Health & Social Care & Childcare

Former Health & Social Care & Childcare students share their experiences at Callywith, what they are up to now and what they are planning on doing next.

From the course


Progression: Royal Navy Nurse Student - Birmingham City University

Course studied: Level 3 Health & Social Care Diploma

Extra Activites: National Citizen Service (NCS) and work experience shadowing healthcare professionals

Previous School: Bodmin College

How are you finding university and being a Royal Navy nurse student?

It feels great to finally be a naval nurse student, and feels like it was a long time coming with all the complications due to Covid-19.

Raleigh; the training for the Royal Navy which puts recruits through 10 weeks of intense fitness and mental challenges to ensure they are ready for the fleet and the military in general, was the hardest but most amazing thing I’ve done!

The training has been massively different to normal due to covid, but I learnt a lot about myself and managed to cope in harsh conditions and with discipline that I usually would have struggled with. It’s made me change so much as a person and I’ve loved every minute of it!

I applied directly through the Royal Navy and wasn’t given an option of choices of university as they use Birmingham University for all three forces, but when I went to view the university on an open day I loved it, so it definitely would have been a choice if I’d had it!

I had to complete a basic interview to join the navy in general and some psychometric tests, as well as a medical and fitness test (1.5 miles in under 14 minutes, which I did in 12.40). I was then sent away to HMS Sultan in Gosport near Portsmouth for a two day nursing interview board where I had to give a ten minute PowerPoint presentation on a nursing related topic. I had to do a table top maths exercise and a nursing interview and so it’s very competitive with a hard and long process as they only take on around 12 people a year for their nursing, so it’s really hard to get a place!

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/transition to university?

I want to say thank you to my tutor at Callywith, Sara, for all of her help in getting me here. She helped me a lot with the things I struggled with and getting the grade I needed and I am very grateful! I am also very grateful to all of the Health & Social Care team for all of their teaching help over the two years I spent at Callywith, it’s helped me so much in my career so far and I’d recommend the course to anyone!

How has your Health & Social Care Diploma helped you in your course?

My time at Callywith helped me so much with preparing for my future career as the course in particular covers a lot of things such as policies, procedures and roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals that I needed for working in health care, as well as giving me the opportunity to complete 100 hours of work experience shadowing healthcare professionals such as nurses, which helped me know that this is exactly what I wanted to do! I felt a lot of encouragement and support at Callywith to go for every opportunity I could.


Progression: BEd Primary Education with QTS at Marjon University

Course studied: Level 3 Health & Social Care Diploma

Extra activities: Work placement at T Plus school

Previous school: Looe Community Academy

How did Callywith support you in your application to university?

The lecturers really took the time to get to know us and supported us as much as they could - which was amazing. The Health and Social Care course at Callywith allowed us to look into a range of careers in both the health and social care sector, which allowed me to discover the different paths I could take from doing the course. The lecturers I had at Callywith were extremely helpful in the decision making process and supported me so much. The course included a weekly placement of our choice (within the health or social care sector) for mine, I chose to go into education, where I was put into a T Plus school. The experience I got at this placement secured my decision of going into teaching.

How has your diploma helped you in your degree?

The course was mainly assignment based, which prepared me for essay writing at university. The range of subjects included in the course allowed me to have an understanding in a variety of areas, which I have been able to transfer into my university work. My placement in the T-Plus centre also allowed me to gain a personal understanding of the education system, giving me first hand experience of what it’s like working in a school.

How are you finding your course / experience at university?

University has been an amazing experience so far, I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve done! The workload can be very demanding but going into school on placement makes it worth it. The 10 week school placement was absolutely incredible and I loved every minute of it. I had no idea how amazing it would feel to teach a lesson and have all of the children super keen to get involved and make progression. I even entered the schools fun run with my peers and dressed up as salamanders - we looked horrific by the end of it, but our class was super super excited to see us at the finish line.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

Next year I am hoping to go to Camp America and work in Education after my degree.


Progression: Mental Health Nursing Apprenticeship with Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust through Plymouth University 

Courses studied: Level 3 Health & Social Care

Extra activities: Work placement at a Care home

Previous school: Looe Community Academy

How did Callywith support you in your apprenticeship application?

Callywith really helped my experience of applying and made me feel less stressed and more organised for my interview.

Sara, my tutor, helped me a lot with my apprentice application on the NHS job site.

Why did you choose the apprenticeship route?

I was really interested in becoming a mental health nurse due to going on placement at a care home with residents with dementia and loving the aspect of helping people with difficulties with their mental health. I also chose the apprenticeship route as I liked the idea of not getting into debt from student loans, and still getting the same opportunity as student nurses, but also having a benefit and being paid. 

How are you finding the apprenticeship?

I successfully got on the course doing mental health nursing and I am loving it. Currently, due to coronavirus it is a bit different compared to what it would be like without lockdown. I am doing my placement in Bodmin in a rehabilitation centre with patients who struggle with their mental health. Usually when I have my lectures (online) it would be 4/5 times a week about 6 hours a day, sometimes less. We haven’t been able to complete some training due to coronavirus, but I still have been having an amazing experience.

What does a day in the workplace involve?

On placement I have been learning about medication doses for anti-psychotics, anti-depressants and stimulants for patients with autism. On top of this I’m learning about medication that isn’t just for mental health as well. I communicate with the patients and do activities as well as do care plans, sit in on their meetings to be discharged and lots more.

What is your favourite part of the apprenticeship?

The best thing about this apprenticeship is that I am loving having experience becoming a future registered nurse, as well as getting paid and still having the exact same experience alongside student nurses from Plymouth University.

What are your top tips for considering an Apprenticeship?

- Be prepared to do a bit more work on the side than students at a university who don’t get paid. As an apprentice we need to add more work on a website called ‘Aptem’ that we explain what we’ve been doing at university, so they know we are doing work.
- Be very professional during your interview and come prepared. During your interview you will be asked lots of questions and expected to answer properly. 
- Don’t be too harsh on yourself / don’t stress too much. I haven’t had experience in mental health, and I was still chosen. You are judged on how willing you are to learn, not how experienced you are.
- Be open minded. You may not like that you’ve been put on a ward with dementia residents for placement because that’s not what you want to do. BUT, it’s all about experience and gaining more insights in different sorts of mental health settings. Plus you may LOVE it.

When do you finish & what will your next steps be?

I will officially finish my degree in 3 years and will become a registered mental health nurse and hopefully go on to work in a prison helping children/teenagers with mental health illness.


Progression: Operating Department Practice - Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent

Courses studied: Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

Extra Activities: Placement in a hospital setting

Previous School: Bodmin College

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

My uni experience has brought up many challenges but has taught me to be resilient.  The first lockdown affected my learning as I was not able to continue with placement, however for second year, I have been continuing with placement and attending face to face lessons. I thoroughly enjoy studying how the theatres operate, the anatomy of the body, pharmacology and the thrill of emergency procedures. 

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/ transition to university?

My time at Callywith influenced my transition to university because the Level 3 health and social care diploma allowed me to get my first ever placement experience in a hospital setting. The support from my lecturers at Callywith, especially Jen Brown, were incredibly supportive with my choice of course and helping me decide where to study. 

What do you enjoy in particular about studying Operating Department Practice?

ODP’s are highly trained members of the perioperative team who help in three main areas; anaesthetics, surgical, and post op anaesthesia. For me, I love how my role is specialised in theatres. I enjoy assisting surgeons during an operation and working as a multi disciplinary team. I have seen various interesting operations and my days at placement have been very productive. 

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future I am hoping to qualify and get a job in the NHS as an operating department practitioner. By taking this course, it has opened my eyes to medicine and inspired me to further my education in healthcare by considering applying to medicine.


Progression:  Primary English with QTS - Edgehill University

Courses studied: Level 3 Children's Play, Learning & Development Diploma (CPLD)

Extra activites: Paediatric First Aid and Work Placement, Student Ambassador

Previous school: Liskeard School and Community College

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

I am really enjoying my university experience as challenging as it has been with lockdown and restrictions. The uni is super supportive and will answer any questions I have had in relation to course and student life. I have found a really good group of mates which I hang out with a lot and we all support each other. Overall, once at uni restrictions did not effect me much as we were all in the same household or met outside. 

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/ transition to university?

When looking at the universities for my chosen course my lectures were really helpful and cared a lot about our choices. I was able to discuss the pros and cons of each uni both academically and personally and all my lectures were there to listen and share their thoughts and advice. For the transition to uni I was given support on preparing for my interviews and what I could do to make myself stand out against other teenagers applying to the same university. 

What do you enjoy in particular about studying childcare at college/your university course?

At college I enjoyed the class I was in as well as the lecturers I had. It was a really supporting environment both for academic support as well as personal guidance and support. The lectures ensured that we were okay and we were able to do the work and if we were unable to understand the content being taught the lectures would help us to understand it by adapting the teaching. I also really enjoyed the placement aspect of the course as it gave me great experience with different ages groups and made me realise the age group in which I wanted to work in.

At University, I have really enjoyed learning more about how to teach children as well as what we teach children. I have had lectures in all areas of the National Curriculum. I also enjoyed the placement even though it was online I got more information I got about teaching in primary schools. 

How has your diploma/time at Callywith helped you in your degree?

My diploma has really supported my degree. Because of the current COVID-19 situation we could not do in person placement however, with my in person placement experience i had in college i had a lot more knowledge on first hand experiences then most of my fellow classmates. My time at Callywith also gave me really good academic writing skills. Most of my classmates came to university just doing exams so when it came to assignment writing I felt I had a more understanding on how to do it due to my diploma being mainly assignment based. 

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future after uni I am planning to go into a primary school teaching position in the city hopefully either Manchester or Liverpool. From this I then want to work my way up and eventually become the headteacher of a school.