Can a Teaching Assistant Work in a Nursery

Can a Teaching Assistant Work in a Nursery? (Explained)

Working as a general classroom teacher assistant in a state or independent primary school or specialist in maths, English or science means you build skills & knowledge that’s transferable.

You can join other people who worked at primary level 5-12 year old and work in a nursery under certain conditions with 2-5 year old children. As a teaching assistant you can work in a UK nursery or reception school as a TA only assisting a qualified teacher.

To work in a UK nursery in England, Scotland, Wales you require at least level 2 teaching assistant qualification, though most employers request a relevant level 3 teacher assistant qualification and GCSE, English & maths.

Can a level 3 teaching assistant work in a nursery?

Transferring from a job in a school as a classroom assistant to work in a nursery is possible with relevant level 3 teaching assistant qualifications for childcare. Course awards include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in support work in schools
  • Level 3 NVQ in supporting teaching and learning in schools
  • Level 3 Certificate for teaching assistants
  • Level 3 Certificate in support work in schools
  • Level 3 National diploma in specialist support in teaching and learning
  • Level 3 NVQ for teaching assistants
  • Level 3 Diploma in specialist support in teaching and learning

Each private or local council run nursery employer has their own requirements for appropriate nursery qualifications when considering hiring a teaching assistant.

Can a level 2 teaching assistant work in a nursery

Qualifications needed be a teaching assistant in a nursery is at least level 2 qualification as a minimum requirement, although most UK nurseries employ teacher assistants with level 3.

GCSE maths & English is also a requirement for assistants at a nursery school. You could secure a job where you have little experience, and you’ll likely be told to start working & study for a level 3 teaching assistant or childcare qualification.

What does a nursery teaching assistant do?

Can a level 3 teaching assistant work in a nursery

Job role of a nursery teaching assistant varies from supporting a teacher delivering effective teaching & learning in class & small groups similar to older children in primary school.

You take part in play activities & lessons with children that are learning focused enabling English practice, numeracy and understanding of general everyday situations.

Top nursery teacher assistant roles & responsibilities include:

  • Give nursery children additional assistance following instructions from the teacher, and assist independent learning & play activities.
  • Get involved with lesson planning & feedback on children’s learning progress with the teacher and other nursery workers.
  • Help with lesson resource arrangements, class set up and photocopying.
  • Give input with lesson planning and use of resources to the teacher, if required.
  • Provide nursery children emotional & academic support for their development reporting issues to the manager and teacher.
  • Assist the nursery class teacher with pupil behaviour management, providing children reassurance, support & help to keep them focused on lessons or play activities.
  • Provide SEND appropriate support to children when required.
  • Give assistance to nursery pupils outside of class during lunch, if required.
  • Evaluate kid’s progress & learning in conjunction with the nursery teacher and team members, while recording & keeping accurate records.

Skills & knowledge of a nursery teacher assistant

Experience, knowledge and skills you have working with older children are similar to assisting in teaching & learning or play activity with 2-3 year old nursery pupils. Skills required:

  • Fluent English language ability in reading, writing, listening, speaking and interpretation.
  • Calm under pressure to reassure staff members and nursery pupils.
  • Willing & able to effectively work as a team with the nursery teacher and other workers to deliver good lessons & feedback, especially in classroom learning & children’s activities.
  • Good and appropriate communication skills to support learning as a nursery assistant, speak to parents and staff members.
  • Openly approachable to you children and other nursery workers.
  • Able to follow children’s health & safety procedures, and identify and avert possible issues.
  • Can inspire and motivate young children to concentrate, participate in learning and play activity.
  • Able to work flexibly across different nursery school learning & teaching, from play, cooking, singing and academic lesson support.
  • Good organisational skills to work independently with children 1:1 in learning activities, planning and working with others.
  • Abundance of patience for any issue with young kids that may arise.
  • Positive and willing attitude to work and cooperate with the teacher and other nursery staff members.
  • Participate in ongoing training and keep up to date with nursery practices and procedures according to the job role.
  • Good literacy. numeracy and writing skills enabling you to participate in teaching & learning support in class, play and resources production.
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