Aoife Hurley – From Level 6 to Level 9 ‘Found A Passion’ in Early Childhood Studies

Early Years & Montessori

Early Years

Aoife Hurley chose Portobello’s level 6 course in Early Childhood Care and Education over her first CAO offer of an Arts degree in 2013 “and just completely fell in love with it”.

Aoife found her passion for early childhood care and education and developed a deep appreciation for her own higher education and is now over halfway through our MA in Early Childhood Studies.

She said she never would have considered herself as academic but has been supported and guided through her passion at Portobello which has nurtured her journey from level 6 through to level 7 BA (Ord), level 8 BA (Hons) and now her masters.

I had always thought that I didn’t really like studying I never particularly liked school which is hilarious now I am doing my master’s. If you told my teachers in school that I’d have gone on and done a master’s I don’t think they would believe you.

“I found a passion and I think the tutors in Portobello found a passion in me as well they found something in me that actually, I am academic, I am a writer, and I do have the ability to do it as well once I like what I am writing about I can do it and I am actually very able to focus on it, so I completely fell in love with it,” she said. 

Aoife decided to go straight from level 6 to level 7 and says “the tutors were just amazing”.

“It completely changed the way I viewed education for myself and I became so passionate about my own education and it changed how I taught children too and even how you can communicate with other staff members, how I viewed the role of our education.

Studying at Portobello is the most personal experience. I have always found that because it’s small class sizes you get to know your tutors and your tutors get to know you. You can send an email, you can pick up the phone and they know who they are talking to, they know you.

You’re a person and the college always felt very much like a second home, it felt very family-based. You did get that feeling in the place.

“I think there is a thing in the sector where people go into further education to get the funding, particularly with the level 7 but I found that no it’s not just that you learn so much more and understand so much more and I saw the benefit of it then so it completely changed all of that for me,” she said. 

Completing her BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies opened doors for Aoife to lecture, which she feels is so important for future generations and the development of the sector.

It was so much learning and you get so much understanding of how children learn and such a different view of what we do and why we do it and such an appreciation for our role and the benefit of what we do every day and the value of our position in children’s lives.  

“It’s always just been to learn more and I have that drive and want to know everything about children I just want to know everything there is to know. Now, I would love to do lecturing and that would be because I would love to teach the next generation of teachers because I would love to share my passion.

“I am really passionate about what we do and why we teach and why we have to let children learn in a free and creative way and the way that is best for them and I want the next generation of teachers to understand that at whatever level they come in level 5 or level 6 I want them to allow for that play and freedom and to teach the next generation to be that way,” she said. 

Speaking about her decision to study at Portobello from level 6 through to level 9, rather than her first CAO offer to study Arts at a university, she said the atmosphere at Portobello was personal and nurturing.

I got feedback which filled me with confidence. Like ‘I enjoy reading your writing’ that is personal to me because they actually knew my writing style whereas, in a big university where they are reading hundreds of the same essay, they are not going to remember whose writing style that is because they are reading so many.

Marguerita keeps telling me that she sees a PhD in me so who knows! This possibly isn’t even the end. I would love to try tutoring and lecturing that’s definitely something I want to try.

“I would potentially love to open my own setting because I would love to do things really my way and that’s definitely something I would be looking at. I have a couple of different goals and aspirations and it’s nice to know that thanks to my education I have been able to make those real possibilities.

“Those and so many other options are open to me I know I could quite easily walk into a government job there are so many possibilities for me. I have the choice,” she said.

If you are interested in studying any level of early childhood education at Portobello Institute, check out our department page here. If you would like to speak with our course advisor who can assist with your personal journey, book a free 15-minute consultation call with Jennifer Matteazzi here.

Aoife Hurley – From Level 6 to Level 9 ‘Found A Passion’ in Early Childhood Studies Aoife Hurley – From Level 6 to Level 9 ‘Found A Passion’ in Early Childhood Studies