Sarahjane Whyte

My name Sarahjane Whyte. I’ve been employed by Edinburgh City Council for more than 10 years as an early years practitioner. My work place is Hillwood Primary School, Ratho Station.

I originally went into this job as it fitted into my daughter’s schooling. I first chose to work on a supply basis which was useful for me having school holidays off to care for my daughter rather than employing a childminder. Now that she has grown I have a permanent contract.

My husband is in the armed forces and we have moved around a lot. I found completing my HND Childhood Practice helped me find employment when we moved to new places. When we moved to Edinburgh, I first registered to do supply work with Edinburgh City Council which was a great help in learning the different roles and responsibilities at each nursery school. Before I started at Hillwood Primary School I was able to work in a range of nurseries and I learned that each one was unique.

The two main qualities I think you need in this role are patience and a caring nature. There is never one day the same as the other in my job. However, every day you do get a sense of achievement. You are rewarded with seeing a child achieve something. Seeing children become confident individuals makes me proud to do my job.

The last 14 months I have been developing the garden area at my nursery with lots of natural resources from the forest that is very near to the school. The children love to engage in loose parts play at lunch time. Working closely with my head teacher and class teacher I have been fully supported to do this. I’m able to be creative with my ideas which I have loved doing. It has given me an ambition to look further into working in the outdoors with children.

Outdoor development and gardening makes a great difference to children regarding their confidence. It helps them open up and trust me which is so rewarding. It has also personally helped me to become more confident in my role. I feel very lucky to have a great head teacher that saw the potential in me to further develop the children’s learning experiences.

In the afternoons I am also working across the school with a small group of children from each class doing bakery lessons.

If you’re considering working with children my advice to you is that you’re half way to making the very best decision; so go for it. You won’t regret it if you are a person that likes to better themselves and help children thrive. You’ll have support in your setting to be part of a dynamic and unique team, where you'll all want the same thing which is to have the children’s very best interest and welfare at the forefront. I would say pick up your pen or turn on your computer and finish what you started.

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Outdoor development and gardening makes a great difference to children regarding their confidence. It helps them open up and trust me which is so rewarding.

Sarahjane Whyte Hillwood Primary School, Ratho Station