Sarah Neal

"During I acquired effective communication and leadership skills and learnt how to become a reflective practitioner"
About my career

In my current role, working with a preschool, my aim is to deliver high quality provision for children in my care. Ensuring they are happy and become active members in their education; participating in fun and engaging activities based on their personal interests in order to enhance their development. I plan and deliver daily key group sessions as well as observe, assess and report on their developmental progress. I also work on a one-to-one basis with children that have additional needs.

From September 2013, I became a key person for 14 preschool children (aged 3-4) at St Vincent's Nursery. As from September 2014, I will become a key person for the Early Learners (children aged 2-3 years). I also have a role in developing aspects of the new baby room such as resources and activities.

During my time studying at MMU, I gained a greater understanding of children's learning and development. I also acquired effective communication and leadership skills and learnt how to become a reflective practitioner.

My top tip for students is…

I was lucky, I was offered a job through my placement from being an undergrad, don't pass up or take for granted those opportunities. Be confident and have faith in your abilities, even with a lack of experience you still have the knowledge and understanding to be a great practitioner.

After graduating, keep in touch with fellow EYPs from your course; share information, queries and new ideas. It can be difficult being an 'agent of change' in a setting, develop good communication and working relationships between yourself and co-workers, involve them in any new ideas you may wish to try.

I’m inspired by…

I have to give credit to all the members of staff on the Childhood Studies team; they gave me the support and assurance I needed to enable me to be the practitioner I am today. I would especially like to thank Terri Curtis and Kerry Moakes for giving me another chance after I failed my second year. Without them, I would not have strived to achieve a 2:1 degree and gain the outstanding achievement prize at my graduation. I am forever thankful!

Why I love Manchester Met

I loved the atmosphere on the campus and between the people on the Childhood Studies programme, I love the people I spent years studying with and have developed lifelong friendships. The tutors took time in getting to know their students and offered great advice and support.