Ben lands distinction - and top award


An early years practitioner from Ashton-under-Lyne has beat off competition from more than 1,000 peers to claim a prestigious award.

Success at The Learning Hive

Ben, who has been diagnosed with ADHD and autism, has been working at The Learning Hive – part of the Storal group – in Audenshaw since February 2021 and recently achieved a distinction in his early years educator level 3 apprenticeship.

Perseverance pays off

Ben said: “I’m extremely proud to have won the award. I’ve worked in early years on and off for a number of years and this was the fifth time lucky in terms of my early years level 3 apprenticeship.

“I’d started the programme on four occasions previously but, for one reason or another, I had to drop out or the course got cancelled.

“To finally complete the programme was fantastic and to achieve a distinction was an unbelievable feeling.”

Personalised learning – the key to Ben’s distinction

Ben continues: “Being diagnosed with autism and ADHD does make it more difficult but my trainer from Realise was fantastic and she worked with me to tailor a programme and the assessments to suit my needs.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Realise as a training provider. I’ve worked with other providers and it felt like they were just worried about the end goal of passing rather than adapting the programme to ensure they were offering each individual learner the best possible support. The team at Realise really care about their learners and do everything in their power to make them as successful as possible.”

Championing male role models

Ben is eyeing up a lengthy career in the early years sector, including a management role in the future, as he flies the flag for male practitioners in nurseries.

“A lot of the children attending nurseries build strong bonds with their fathers, grandfathers, brothers and uncles at home and – on the back of that – enjoy playing or learning with me at the nursery. Others may not have that male role model at home and look for that figure to be at their nursery.”

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