On Thursday 5th October 2023, we hosted our first Showcase Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony, celebrating the achievements of our learners as well as the amazing employers that we work with.

Inspiration of the Year

The Inspiration of the Year Award is presented to individuals who have made a significant and positive impact on their workplace and community.  

The winner is someone who has overcome adversity, achieved great things, or simply made a difference in the lives of others.  The Inspiration of the Year Award is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of those who inspire us. It is a reminder that even in the face of challenges, there are people who are making the world a better place.  

It is an award that is truly earned, and it is a reminder that we should all strive to be our best selves and to make a difference in the world. Nominations for this category have come from employer and tutors, recognising learners that are a continual source of inspiration for colleagues and others around them.  Our 3 finalists have been chosen based on their level of dedication to early years, their work ethic, and their commitment to learning, and we are proud to reward them for this today.  

Highly commended: Chenise Man (Fairlands Nursery) 

This learner started their level 3 qualification without having previously worked in this sector. Despite this, they were quick to develop their knowledge and skills to always have the children at the centre of their practice.  

This learner always looked at how they could apply what they were learning from the qualification to their practices in the setting. They quickly carried out extended research and reading, allowing their passion for the early years sector to shine through.  

The learner always went over and above when working towards an assignment or a project for their level 3, which all contributed to them achieving a well-deserved distinction for their end point assessment.  This learner is now working in a more senior role in the setting. 

Runner up: Georgia M (Stables) 

Since the beginning of their apprenticeship, this learner consistency demonstrated eagerness and dedication to childcare.  When completing work, they conducted extra research to ensure they had the knowledge needed to complete each piece. This learner packed each assignment with plenty of extra detail, going beyond the minimum that was being asked of them.  

The learner became an inspiration to others by being a source of constant support, showing an eagerness to better the setting by introducing and implementing what they were learning. This learner showed true dedication and enthusiasm throughout their level 3 apprenticeship within their practices in the setting, and they did this all with a positive attitude.  At end point assessment, this learner achieved a distinction. 

Winner: Sayeed Ali (Rainbow Corner)

From the beginning of their apprenticeship, this learner was keen to learn and discuss further education and career aspirations. Before their induction visit for their level 2 apprenticeship, they spoke with our careers lead to discuss further options for their education and future career.  

Throughout their apprenticeship, they were positive and always submitted work to a high standard. When their tutor visited the setting, the learner’s colleagues would frequently comment on how well the learner worked with all age ranges. When they moved from the pre-school room to the baby room, they took this in their stride and outstanding practice was observed.

This learner’s love for learning really shone throughout their apprenticeship and they achieved a distinction at end point for their level 2 childcare qualification.  

Journey of the Year

This award celebrates the great progress and achievements of Apprentices whilst on programme and is a testament to the extraordinary endeavours undertaken by individuals. 

The Journey of the Year award is a symbol of perseverance, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of goals and achievements, and serves as a reminder of the incredible stories of our Apprentices and their indelible mark made on the Early Years world.  

Nominees for this award have consistently showcased their unparalleled determination to achieve and have been nominated by our tutors. To begin the awards, we start with our Highly Commended learner for Journey of the Year. 

Highly commended: Rachel Watson (Swanmore Preschool) 

Since the beginning of their apprenticeship, this learner has worked hard to achieve their level 3 and always ensured work was completed on time.  

Their written work was always good quality, and professional discussions completed were outstanding. Throughout all work completed, they were brilliant in explaining what they had learnt, and they were able to provide some excellent examples as to how there were embedding this within their practice.  

When observations were completed, it was evident they were passionate about their role as they always recognised children’s needs, ensuring they were at the children’s eye level when communicating with them.  This learner has recently passed their end point assessment with a distinction.  

Runner up: Robyn C (Little Gems Day Nursery – Clanfield) 

Throughout this learner’s apprenticeship, they faced lots of different challenges. However, they were able to overcome these challenges whilst continuing to work towards their level 3 apprenticeship.  

Throughout their apprenticeship, they were able to expand on the knowledge learnt through their level 2 apprenticeship with Showcase and this was really evident within their practices. They were able to provide the children with engaging and exciting activities, and the children responded well to these.  

As this learner progressed through their level 3 apprenticeship, they became much more confident in their knowledge and abilities within the setting. When completing discussions with their tutor, they were able to confidently discuss what they had been learning and how they had been implementing this within their practices.  The growth in this learner’s confidence enabled her to successfully pass her end point assessment.  

Winner: Bonnie Brown (Little Shipmates) 

Throughout the duration of their apprenticeship, this learner has shown great determination to achieve their level 2 childcare qualification. As they progressed through their course, they were able to work hard to achieve targets set, completing work to a very good standard. They worked extremely hard within their day-to-day practices in the setting.  

This learner was very good at adapting their practices based on children’s individual needs. They always ensured that their activities were child focused and engaging to support the children’s learning and development. The setting’s management team often commented on how valuable this learner was as a member of their team. They pushed themselves really hard to complete their apprenticeship and were able to successfully pass their end point assessment. 

Employer of the Year

The Employer of the Year award is presented to the company that offers the best environment to support the learner in their Apprenticeship or training programme.  It is awarded to the nursery or preschool that actively engages in the learner’s journey from the outset and provides a supportive platform from which the learner can develop their skills, knowledge and behaviours in Early Years.  

This award recognises organisations that have created a stimulating and supportive work environment and a real commitment to the training programme of its learners. The award demonstrates the hard work and effort put in by these employers as part of the Apprenticeship tri-partite process and illustrates their dedication to the learner and their programme.   

This effort reflects in high staff satisfaction levels , high retention rates and a well-motivated, ambitious and integrated team within the nursery. Nominations for this category have been voted for by a panel of the Showcase Team and recognise employers that go above and beyond the usual requirements of the Apprenticeship. This help and support from the employer truly helps learners flourish and become fantastic practitioners of the futures and helps build careers within the Early Years sector. 

Highly commended: Teddy Bears (Sam P) 

This setting has worked with Showcase Training since October 2022. As a setting, they have always been extremely supportive of their apprentices. The setting’s manager and wider team always go above and beyond to ensure that each apprentice is supported. This has included ensuring that all apprentices’ individual learning styles and needs are met. When needed, this has included ensuring that apprentices get additional study time on top of the required amount.  

Communication from the setting has always been good and the setting are really accommodating to the Showcase tutor team to ensure that all apprentices get their visits as needed.  

Runner up: Farlington and Dolls House Nurseries (Rachel Dolman, Sarah Parson and Olivia Annalls)

This group of settings is extremely supportive to their apprentices. The management team communicate well with the staff at Showcase Training and are always a great source of support. Managers go above and beyond to make sure each apprentice is supported in a way suitable to their individual needs. This has included ensuring that consistent study time is offered, as well as letting apprentices attend study days at the Showcase Training Office.

Managers provide detailed written witness testimonies to help provide evidence for their apprentices, based on their observations of practices made in the setting. Within the settings, all apprentices are provided with lots of opportunities to learn and develop through various different training courses. Apprentices at both settings, always comment on how happy they are at work and how well supported they feel by colleagues, room leaders and the management team.

Winner: Little Learners Day Care (Elaine Burnett and Vicky George) 

This setting has always taken every effort to provide a supportive environment for their apprentices. This includes providing their apprentices with different learning opportunities, both within the setting and through attending regular training.  This setting always understands where their apprentices are at within their qualifications and what support they can give to work alongside this. The management team at the setting do well to recognise the apprentices and their individual learning styles and offer support to each individual based around this.  

It is lovely to see how much the setting has a great community focus, and how they encourage apprentices to be involved in supporting different charities throughout the year through various fundraising events. Showcase staff who work with the setting are always made to feel welcomed by all staff and are supported to provide the best learning and development for all apprentices. 

Apprentice of the Year

This award stands as the pinnacle of achievement for our learners and goes to the person that, throughout their apprenticeship, has consistently demonstrated an outstanding attitude to both work and their application to learning. Success isn’t always measured by the grades you receive but also by the impact you have. 

This award recognises the hard work and effort at every stage of the qualification which has been influential on their own development and also to those around them, whether that be their employer, their tutor or their colleagues. 

Winning this award is a true reflection of outstanding achievement and is something the recipient should be incredibly proud of. It recognises both their own success but also the effect you have on the children and parents you support every day.  

Voted for by a panel across all areas of Showcase Training, this award is truly earned and being shortlisted for the Apprentice of the year award is something that demonstrates the excellence of all the recipients. 

Highly commended: Lucy Standley (Carousel)  

Throughout the duration of their apprenticeship, this learner grew in confidence in both their working practices in the setting and their approach to completing the level 3 course.  

This learner always took the time to take onboard feedback that was given when completing written work and they were able to develop their writing skills. Alongside this, they confidently applied what they had been learning from their apprenticeship to support the babies and children in the setting. 

This learner remained focused on their goals and despite facing several challenges, they were able to achieve a distinction in their end point assessment.  

Runner up: Emily G (Woodberry Peartree) 

This learner had a challenging start to their apprenticeship; however, they were motivated to complete as soon as possible. They became consistent in being able to meet every deadline set and ensured that all work completed was well written and well researched. Within their written work, they often reflected on their learning from within the setting.  

When planning activities for observations, they thought outside of the box. They thought about the children’s interests and their activities were original and creative. They were able to demonstrate how caring they were to the children in their care and how they had wonderful relationships with them.  

This learner passed their level 3 apprenticeship with a distinction, and they are now the joint room leader of the under 2s room in the setting.  

Winner: Olivia Webb (Farlington Day Nursery) 

This learner worked exceptionally hard throughout the duration of their apprenticeship. They consistently completed work to a high standard, often exceeding the expectations of a level 2 learner.  When they prepared for their observations to take place, they ensured that each activity was well planned and that all seven areas of the children’s learning and development was supported.  The activities planned were imaginative and captured the children’s interests, which resulted in the children being really engaged in the different opportunities they were provided with.   

Alongside this, this learner was able to demonstrate how they could build excellent relationships with all of the children in their care, adapting their practice confidently to meet the children’s age and stage of development.  This learner had a successful end point assessment and this resulted in them passing their apprenticeship with a distinction. Since completing their level 2 apprenticeship, this learner has started their level 3 as a commercial learner with us at Showcase Training.