got chosen to look after was so nice and when I saw her at the shops she came running to me to give me a hug."
Earlier in this term, some of the students visited St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Bunbury to look after the little kids at the Early Learning Centre as their mothers attended the Mother’s Day Morning Tea. The little kids enjoyed chatting, playing and interacting with the older students. It was a fantastic opportunity for the Our Lady of Mercy students to use their Early Childhood Education skills and knowledge in a practical way.
The College is very proud of the way the students have embraced this learning opportunity. The girls have been showing a lot of initiative and great interpersonal skills during the Play Café sessions as well as the visit to St Mary’s. These are skills that are very valuable for their future careers.
Would you like to know more? Contact Mrs Shields at the College on (08) 9720 3300.