Turing Scheme funding success to bring “life-changing” experience for childcare students

Childcare students from Bishop Auckland College are heading on a journey of discovery to Italy as part of a new Government foreign study scheme.

Italy trip 2

The lucky 15 first year level three students will spend two weeks next summer in Reggio Emilia, famous for its pioneering philosophical approach to early years development and education.

The ‘Reggio approach’, which has now been adopted globally, was founded by teacher Loris Malaguzzi in response to the devastation of the northern Italian city during World War Two.

Malaguzzi felt that the educational system had to change and developed a child-centred approach based on his belief that a child has 100 languages to express themselves, opening the first Reggio Emilia preschool in 1963.

The philosophy encourages children to express themselves and their knowledge through painting, sculpting, dramatic play, dancing, writing, construction, puppetry and many other expressive activities.

The visiting students, accompanied by two lecturers, will take part in training in theoretical perspectives which underpin early years educational provision in the UK, and also go on cultural visits.

The trip is being organised following a successful bid by the college to the Government’s new Turing Scheme which has replaced European Union programme Erasmus in the UK. The fund will pay all associated costs including travel, accommodation, food and passports.

Italy trip 1

The £90,000 allocation is also funding a four month placement in the early years sector in Gibraltar in Spring 2022 to give a yet to be chosen student a unique opportunity to live independently in a foreign country whilst learning a foreign language and building their confidence.

The British overseas territory was selected for its English and Spanish speaking population and multicultural society.

Bishop Auckland College was one of 110 colleges across England to share in a £21.7m pot for further education, and the only successful FE applicant in the North-East.

Early Years lecturer Stacy Stoker, who is co-ordinating the visits, said: “Being accepted in our bid for the Turing Scheme could potentially be life-changing for our learners.

“The visit to Italy and four-month placement in Gibraltar offer unique experiences our learners can transfer to career-building opportunities, enabling our learners to be recognised as experienced early years practitioners.”

We are still accepting applications for its Childcare/Early Years courses starting this month. Visit here for more information and to apply.