The first placement will enable 15 first year students to spend two weeks in Reggio Emilia, a city in Northern Italy famous for its pioneering philosophical approach to early years development and education.
The ‘Reggio approach’ encourages children to express themselves and their knowledge through painting, sculpting, dramatic play, dancing, writing, construction, puppetry and many other expressive activities.
The participants will take part in training in theoretical perspectives and go on cultural visits.
One further student will undertake a four-month trip to Gibraltar, chosen for its English and Spanish speaking population and multicultural society. The placement will give the student a unique opportunity to live independently in a foreign country to promote language learning and build confidence.
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.
“Placing participants at the centre of our application allows for a tailored experience that enriches educational attainment, widens prospects for future employment, and deepens cultural influences. This will provide challenging and unique learning experiences that will inform future development and achievements otherwise not available due to limited social mobility in our area.
“The projects will enable many participants to apply for their first passports, vastly widening life choices in the future.
“The resulting impact of the international relationship on the participants’ personal development along with the organisational vision for the future is substantial.”
Stacy also feels that the funding for the placements will help Bishop Auckland College to create “a link for the future cooperation between partners of FE colleges across an international channel for a Global Britain.”
Read more about FE and VET opportunities under the Turing Scheme on our dedicated webpage.