Children’s Minister engages with students and little learners at NCL


Scotland’s Minister for Children and Young People has visited New College Lanarkshire to observe students and little learners engaging in live STEM workshops.

Maree Todd MSP took part in a question and answer session with Early Learning and Childcare students at the 101 Park Street conference venue within our Coatbridge Campus.

More than 200 students and staff attended the event from our three main campuses in Coatbridge, Cumbernauld and Motherwell.

Ms Todd was able to see students’ learning in action as she observed a live assessment of NQ Early Learning and Childcare (SCQF Level 6) students and their innovation in delivering STEM in Early Years to 20 ‘little learners’ from the Coatbridge Campus Nursery.

A pharmacist by profession, Ms Todd made the visit as part of the Scottish Government’s expansion programme of funded childcare, which will mean that all three and four-year-olds, and around a quarter of two-year-olds, will be entitled to 1,140 hours every year from August.

Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd said: “It was my pleasure to meet young people joining the Early Learning and Childcare sector and hearing about their hopes and expectations as they build their knowledge, experience and skills at New College Lanarkshire.

“The views of the students will help us to shape the sector as we move in to the final stages of implementing the most generous early learning and childcare offer in the UK.”

The Minister was greeted on arrival by New College Lanarkshire’s Principal and Chief Executive, Professor Christopher Moore, and Clare Flynn, Head of Faculty of Care and Science.

Professor Moore said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Maree Todd MSP to New College Lanarkshire to experience how our students are actively engaging with little learners from our nurseries.

“We appreciate immensely the time that Ms Todd was able to spend answering our students’ questions and sharing insights from her own career.

“New College Lanarkshire is proud to be at the forefront of Early Learning and Childcare education. Our students shape the STEM development of young children across Lanarkshire and beyond.

“Our focus on high quality learning in both classrooms and in work placements gives our students a solid foundation that develops their skills, knowledge and experience. Ultimately, this significantly enhances our students’ career prospects and, as importantly, a new generation of children benefit greatly from their direction and enthusiasm.”

Clare Flynn added: “It was a privilege to host the Minister during National Storytelling Week and Children’s Mental Health Week.

“STEM in Early Years and the Forest Schools initiatives are just two of the exciting curriculum developments showcasing how our wonderful students put the child at the centre through holistic play-based learning.

“Our students and staff in the Faculty of Care and Science understand that this is a very exciting time of expansion and opportunity in Early Learning and Childcare.

“As the Early Learning and Childcare practitioners of the future, our students are actively putting theory into practice in a way that is stimulating and rewarding for all involved.”

The Minister watched NC Early Education and Childcare students Hailie Small and Ruby Dunn, who both study at our Motherwell Campus, encourage nursery children to carry out a ‘storm in a jar’ experiment.

Ruby said: “The children really enjoyed the science activities. You can see their wee eyes light up!

“I didn’t expect to be learning about STEM as part of a childcare course, but it does show you just how much there is you can do with children in nurseries related to STEM.”

Read more about our wide variety of programmes in Early Education and Childcare, ranging from Introduction to Childcare (SCQF Level 4) to BA Childhood Practice (SCQF Level 9):

Early Learning and Childcare

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