Elevating Residential Childcare Professionals: A Deeper Look at the Impact of Our Apprenticeship Curriculum

Guest Blog from our Curriculum Manager, Charly Webb-Ellis


Residential Childcare isn’t simply a career; it’s a vocation that demands unwavering dedication, empathy, and resilience. At Paragon Skills, we recognise the vital role that well-trained professionals play in supporting and empowering vulnerable children. Our Elevate Level 4 Children, Young People, and Families Practitioner – Residential Childcare apprenticeship is designed with one aim in mind: to equip carers with the skills, knowledge, and behaviours they need to create safe, nurturing environments where children and young people can flourish.


Child Wellbeing at the Heart of Our Curriculum

Our meticulously crafted curriculum goes beyond teaching practical skills. It instils a deep sense of empathy and understanding, empowering learners to become advocates and protectors for the young people in their care. We believe that by focusing on the holistic well-being of children, we can create a brighter future for them.


Flipped Learning: Transforming Safeguarding Education

Recently, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the transformative power of our flipped learning approach during a Module 3 safeguarding workshop. The energy during the workshop was palpable as learners actively engaged with our carefully designed resources, collaborated with their peers, and demonstrated a remarkable grasp of the complex subject matter.


The Voice of Learners: A Tapestry of Positive Feedback

Four months into the launch of our apprenticeship, the feedback from 113 learners has been overwhelmingly positive, with 92% reporting being either ‘extremely satisfied’ or ‘satisfied.’ Here’s a deeper look at their insightful testimonials:

  • Empowering & Positive Learning Environment: Learners consistently highlight the positive and relaxed atmosphere of the workshops, fostering a sense of community and support.
  • Comprehensive Knowledge Gain: Many learners expressed a profound appreciation for the depth of knowledge they’ve acquired, citing specific areas such as recognising different types of abuse and understanding the importance of resilience-building strategies. One learner shared, “I have learnt a lot of valuable information about safeguarding and the right people to make aware of a disclosure…I might need to deal with a disclosure at some point and this has helped me to be able to do this.”
  • Exceptional Guidance: Julie, the workshop tutor, consistently receives high praise for her exceptional teaching skills, approachability, and unwavering support.
  • Collaborative Learning at Its Best: Learners value the opportunity to share experiences, engage in discussions, and challenge each other’s perspectives. They emphasised how group activities and discussions helped them apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. One learner noted, “The matching activity for identifying types of abuse was particularly helpful and enjoyable.”
  • Engagement & Enjoyment: Workshops are described as “fun,” “engaging,” “informative,” and “useful,” showcasing the effectiveness of our interactive approach.
  • Transformative Impact: Learners consistently highlight the transformative impact of the workshops on their understanding of their role, their ability to identify and address potential risks, and their commitment to child well-being. As one learner put it, “In my work, I plan to be more vigilant in observing signs of abuse and ensuring timely intervention.”


A 360° Perspective: Insights from the Tutor & Curriculum Developer

Julie’s Perspective (Workshop Tutor):

  • A Shift from Individualised to Group Instruction: Julie’s transition from one-on-one tutoring to leading group workshops has been a rewarding journey. She thrives on the dynamic energy of group interactions and the opportunity to adapt her teaching style to cater to diverse learning needs.
  • Unlocking Potential Through Flipped Learning: The flipped learning model allows Julie to go beyond surface-level knowledge and delve into areas where learners might have knowledge gaps. She finds it deeply satisfying to challenge them to think critically, apply their learning to real-world scenarios, and develop essential problem-solving skills.
  • Witnessing Growth: The Heart of Teaching: Julie’s passion for teaching shines through as she describes the joy of witnessing learners’ “aha” moments. Seeing a learner make a connection, ask a probing question, or demonstrate a newfound understanding reaffirms the value of her work and the effectiveness of the flipped learning approach.

Emma’s Perspective (Curriculum Developer):

  • Crafting Engaging Workshops: Emma’s approach to workshop design is rooted in creating a learner-centric experience that fosters deep engagement and understanding. She begins by establishing clear learning objectives that align with the broader curriculum goals.
  • Building on E-Learning Foundations: Recognising the importance of continuity, Emma ensures that the workshop activities seamlessly build upon the e-learning content that learners have already engaged with. This helps to reinforce key concepts and deepen their understanding of the material.
  • Interactive and Dynamic Activities: To maximise interaction and knowledge retention, Emma incorporates a variety of dynamic activities. Case studies are a cornerstone, allowing learners to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. Evolving scenarios, which gradually increase in complexity, challenge learners to think critically and adapt their responses as new information is presented. Group activities are also essential, fostering collaboration, communication, and peer-to-peer learning.
  • Prioritising Feedback and Tutor Interaction: Emma emphasises the importance of providing ample time for both learner feedback and direct interaction with the tutor. This ensures that learners receive personalised guidance, clarification, and support from a seasoned professional in the field.
  • Structure and Consistency for Optimal Learning: A consistent workshop structure is fundamental to Emma’s approach. Each session follows a familiar format, beginning with an icebreaker or quiz to spark engagement and concluding with a reflection activity to consolidate learning. This predictability creates a comfortable learning environment, reducing anxiety and allowing learners to focus their energy on fully immersing themselves in the content.


A Brighter Future for Residential Childcare

At Paragon Skills, we are committed to constantly evolving our training to meet the ever-changing needs of residential childcare professionals. By embracing innovative approaches like flipped learning, we empower our learners to provide the highest quality care to vulnerable children.

The experiences shared by our learners, the insights offered by our educators, and the tangible impact on the quality of care delivered all underscore a single, powerful truth: the Elevate Level 4 Children, Young People, and Families Practitioner – Residential Childcare apprenticeship is not merely a training programme, but a catalyst for transformation. It’s a pathway for passionate individuals to not only acquire essential skills and knowledge, but to evolve into compassionate, skilled professionals who make a profound difference in the lives of vulnerable children.

Paragon Skills’ dedication to innovation in Residential Childcare education doesn’t end here. We are constantly seeking new ways to enhance our curriculum, incorporating the latest research, best practices, and learner feedback. Our vision extends beyond the confines of traditional training, aiming to create a ripple effect that elevates the entire residential childcare sector.

We invite you to be part of this exciting journey. Whether you’re an aspiring childcare professional, or an organisation committed to providing the highest quality care, we encourage you to explore the Elevate Level 4 apprenticeship. Join us in shaping the future of residential childcare, one empowered learner at a time. Together, we can create a brighter future for children and young people who need our support the most.


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