Learner E-Newsletter 2021

2021 Newsletter

Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director

2021 did not see the end of Covid-19 sadly, but the Aspire Training Team colleagues, learners and employers have been resilient throughout and continue to learn and develop exceptionally well.

The measures put in place have largely maintained the reduction of the team’s carbon footprint from the previous year as meetings, inspections and marking have largely stayed on line. Even a lot of the teaching has remained on line, with tutors having rapidly learnt to use groups, Q&As, quizzes and tolls to engage with the learners. Everyone is delighted to be able to do some face to face work more recently, Covid allowing, subject to vaccinations, testing and standard precautions of course.

Aspire Training Team became the first training provider in the UK to achieve B. Corp. B Corporation (or B. Corp) are businesses that have the highest social and environmental standards for people and the planet. There are currently over 3,500 B. Corps in 150 industries and 70 countries across the globe and Aspire became the first training provider in the UK to become a certified B. Corp business.

We are pleased to hold a variety of government funded contracts in addition to our apprenticeship funding and are now additionally working with CSW and Somerset County Council.

We have funding available for NEETs up to the age of 24 and EFA funding for 16-18 year olds, this enables us to provide Level 1 courses to young adults who want to start a new career in either childcare or business. We can also now offer single-unit courses with funding provided by European Social Fund as part of the Somerset Skill Up Project by Somerset Council, allowing learners to complete just 1 unit before going onto the full qualification.

External Quality Audit Visit results…

Aspire Training Team have recently had an EQA visit for our NCFE Early Years and City & Guilds Functional Skills certificates, we have achieved yet another positive report, maintained our DCS (Direct Claims Status) and received no actions!

We have also recently had a NCFE EQA visit for our Team Leading qualifications, where we also achieved DCS (Direct Claims Status) and received no actions!

Meet the Team

Case Study: Jane Burrows (Early Years Trainer, IQA and EPA)

I started my Aspire Training Team journey back in 2020.

My background to date has historically been in the field of Childcare and Education – qualifying for the original NNEB Certificate in 1984 (which seems a lifetime ago!). This award became my passport for achieving many different experiences of working for TUI holidays as a Children’s Representative, nannying both in England and America, working in a state nursery and a school for pupils who had special needs aged 2 – 12 years. This is where I was introduced to Makaton and became a devoted advocate of this language program – seeing how invaluable a communication support tool it was with my little ones! 

I went on to complete my Post Qualifying Diploma in Early Years (Level 4) and the Further Adult Education Teaching Certificate which allowed me to progress into a teaching role within a Further Adult Education College as an Early Years Tutor to both 16–18-year-old learners and mature students too (my eldest to date was 64 years – never too old!!). I have over 15 years’ worth of experience teaching in the Early Years Sector.

I have had many different experiences and roles throughout my career – which have all shaped my practices to date!

I feel that being an Assessor is a hugely rewarding role and I personally and professionally love working with and supporting learners on their individual journeys to achieve. I look forward to working with you and being part of your journey as well as continuing mine.

Did you know…

Over 130,000 workplaces offer apprenticeship places because they understand the benefits that apprentices bring to their business – increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent workforce.


Case Study: Vanda Wright (Business Skills Trainer)

I have recently joined the Aspire training team as a Business Skills Trainer.

I completed my Assessor Award along with Management Level 4 with GP Strategies Training Ltd for whom I worked for nearly 3 years supporting learners to achieve their awards and qualifications in both Standards and Frameworks for Business Administrator, Customer Service, Retail and Management.

Prior to working for GP Strategies, I started out working for Barclays Bank for 9 years climbing the ladder in financial services, Mortgages and Management. Following a short break for Maternity, I then opened my own Wedding business which led to 15 years working with the Wedding, Event and Hospitality industry.

Over the years I have experienced many different roles which have furnished me with the skills and experiences in my role as Trainer, to ensure I am supporting learners.

I look forward to working with you!

Learner Survey 2021

Aspire completed their annual Learners Survey, which provided us with some important insight and positive feedback. See some of the question and answers below:

What specifically do you feel that the Training team does that is a top quality/our strengths?

Always very professional – great at teaching whether face-to-face or via Zoom

Always on the other end of the line for the best support. Explains things to each individuals needs. Never feel rushed.

How did we make your training more enjoyable, easier, or more effective?

My trainer is very down to earth and easy to talk to and makes you feel at ease.

My tutor makes my work more effective by giving me tips and guidance wherever they can.

How do you rate training at Aspire Training Team?

Learners were entered into a competition to win a £50 Amazon voucher if they completed the survey. The lucky winner was Amy Beattie. Thank you to all who completed the survey, your feedback is greatly appreciated. From this survey we have identified some actions to help us improve our services, which include promoting our website more to learners, as it is a great tool for resources, and adding Team profiles to the website.


From Manual Handling, Diabetes Awareness, Mental Health Awareness, Food Safety and Hygiene training, there is something for everyone.

ALL of these courses are fully online and accredited by a recognised authority. At the end of each one you will receive a certificate, which is great for your Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

If you’re interested in completing an iHasco course, and you’re in a Tops setting, contact your line manager or log into your iHasco account where you will be able to access hundreds of online courses. External students please contact info@aspiretrainingteam.co.uk

Childcare Courses

Qualifications in:

Level 1 Caring for Children
Level 2 Childcare Diploma
Level 3 Early Years Educator
Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner

Apprenticeships in:

Level 2 Early Years Practitioner
Level 3 Early Years Educator
Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner


Introduction to Childcare

Are you 16-24 years old and interested in or know someone that may be interested in developing skills working within the Early Years Sector.

We offer a level 1 study programme which is aimed at learning the skills and knowledge to support babies and young children’s growth and development. To find out more, please visit: www.aspiretrainingteam.co.uk

New – EPA Support for Apprentices
Jane is offering group sessions to support learners to plan and prepare for the End Point Assessment process, the sessions are run on a regular basis covering various topics. If you are interested in attending the sessions, please speak to your trainer for further information.

New – Functional Skills Support
Melissa is running additional support sessions to help learners working towards achieving functional skills qualifications in math’s and English on a regular basis. If you are interested in attending the sessions, please speak to your trainer for further information.

Level 3 Childcare Apprenticeship – Early Years Educator (Kirstie Newman)

What course are you doing?

I am currently doing the Early years educator Level 3 course.

When did you start your early years course?

I began in February of this year (2021)

Why did you think an early year’s course was the right path for your career development?

I have a huge passion for improving mental health, especially in children and young people. I believe that as an Early Years Educator you can make a big difference to how children develop important skills and this can help to build their confidence, making them grow into happy, healthy adults.

Tell us what you do in a typical day/week?

I work in the preschool room, which is a real challenge, but also a very exciting one. Every day is different! We have PE twice a week, we do a cooking activity every week, we even have a weekly French lesson! We do circle time every day, we have time for adult led activities and then we have child led/free play time, which is great for seeing the children’s imagination! Alongside this we serve lunch/snacks/tea etc and help the children to wash hands and sit well for mealtimes. I also do observations for my key children and do handovers to parents, so they know what their children have been up to throughout the day.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Seeing children reach milestones. I love when I see what their next steps will be and watching them hit those little goals. Not only is it great for me to see them developing, but I love to see their happy faces when they feel proud of ] themselves for doing something new.

What have been your biggest achievements during your course so far?

I have kept up to date with my coursework so will finish all within the allotted time. I have also just won the personal development award 2021 at the nursery I work at, which was a real achievement for me. I have also completed my math and English functional skills.

Why should someone consider an early year’s course?

It is filled with all the knowledge that you need to help you do and understand your role as an early year’s educator. Doing it while I work also gives me the opportunity to put what I am learning into place too and is great experience. I have a great tutor who helps me along the way and makes sure that I get as much knowledge as possible from the course too!

What do you plan to do after your course finishes?

I plan on staying at the nursery and gaining more experience in early years. I feel like you never stop learning in this role, which is what helps make it such an exciting career choice.

Level 2 Customer Service Apprenticeship (Jessica)

Jessica started her level 2 Apprenticeship in Customer Service with the Aspire Training Team in January 2021. Jessica saw this as an opportunity to develop her knowledge and understanding of providing excellent customer service to customers. Jessica stated that she felt this course was the right path for her career development, allowing her to work with customers in an office-based role whilst gaining relevant qualifications.

During a typical week Jessica has explained that she works alongside her colleagues to support them in the delivery of the apprenticeships, gathering documents from learners, contacting employers and welcoming customers to the Hub for meetings and training courses.

Jessica stated that she enjoys working as part of a wonderful and supportive team and feels that her biggest achievement so far during the course is
having the opportunity to work with customers and supporting her colleagues.

Jessica feels the course has provided her with a lot of new knowledge and skills on how to provide a high standard of customer service. Jessica stated, “I would highly recommend this course to anybody looking to expand their knowledge of customer service.”

Upon completing the Level 2 Apprenticeship in Customer Service, Jessica is planning to progress on to a level 3 Business Administration course
to continue her development further.

Looking after you…
Did you know Aspire have a wide range of guides to support your health and wellbeing?

Topics include:
• Sleep • Diet & nutrition
• Alcohol • Smoking
• Exercise • Stress & anxiety
And much more! visit the Aspire website to see more.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers through SMS, text, apps, online social media, gaming, and messaging platforms were content can be shared. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behaviour. Cyberbullies use repeated behaviour to shame, anger or scare those being targeted by posting, or sharing negative, harmful, or false content about someone else. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:

  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok
  • Text messaging and messaging apps on mobile or tablet devices
  • Instant messaging, direct messaging, and online chatting over the internet
  • Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards, such as Reddit Email
  • Online gaming communities

There are many ways that you can be bullied by someone online, some types of cyberbullying are:

  • Harassment – Sending offensive, rude or insulting messages, including humiliating comments on posts, photos, or videos on social media sites.
  • Slander – Sending fake information that may be damaging such as rumours of gossip or posting altered photos for the purpose of bullying.
  • Flaming – using extreme and offensive language in online arguments to cause distress.
  • Impersonation – Hacking into someone else’s social media account/email and posting vicious or embarrassing material. This can also include creating fake accounts to cause harm.
  • Outing and Trickery – When personal information including images shared are used to reveal secrets or are forwarded to others.
  • Cyber Stalking – Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or harassment that makes a person feel unsafe.
  • Exclusion – We individuals are left out of a group message or chat

How can you stop it?

If you or someone you know is being cyberbullied, it can be easy to think that no one will
understand or be able to help you, that isn’t the case.

Talk to someone – If you are going through cyberbullying, it is important to gain the support of your friends, family, and people you can trust. They will be able to help and support you. By talking to people, you can add a voice of reason, it may also help you to feel better for sharing your thoughts and feelings without any judgement.

Don’t retaliate – When people are cyberbullying others, they are normally doing it for a reaction. If you choose to not retaliate, they will eventually become bored and move on. Don’t forget by retaliating you give them power.

Keep Evidence – Keep a diary of when cyberbullying events have happened, take screenshots, these may be useful to prove what you have been going through.

Report it and block – If you are receiving harassing messages, you can report it to the site or the App and block individuals.

Assess the threat – If the cyberbully is sending you messages of a threatening nature or you have reason to be worried about your safety, you should contact the Police on 101 or 999 if a life is in danger. The Police will help you with your immediate safety and give you advice on what to do.

Get Help:



5 Tips on Relaxation

In today’s fast-paced life one of the things that are probably not on your to-do list is the one thing that you really need to do: relax!
One of the reasons that relaxation is important for your health and wellbeing is because the body likes to be in a state of balance, known as homeostasis, but when out under periods of prolonged stress the body needs help in regaining its balance. Relaxation techniques help to re-balance the body and the mind.
Here are 5 tried and tested techniques for quick and lasting relaxation:

Breathe Deeply
Give yourself a 5-minute break from whatever is bothering you and focus instead on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your
stomach. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.

Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. Remove the wrap and use a tennis ball or foam roller to massage away tension. Place the ball between your back and the wall. Lean into the ball and hold gentle pressure for up to 15 seconds. Then move the ball to another spot and apply pressure.

Be Present
You rush through dinner, hurry to your next appointment, race to finish one more thing on your agenda. Now try something different: Slow down. Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behaviour with total awareness,” Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food as you slowly chew. When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you will notice tension leaving your body.

Tune In to Your Body
Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at your toes and work your way up to your scalp, noticing how your body feels. Simply be aware of places you feel tight or loose without trying to change anything. For 1 to 2 minutes, imagine each deep breath flowing to that body part. Repeat this process as you move your focus up your body, paying close attention to sensations you feel in each body part.

Get Moving
You don’t have to run in order to get a runner’s high. All forms of exercise from yoga to walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feelgood chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the
stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrugs.

Dates for Your Diary

24th January
International Day for Education
International day for Education was started in 2018 as an annual event by the UN it aims to promote and raise awareness of the importance of education. To find out more visit the web page below:

8th February 
Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day challenges everyone to play their part in fostering supportive relationships and respectful communities online. Safer internet day also empowers young people to be at the heart of creating a better internet. To find out more visit the web page below:


11th February
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The International women and girls in science day will reflect on the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how this has clearly demonstrated the critical role of women researchers in different stages of the fight against COVID-19. To find out more visit the web page below:
8th February www.un.org/en/observances/education-day







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