Modules in QQI L6 and L6 Special Needs Assisting are a great way of getting into a new line of work. Here are two stories of how the SNA modules changed the lives of two night class students:
For Patricia Fitzgerald, returning to education after 16 years led to a QQI Level 5 qualification, undertaking a Level 6 qualification, and a good prospect of employment.
“I completed the Level 5 module in Special Needs Assisting,” says Patricia, who’s able to walk to the night class in Cashel Community School, Co Tipperary, as she lives locally.
“I found the night class great – it was easier than if I had studied for it on my own. I was out of education for 16 years and it has been great going back. The tutors are brilliant and the notes were helpful. Level 6 is definitely more intense and I would recommend that people do Level 5 Special Needs Assisting first.
“For me, having night classes in Cashel Community School is great because I don’t drive, so it is very handy. And I was also able to do my work placement locally, and I stayed on after my work placement to work as a volunteer.
“You’re also fully employable with the SNA modules. I’m currently working as an SNA and [at the time of writing] interviewing soon for a full-time position.
“For me, the classes were great for my confidence. I didn’t think I’d be able for anything like that. The Level 5 and work placement were great – I learn as I go and the course gave a great insight as to what the SNA work involved.”
Patricia’s involvement with the school shows the role of community schools in their communities. “I went to school there myself, did a Post-Leaving Cert course there, and now, my children attend the school as well.” And, when she was ready, Patricia turned to her old school to continue her lifelong learning journey.
Less than a year after returning to education, Patricia has boosted her skills and her confidence - and her chances of securing full-time work.
“I love it and would recommend it to anyone!”
A new chapter for Portmarnock’s librarian
Sheila McWilliams was the school librarian in Portmarnock Community School, Dublin for five years and has recently moved into her new role as a Special Needs Assistant this year having completed the QQI Level 5 module as a night class. Next up, Level 6 “and I’m going to keep going as far as I can go with it”, she says.
Everybody needs to know more about ADHD or dyspraxia, said Sheila.
She has great praise for tutor Marie O’Connor. “Marie was very supportive and helpful. She delivered the course content in a very clear and easy to follow manner.
“I found the course very interesting, insightful and enjoyable. And I continue to learn on the job every day.