This course is for students who wish to become a key part of the early year’s education workforce. Designed in line with Welsh Governments push to create confident, well-prepared 21st century early year practitioners, you will build an understanding of the development and learning needs of young children from 0-8 years, spanning many contexts such as child development, mental health, behaviour, psychology and more. The learning is supported by expert teaching, placements, and real-world experience.
One of the major advantages to students studying this course is that it’s accredited by Social Care Wales. When you graduate, you’ll leave with Early Years Practitioner status, which is a stamp of approval in the industry.
Placement sits at the heart of this programme allowing you to link theory to practice around areas such as activity planning, assessment and recording procedures, and Welsh language development. Through years 1-3, you’ll attend placements which accumulate to 700 hours over three years, giving you quantifiable experience and knowledge of the industry.
Designed in line with cutting-edge research and current practice, the aim of the course is to give you the knowledge, skillset, and confidence to be employable within the early year’s workforce, thus equipping you with the following:
- An academic qualification, combined with Early Years Practitioner Status
- The ability to confidently work with young children in areas such as safeguarding, development, behaviour, mental health, sociological and psychological elements of childhood, and more
- The ability to apply theory into practice, through placements and real experience
- The ability to evaluate policy, planning, management, and delivery of learning opportunity
- A developed intellectual understanding of critical reasoning, analysis, and creativity
- The skills and attributes desired by employers, including leadership, communication, reflective practice, and problem-solving
What you will study
Each year of study contains key ‘themes’ woven through the modules. These golden threads enable students to make vital connections between modules and replicates the connections required in real-world practice, which are developed through this challenge-based learning approach.
Year 1 – contains the themes of learner voice, safeguarding and pedagogical approaches
During year one, you’ll be given the building blocks to develop academic skills. This is focused on challenge-based learning, collaborative, and interdisciplinary skills, and includes immersive learning projects working in small groups, a focus on sociological and psychological childhood development, and the opportunity to explore experiential learning opportunities for young children.
- Early Years Curricula: Play and Pedagogy Core (40 credits)
- Professional Learning and Practice 1 – Core (40 credits)
- Perspectives of Early Childhood – Specified (20 credits)
- Project 1 – Specified (20 credits)
Year 2 – contains the themes of collaboration/ diversity and children’s mental health
During year two, you will continue to progress through your professional practice module working towards the next set of competencies in placement over a seven-week period and evidencing them in a portfolio. Key topics during this year include behaviour management, the development of demonstrating creativity, innovation, and project management capabilities, alongside the opportunity to gain additional qualifications in supporting children with dyslexia.
- Professional Learning and Practice 2 – Core (40 credits)
- Project 2 – Specified (20 credits)
- Behaviour Management – Specified (20 credits)
- Inclusive Practice in the Early Years – Specified (20 credits)
- Introduction to Research – Specified (20 credits)
Year 3 – contains themes of Leading and managing, sustainability and digital competency
In year three, leadership and management skills will be woven through the modules, building on the experience you have already gained during the previous years of study and your placements. Digital competency will underpin the immersive learning project, and you will work in a team to scope the design, content, and application of a digital vehicle to support children’s learning and development. This will also be the year where research makes up a significant amount of study, improving your ability to work independently whilst engaging with external partners and applying ethical practices through the collection of data. Finally, you will engage in ‘outdoor learning’, which provides the theoretical and practical experience of this important practice.
- Professional Learning and Practice 3 – Core (40 credits)
- Research in the Early Years – Specified (40 credits)
- Project 3 – Specified (20 credits)
- Children Learning through Landscapes – Specified (20 credits)
Students at level four will have a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, and tutorials. Seminars and workshops will include group and individual contributions and formative feedback will be provided at relevant check points within modules.
Professional Learning and Practice Modules progress through years 1 -3. These modules centre around students attending placement which accumulate to 700 hours over three years. Employability is the focus, and these modules embrace opportunities for problem based and real-world learning.
Students will also have opportunities to engage in additional qualifications like the Agored Cymru Outdoor learning Practitioner award, Hidden Sentence training, Accredited Learning Support Assistant (accredited by the British Dyslexia assoc.), and First Aid and Safeguarding certificates.
Finally, it is intended that opportunities to disseminate student research to a wider audience, including their mentors that have supported their practice, will be organised, thus sharing their findings to inform future practice.
The course has no exams, and this is often perceived as a benefit by many students. Different methods of assessment are employed across the modules, and these include:
- Creation of a resource
- Lesson planning
- Reflective reports
- Poster presentations
- Report writing
- Research analysis
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