Hi Lilliput, I've just finished the nvq3 teaching assistant qual at evening school 1 session a week then a voluntary placement in a school (most schools will love to have you as its free help!) for one full day a week (though I think you could do 2 half days, or more if you have the time)
Basically you build up a portfolio with the help from your tutor and hand it in at the end of the summer term (you may be able to get on a course now if you're quick, otherwise it will be next sep (or is it aug in Scotland cos you break up earlier?)
TBH its hard in the commitment sense (especially as I was working as well) as but not in the actual writing and compiling sense, though it is equivalent to an A-level. I enjoyed it immensely and hope to look for work in schools next Sept when I've had the baby and he will be 9 months old.
Lizzer, I'm starting nvq3 TA course next week (although have been a TA for 4 years) and I'm surprised that you got onto a level3 with just 1 day a week in school. At our intro day the volunteers in schools were told they could only do level2 as it would be too difficult to cover all the modules and only the ones like myself who deliver intervention programmes would be considered for level3.
So well done for getting it - can you tell me if you found it difficult? Tbh, I'm not looking forward to it and could rather not but my HT has been on at me about it.
If you want to 'have ago' ask around to see if they need volunteers first. Primary seems hard to get into (unless you have your feetunder the table!), secondary slways seems to be in demand - round here anyway.
There are quite a few qualifications you can do but to be honest, I'd get some experience first as the courses will a) make more sense & b) be easier with some experience under your belt.
wheresthehamster (great name!) Hmm, I personally didn't feel I needed any more time in school to achieve the modules - some are incredibly dull, such as health and safety. The evidence you need to gather is fine if you can think laterally and use one situation you've encountered to 'tick' a lot of boxes on your sheet. For example if you've been working with primary school children and baking mince pies. That would cover lots of areas of your portfolio - Health and safety, behaviour management,working in small groups, numeracy (ie weighing out of ingredients - how can you encourage the children to express mathematical language during the exercise) Observing and reporting on pupil performance...and probably more! That's how much evidence you can provide in an hour exercise, think how much you can do in a year's worth!
I will be honest and say got very frustrated with it half way through and when I found out I was pregnant I lost my way a bit, but I got back on track and I'm soooo pleased I did it now. Good luck I'm sure you'll love it when you get into it, and remember to write everything you do down, it ALWAYS can be adapted inot some kind of evidence