What do you need to prepare for your first placement at nursery or school?

Updated: Aug 11

During my illustrious teaching career, I had many students who would stress about not knowing the expectations of a nursery or the school environment they would be placed in.

My topmost priority being, guiding my students to a point where they gain confidence that where ever they are placed, in a real work environment, they will be able to strive and shine through the challenges faced.

I would like to do the same for existing and future learners who are facing the same fears. This article will help you to understand your role and responsibilities when working in a nursery and school environment during your studies.

What are Early Years centers responsibilities?

Many training placements have a wealth of experience in helping their students on several courses and may have a designated person to liaise with the study center. They welcome well-motivated students and will afford time and advice for those willing and keen to accept. They understand there are course requirements which you need to implement but they will also expect you to carry out tasks they have planned and arranged. And also, to follow policies and procedures laid down in their setting. Take advantage of any extra opportunities thrown at you, like having to attend special events or outings, as these provide valuable experience and insight into children in a range of situations and environments.

Responsibilities of a Student?


Make sure you have coordinated with your supervisor in regards to your starting time, break, lunchtime, and closing time. There is flexibility if you have limited transport choices or have unavoidable appointments. Always make up for the missed classes and be prepared to stay longer when necessary, if possible, to help complete a job and prepare for the following day; for example, when displays are being changed, it’s much easier to do it without children being around. Reliability and punctuality in terms of attendance are very important and poor performances in these aspects can lead to tensions and they in turn will be less likely to be trusting you with extra responsibilities and other tasks. If in case due to some valid inconvenience, you should be able to contact your placement and inform as soon as possible (preferably before the children arrive at the setting) so alternative arrangements can be made, indicating whether you are likely to be able to attend on the next scheduled date. You should also inform your training center to avoid a visiting tutor to make an unnecessary journey. Whenever possible missed days should be made up.


Your study center should provide you with guidance for appearance, particularly if there is a uniform. However, choose to clothe carefully, bearing in mind the types of activities you will be involved in. Footwear should be comfortable, avoid heels. You should avoid long fingernails and nail varnish- flakes chipping off into the snack you are preparing is not at all appetizing or hygienic. Similarly, avoid jewellery other than a watch- small children pull on chains, earrings, heavy rings, and bracelets are inappropriate when dealing with play dough