Taster day ideas

Mon Jun 24 09:30:00 UTC 2013


This summer term and academic year is drawing to a close and attention is being drawn towards planning and preparation for September 2013. I know some of you may also be planning taster days for prospective students in July or during the autumn term, so here Heather Higgins, the Senior Standards Verifier for Health and Social Care, outlines some useful activities offering enquirers a snapshot of what would be included if they decided to embark on a BTEC in Health and Social Care.

I have identified some key websites, teaching resources and video clips to support the implementation of these activities.

The Expert Panel

Invite last year’s learners (Level 2) and year 2 learners (Level 3) to answer questions about the course. Include a few questions of your own, for example:

  • What was your favourite part of the course?
  • Why did you go on the course?
  • What is placement like?

Effective Communication (1)

Explain to the group that communicating with users of health and social care services is really important. Divide the group into sections and give each one a scenario; for example:

  • Directions to the nearest bus stop
  • Applying nail polish
  • Washing up
  • Making a bed

Ask the group to think of as many ways as they can to give someone the information they need to complete the task. Provide pens, paper, and scissors.

Effective Communication (2)

Invite a colleague who provides support for learners with additional needs to teach the group some basic signs from British Sign Language or Makaton.

Effective Communication (3)

Briefly describe communication passports and how communication passports can support service users in Health and Social Care. Alternatively, you can show a suitable video clip from the internet. Provide paper, pens, scissors and magazines, and ask the group to produce communication passports that reflect their own interests - for example sport, television programmes, holidays and hobbies. You can provide example Communication passports to guide them.

Personal Care

Tell the group that some service users will need support with personal care. Provide a selection of clothes, such as cardigans, jackets and coats, and ask the group to work in pairs, helping each other on with the garment. Follow this by a short plenary about how it felt to be helped to put on a coat, cardigan and so on. Include words such as 'dignity', 'respect', 'confidentiality' and 'empathy'.


Divide the group into smaller sub-groups and provide each group with A3 paper, pens, scissors, glue sticks and magazines. Ask the group to provide a poster about what the word ‘respect’ means to them.

First Aid

Invite the school nurse/first aider to teach the group some basic techniques - for example, bandaging limbs, dealing with sprains or applying a sling. You can also teach the group how to implement the recovery position - the British Red Cross has some great resources.

Team work

Tell the group that working in health and social care often means working in a team. Divide the group into two teams and appoint a leader for each. Provide each group with the following materials (alternatively, you could place all materials on a central table). Ask the group to produce one of the following:

  • A party hat
  • A basket of fruit
  • A boat
  • A ladder
  • A house/tent/shed

Follow this by providing the groups with a rating scale, where 1 is amazing and 5 requires some improvement. Scale to include co-operation, willingness to compromise, listening to each other, willingness to compromise and completion of task.

N.B. Remember to keep the discussion light - sensitive egos are easily bruised!

Healthy diets

As a starting activity you could introduce the NHS Choices quiz to begin discussions. Divide the group into smaller sub-groups and provide them with magazines, scissors, felt pens, glue sticks and large paper. Ask the groups to produce a poster on healthy eating.

Ask the sub-groups to design a healthy menu for a particular occasion, such as a children’s party, a family meal or a picnic.

The quiz

Produce a short quiz to demonstrate to the group that they already have some knowledge of health and social care. Some example questions could include:

  • Who might live in a care home?
  • Who might go to a day centre?
  • Who takes meals to people who cannot leave their home?
  • Where would you go if you broke your arm?
  • Who helps families who have problems?
  • What does a nurse do?
  • What does a social worker do?
  • Who would help a homeless person?
  • Who might deliver a baby?

You may wish to follow the activities with a short discussion on the relevant issues. Remember to keep it light, keep it fun, and make it relevant to health and social care.

All activities can be adapted to meet the needs of your particular groups of potential learners.

I hope you have found this update useful. Should you wish to discuss this or anything else further, please feel free to contact me.

Kate Elsmore
Health and Social Care / Early Years Subject Advisor
E: TeachingHealthandSocialCare@pearson.com
E: TeachingChildcare@pearson.com
Follow me on Facebook

What do you think?

Are you sure you want to exit this session?