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Case study: Calum Sunter

Returning to where it all began

Calum began his career at Mill Cottage Montessori at the tender age of 2 as a student. Unsure what to do after school at 16 , Calum approached Mill Cottage Montessori for a summer job, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Now at 19, having completed his early years practitioner level 2 apprenticeship, achieving a distinction, Calum has started his early years educator level 3 course. He told us why he chose an apprenticeship and what his future holds. 

Woodspeen Training (WT): What made you choose an apprenticeship? 
Calum Sunter (CS): I started a summer job at Mill Cottage Montessori. Originally I was going to be here for a month but I loved it so much I spoke Ailsa about an apprenticeship and the rest is history. 

WT: Why did you choose your course?
CS: Initially I never thought I’d want to do something like this, it caught me by surprise. After being here through the summer I realised it was something that I was good at, I love working with the children, seeing them grow, develop, and discover the world around them. 

WT: What do you do day-to-day? 
CS: The truth? It’s organised chaos! We have a set routine day-to-day as it helps the children settle, but with children nothing is the same every single day. The day starts with helping the children eat their breakfast, moving into the classroom to do some activities. Including a circle time where the children sit down and we talk about a topic, read some stories, or do some singing. By then it’s dinner and if we’ve not made it outside in the morning, the children head out to blow off some steam. At 3pm some of our children go home and some of them stay for tea so we help them eat and get some cleaning up done, and all of a sudden it’s home time! It’s the same but different every day. 

WT: What do you love about your apprenticeship? 
CS: It’s the generic answer, but its so rewarding. I love the fact that it’s not repetitive at all, children really keep you on your toes. The staff are amazing, I’ve built great relationships with them all, as well as with the parents. 

WT: How do you manage studying and working? 
CS:I try and find some time if it’s quiet in the setting to get some studying done, some of the team here have already done the course and they’re really happy to pass on their knowledge and experience. 

WT: What are you going to do after you’ve qualified? 
CS: That's a great question and one I don't know the answer to quite yet. Most likely I’ll stay here and carry on trying to better myself, better my practices, and look at what courses I can take to improve myself as a practitioner. I can’t really see myself doing anything other than this job at the moment. 

Woodspeen Training is working to support Early Years settings to recruit new staff by offering free paediatric first aid and DBS checks, alongside its standard full-service recruitment and pastoral support. Contact the team to find out more.

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