Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies

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1 Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies at Ashton Sixth Form College Validated by Staffordshire University Guidance & Information

2 Ashton Sixth Form College Higher Education Contents When are the deadlines?... 3 What is a Foundation Degree?... 3 Who is the course for?... 3 What will the course cover?... 3 What do I need to do the course?... 5 How is the course assessed?... 5 How long does the course take?... 5 How much does the course cost?... 5 Where can I progress to?

3 Guidance and Information Pack Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies Hellen Oliver Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies the course enables me to provide the best start possible to children s lives My name is Hellen and I am a registered child minder. I completed my Level 3 qualification in Childcare and wanted to further my career prospects by completing the Foundation degree. I opted for the Foundation degree in Early Childhood Studies, offered by Ashton Sixth Form College in partnership with Staffordshire University. I first decided to be a child minder when my children were young; I wanted to be at home for them whilst still earning a good salary. I completed a course to become a registered child minder then wanted to further my qualifications to enable me to be the best at what I do. I love being with children so this is the perfect career for me and the course enables me to provide the best start possible to children s lives. The degree course has really challenged my professional thinking about my role in early years and how I support children s development. I chose Ashton Sixth Form College to study my degree because they had the course, times and days that suited me, and I m glad I did. I really enjoy the course: it is hard work but enjoyable. I am not the only person in my family to be studying at Ashton Sixth Form College either; my son is full time at College studying Public Services, so we both have plenty of homework to complete! 2

4 Ashton Sixth Form College Higher Education Round One: When are the deadlines? 8 th June 2015 Interviews held from June July Round Two: (Subject to availability of places) 6 th July 2015 Interviews held from July September Round Three: (Late applications) 31 st August 2015 Interviews held in September What is a Foundation Degree? A Foundation Degree is a level 5 qualification made up of 240 credits, 120 of which are gained at level 4 study and a further 120 at level 5 study. These credits are gained by completing modules throughout the course. Although the Foundation Degree is a qualification in its own right, it can be topped up to a full Honours Degree through the acquisition of a further 120 credits on a top up course. For further information on topping up to a full Honours Degree and progression routes, please see the Where can I progress to? section on page 6. Who is the course for? This award seeks to provide an opportunity for those who are currently working with or wishing to pursue a career with children to build on their knowledge and experience through study at a higher education level to enhance and understand their professional roles. It is designed specifically for those who wish to combine work and study. This part time route is designed for level three qualified practitioners who are currently employed, either paid or voluntary for at least two days a week, in an early years environment as a nanny or child minder, or within a school, nursery, children s centre, etc., who wish to further their academic qualifications. What will the course cover? The emphasis of the programme is based on learning in the workplace and recognises that many applicants will have gained knowledge and understanding necessary to undertake study at a higher level through developing professional awareness in the context of work. It is also designed to underpin all appropriate technical work specific skills as well as key skills. Work based tasks will require students to demonstrate their skills in the workplace and bring evidence to study sessions and this work will form an essential part of the programme experience. This course is made up of the following eight modules: Module One: Practitioners Personal, Academic and Professional Development This module introduces the learner to key vocational and transferable professional concepts and skills with 3

5 Guidance and Information Pack Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies the aim of establishing reflection on learning and its application to professional practice. The module works to enhance academic skills, employability and future career progression through planning actions to be taken to meet both short and long term career goals. Module Two: The Developing Child: A Holistic View This module addresses the interconnectivity of the many aspects relating to a child s overall development, including age related phases and developmental domains. Learners will look at growth, change and development in the womb during pre natal and neo natal stages of life and the issues affecting a child s healthy development. The module also offers the opportunity to research the historical implications of the scientific study of child development and parenting and how this relates to present day practice. Students will also learn the importance of observation in assessing a child s development and skills and ethical practices required for observing children naturalistically. Module Three: The Planning Cycle This module looks into the rationale behind planning, implementing and evaluating aspects of early years curriculum, as well as approaches to recording children s achievements and developmental progress. Learners will also examine the types of planning; the stages of the planning cycle; and practical aspects of planning, including risk assessments and organising stimulating environments and resources. The module aims to increase the learner s knowledge of theoretical perspectives on learning, including active learning and types of play, and inclusion, differentiation and parental involvement in planning and assessment. Module Four: Inclusive and Enabling Environments This module explores the underpinning philosophy, aims, structure and pedagogical approaches to early years curricula, as well as looking into transitions from play based learning programmes to formal learning. Learners will investigate the organisation of environments and resources and the deployment of practitioners and the teaching and learning practices within early childhood organisations in terms of interactions, providing curricula balance and catering for diversity. The module also covers children s rights and how to promote them in early childhood; inclusive approaches; and challenging discriminative practices at all levels. Module Five: Professional Practice with Young Children This module investigates the organisational structures of provision for young children and the impact of the legal framework, national and local policy on provision. Learners will also look into working with professionals from other agencies and disciplines to provide a unified and holistic approach to child health and development. Learners will also examine approaches to working in partnership with parents and families and initiatives to promote child and family health and well being. Module Six: Action Research This module introduces learners to the purpose, principles and processes of doing practitioner led research by conducting an independent small scale project in the workplace or placement. During the module, learners will reflect on aspects of their practice; evaluate different approaches to research; conduct a small piece of research and identify future developments to practice and opportunities for future research. Module Seven: Safeguarding and Promoting Children s Welfare This module allows learners to examine definitions of physical, sexual, racial and emotional abuse and to examine their own feelings towards abuse and neglect. The module covers practical strategies for promoting children s welfare and the differing perspectives of childhood and culture to competency and vulnerability. 4

6 Ashton Sixth Form College Higher Education Learners will also investigate the boundaries and limitations of their roles and responsibilities, when to make referrals to specialist services and how to contribute to the overall process. Module Eight: Early Childhood: Global Perspectives on Contemporary Issues In this module, learners will investigate how childhood is constructed by a range of international societies in order to consider their own understanding of childhood factors that may have influenced their views. The module will provide opportunities to revisit concepts and contemporary issues from previous modules to gain a deeper understanding. Learners will be challenged to seek perspectives beyond personal experiences and compare and contrast children s life experiences in global societies. What do I need to do the course? A minimum of three GCSEs grade C or above, including English or a relevant level 2 equivalent. Maths would also be desirable. Preferably 120 UCAS points from at least one level 3 qualification, e.g. A Level, BTEC National Diploma, BTEC Extended Diploma, NVQ Level 3. Proof of a current DBS disclosure or a Declaration of Criminal Convictions. At least one year of post qualifying study experience in an early years or play work setting. Applications from mature students are both welcome and encouraged. Must be aged 18 or over. Applicants for whom English is a second language and who do not possess a level 2 qualification require a current IELTS 6.0 score, with no single score lower than 5.5. Letter from employer in support of work based activities. How is the course assessed? This is a modular course in which each learner studies eight modules, each of which is assessed through a variety of assessment methods. These include essays, reports, presentations, multiple choice question tests and portfolios. Learners are also assessed in the workplace. Assessment is continuous and written assessment encourages learners to reflect on their learning experiences both in the classroom and in the workplace. Students are encouraged to make connections between theory and practice. How long does the course take? The part time route will take three years of study to complete, with College attendance of one evening per week and two days per week in the relevant work place. How much does the course cost? The fees for the part time route are 2,400 per year, totalling 7,200. Students accepted onto this programme are generally entitled to a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England. Further information on student finance can be found in the accompanying Student Finance 5

7 Guidance and Information Pack Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies Information booklet or at: Please note that it is your responsibility to apply for the loan. Students might also ask their workplace for support in funding this course. Where can I progress to? On successful completion of your Foundation Degree, you can then top up to a full BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies by studying a further 120 credits at level 6 over one extended academic year (September to July). Other opportunities for progression may be available depending on your field of work and other qualifications. 6

8 Ashton Sixth Form College Higher Education Notes 7

9 Guidance and Information Pack Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies 8

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