Foundation Degree (Arts) Early Years Care and Education

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1 Foundation Degree (Arts) Early Years Care and Education Programme Specification Primary Purpose: Course management, monitoring and quality assurance. Secondary Purpose: Detailed information for students, staff and employers. Current students need to refer to the related Course Handbook for further detail. Disclaimer: The University of Portsmouth has checked the information given in this Programme Specification and believes it to be correct. We will endeavour to deliver the course in keeping with this Programme Specification but reserve the right to change the content, timetabling and administration of the course whilst maintaining equivalent academic standards and quality. Copyright The contents of this document are the copyright of the University of Portsmouth and all rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the University of Portsmouth.

2 Contents Programme Specification 1. Named Awards Course Code (and UCAS Code if applicable) Awarding Body Teaching Institution Accrediting Body QAA Benchmark Groups Document Control Information Effective Session Author Faculty Department Educational Aims Reference Points Learning Outcomes... 2 A. Knowledge and Understanding of:... 2 B. Cognitive (Intellectual or Thinking) Skills, able to:... 3 C. Practical (Professional or Subject) Skills, able to:... 4 D. Transferable (Graduate and Employability) Skills, able to: Course Structure, Progression and Award Requirements Employability Statement Support for Student Learning Admissions Criteria... 6 A. Academic Admissions Criteria... 6 B. Disability Evaluation and Enhancement of Standards and Quality in Learning and Teaching... 7 A. Mechanisms for Review and Evaluation... 7 B. Responsibilities for Monitoring and Evaluation... 7 C. Mechanisms for Gaining Student Feedback... 7 D. Staff Development Priorities Assessment Strategy Assessment Regulations Role of Externals Indicators of Standards and Quality... 8 A. Professional Accreditation/Recognition... 8 B. Periodic Programme Review (or equivalent)... 9 C. Quality Assurance Agency... 9 D. Others Other Sources of Information... 9

3 Programme Specification 1. Named Awards FdA Early Years Care and Education 2. Course Code (and UCAS Code if applicable) C1582P 3. Awarding Body University of Portsmouth 4. Teaching Institution University of Portsmouth Franchised Colleges: Alton College, St Vincent College, Southampton City College 5. Accrediting Body Early Years Sector- Endorsed Foundation Degree 6. QAA Benchmark Groups Foundation Degree Early Years Care and Education Document Control Information July Effective Session 2015/16 9. Authors Helga Stittrich-Lyons 10. Faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 11. Department School of Education and Continuing Studies 12. Educational Aims a. The General aims of the Programme: To provide a challenging and stimulating study environment. To provide a framework allowing students to follow a flexible coherent programme of study. To provide a high level of work-based learning. To develop technical and work specific skills underpinned by academic learning. To equip graduates with the necessary transferable skills for lifelong learning, employability and flexibility in the context of changing labour markets. To provide students with the skills and knowledge required to maximise career opportunities. Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 1

4 b. The aims of the Foundation Degree: Provide the appropriate knowledge and understanding required for the care and education of children aged 0-8 across a range of settings; Deliver the professional and practical skills and competencies which are required to work as a professional Early Years practitioner; Ensure that students can demonstrate within their practice that they have adopted appropriate value and belief systems for Early Years play or school-based settings. These values must include those relating to anti-discriminatory practice, diversity and equality of opportunity as well as ensuring inclusive practice; Develop students' self-awareness and reflection, including the ability to evaluate their effect on other people and in the environment in which they work; Develop students' ability to understand and apply the principles of evidence-based practice; Provide an appropriate understanding of the regulatory and legislative framework for Early Years, and prepare students to work within this framework; Develop students as reflective practitioners, with an understanding of the need for and commitment to lifelong learning; to be able to reflect on their value systems, development and practices, question concepts and theories encountered in their studies and to interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research. Develop the personal and transferable skills critical for professional working with young children. Provide a suitable basis for progression to BA (Hons) Education and training Studies programme, to BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Level 6, Top Up) programme or to gain Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT). To provide consideration of the international and inter-cultural dimension of education, the effect of new technologies, the impact of increased world-wide mobility 13. Reference Points University of Portsmouth Curricula Framework Document (2012) The scholarship and research expertise of academic members of staff QAA Code of Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality and Standards in Higher Education Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) National Qualifications Framework *Subject Benchmark Statements (SBS) Education Studies and Foundation Degrees Sector Skills Councils Foundation Degree Frameworks Occupational Standards 14. Learning Outcomes A. Knowledge and Understanding of: A1. Early Years Care and Education, play and school-based value and belief systems, including those relating to anti-discriminatory practice and equality of opportunity; A2. The regulatory and legislative framework for Early Years services, including: Early Years provisions, such as: childminding, nursery, reception class, nannies, kindergarten; Children; Parents and family members; The rights of children, parents and other relevant individuals; The protection and safety of children; Data protection and confidentiality and security of information; A3. How to access and review literature to underpin evidence-based practice and how to use this knowledge within extended written projects, case studies, reports and self-reflective studies. Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 2

5 A4. Significant current and emerging theories and principles relating to: A child s learning, including theories of motivation, sociological perspectives, psychological perspectives and philosophical dimensions; play and its value in children's learning and development; assessment and methods of assessing children's performance and development. A5. Planning, development, implementation and evaluation of the curricula and pedagogy for children, including those with special educational needs, including: how to organise the content to maximise learning, motivation, development and participation; how to make informed choices in the selection of, and how to organise, activities, materials and resources that will enhance children's learning and development and maximise their choice and involvement; how to evaluate learning and play materials, resources and environments to maximise learning, development and involvement; how and when to assess children s learning and development. A6. Managing self, self-evaluation and reflection: this includes the potential effect of personal attitudes, values and behaviour on work with children, parents, and colleagues within the organisation and on those with whom they need to work, from outside their own organisation. A7. Roles, norms and cultural aspects relating to: the role of the family in child development and learning; the role of the adult (including the students own professional role) in child development and learning. A8. Power relationships between: adult and child; adult and adult; worker and management; organisation and organisation. Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods The teaching and learning strategies are informed by the Statement of Requirement document. This specifies the need for the programme to offer a variety of learning modes - a significant element of this will be delivered by ICT (Information and Communications Technology). A3, A4, A5, A6, A8. There will also be a requirement for students to attend taught seminars and structured workshops. A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8. Additionally, they will be set guided learning tasks supported by their work place mentor and tutors. A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8. Assessment Outcomes will be assessed using a range of methods including the assessment of work place competence. Written assignments, case studies, essays, reports, presentations, and on-line assessment through the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) will form the assessment strategy. A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8. The text based artefacts in particular will demonstrate knowledge, understanding and evidence the student's capacity for critical analysis. A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8. B. Cognitive (Intellectual or Thinking) Skills, able to: B1. Analyse the function and purpose of Early Years provision. B2. Interrogate assumptions underpinning theory and research. B3. To deploy information and argument effectively and in self-reflective manner, and to evaluate alternative perspectives or points of view. B4. Understand, interrogate and apply different theoretical positions, and to develop an awareness of their applicability in different contexts. B5. Plan and conduct practitioner based enquiry through self-formulated questions and to identify appropriate social research methodologies. Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 3

6 Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods The teaching of all units will include opportunities for debate and discussion and the professional development units will provide opportunities for personal reflection. A range of thinking skills will be used and fostered in seminars and group and individual tutorials. Assessment There are a number of assessment artefacts. Students will be required to demonstrate cognitive/intellectual skills, interrogate assumptions and apply different theoretical positions in a range of different contexts. C. Practical (Professional or Subject) Skills, able to: C1. Demonstrate the experience, knowledge and skills that underpin good Early Years Care and Education evidence-based and reflective; C2. Carry out effectively and efficiently the work roles expected of a skilled Early Years practitioner, working with a level 5 qualification; C3. Design, implement, monitor and assess specific activities which support the individual development and learning of children and which meet the statutory and regulatory requirements, in consultation with other professionals where necessary; C4. Manage sessions with groups of children, taking account of their individual needs; C5. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of difference and diversity, recognising individual needs as well as developing tolerance and understanding of others; C6. Manage and evaluate self, and critically reflect on own practice, in relation to work with children, parents, colleagues within the organisation and those with whom they need to work from outside their own setting; C7. Manage and organise time, resources, records and information to support decision-making. Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods The teaching of all units incorporates the demonstration of the core experiences, knowledge and skills expected of the Early Years practitioner. Case studies, simulations and sharing of experiences will further develop the professional and practical skills of students. Assessment Critical reflection on practice in relation to Early Years roles will be assessed in the case studies, reports and other written assignments. Level 5-work will require the student to be moving towards a greater degree of independent study through the work based projects and to begin to engage in critical evaluation of their own practice and educational theories. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to discuss aspects of practice with peers and work based mentors. D. Transferable (Graduate and Employability) Skills, able to: D1. Communicate information, ideas, arguments, principles and theories by a variety of means. D2. Identify, gather and discuss primary data and source material whether through textual studies or fieldwork. D3. Attend to, reproduce accurately and reflect on the arguments of others. D4. Work collaboratively as a member of a team or group. D5. Undertake independent study. D6. Use library resources in order to identify source material. Compile bibliographies, inform research and enhance presentations. D7. Be able to use Information Technology and computer skills for data capture, to identify source material and support research and presentations. D8. Show critical self-awareness about one's own professional core value base. D9. Demonstrate initiative and motivation by engaging in projects in the workplace. Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 4

7 Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods The development of transferable skills is an important aspect of teaching and learning of all units and is incorporated throughout the programme of study. All students will receive support with study skills. The skills for study will be explicitly embedded in level 4 units. Additionally resource materials will be provided via the online learning environment (VLE). The development of skills related to the Common Core for the children s workforce will be an integral component in all units. Practice based skills be acquired through the use of work focused assignments and assessed reflection upon practice. Career awareness and job application skills are developed in the context of the programme and are delivered by academic staff and members of the University Careers Service. There has been consideration of the Core Employability Skills (UoP Curricula framework) throughout the whole course. Assessment On-entry assessment will be used to enable the students to review their baseline study skills through the writing of a benchmark. They will enable the identification of areas for development. At level 4 this is embedded in all unit delivery; At level 5 this will be through personal tutorials linked to the Practitioner Based Enquiry unit; At all levels these skills are integrated in the Learning Outcomes and assessment opportunities. 15. Course Structure, Progression and Award Requirements The FdA Early Years Care and Education will run as a three-year part-time programme, in liaison with our partner FE colleges. The Statement of Requirement issued by the Department for Education and Skills for the Early Years sector endorsed Foundation Degree necessarily informed the framework for the programme structure and ongoing yearly reports to maintain sector endorsement continue to ensure currency within the sector. There are eleven core units these will provide a broad and relevant base for whatever context the students are working within. One credit is equivalent to one hour of learning. Each level comprises of a minimum of 120 credits. Units are offered as 20 credits, with the final year PBE being 40 credits. 240 credits are required to achieve the degree. Standard University rules apply. The regulations must be consulted for a full description of exit awards. In the project-based unit at Level 5, students will be able to focus specifically on their work-based context. All units will require the students to demonstrate a link between theory and practice On successful completion of the FdA Early Years Care & Education all students will have the opportunity to consider progression to one of the two Bachelor Degrees; the part time BA (Hons) Education and Training Studies programme, or the full time BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Level 6, Top Up) programme, and also use this qualification to meet the requirements for the registered teacher route to Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programme Links with employers: Employers involvement in the regular updating of curriculum is sought through the Professional Liaison Committee, ensuring the award keeps up to date with current sector requirements. There is an important focus on employer involvement in the use of work based mentors and through workbased elements and the on-going development of the course. 16. Employability Statement Considerable attention is paid to employability and vocational development. Students on this FdA are already in employment but they benefit from specific professional development work Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 5

8 within the taught programme and continuing with opportunities for further consideration of career planning. Career Management Skills are therefore embedded in throughout the curriculum. Group and individual tutorials (as defined within the Curriculum Framework Document 2012) will be used throughout the course to provide further scaffolding for this aspect of personal growth. 17. Support for Student Learning The Course is managed by a Course Leader. Collaborative programmes are managed on a day-to-day basis by the University Contact who may or may not be the Course Leader. Extensive induction programme introduces the student to the University and their course. Each student has a personal tutor, responsible for pastoral support and guidance. University support services include careers, financial advice, housing, counselling etc. Access to the SECS Study Skills Tutor and the Academic Skills Unit (ASK). The Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC). Excellent library facilities. The University of Portsmouth has consistently been awarded an excellent rating for student support and guidance in a number of Quality Assurance Agency inspections. Student, course and unit handbooks provide information about the course structure and University regulations etc. Feedback is provided for all assessments. 18. Admissions Criteria A. Academic Admissions Criteria Entrants to the Foundation Degree below 21 years of age would normally have, in addition to some practical experience, as a minimum one of the following: An appropriate full A-Level or vocational A-Level; NVQ/SVQ Level 3 or other appropriate vocationally related NQF Level 3 qualification or equivalent; Advanced Modern Apprenticeship in Early Years or another appropriate subject; GCSE grade A-C in English and Maths is desirable. Entrants to the Foundation Degree over 21 years of age would normally: Have extensive practical experience in the field of Early Years Care and Education; Demonstrate they can succeed with the academic requirements of the course. In addition all applicants must be working in an early years environment for 12 hours or more per week for the majority so that the year or have an involvement such that they can achieve the practice outcomes of the course. All students must have at least 1 year s experience of working in an early year s environment. Admissions with advanced standing through current prior certificated and/or experiential learning is possible in accordance with the AP(E)L policy of the University. Students with an NVQ 4 or ADCE in Early Years Care & Education will be able to obtain direct entry to year 2 of the programme. B. Disability The University makes no distinction in its admissions policy with regard to disability and will endeavour to make all reasonable adjustments in order to make it possible for students to study at Portsmouth on a course of their choice. Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 6

9 19. Evaluation and Enhancement of Standards and Quality in Learning and Teaching A. Mechanisms for Review and Evaluation Course Leader s Annual Standards and Quality Evaluative Review. Head of Department s Annual Standards and Quality Evaluative Review. Unit and Course Level student feedback considered at Board of Studies. Unit Assessment Board consideration of student performance for each programme. Annual Standards and Quality Reports to Board of Studies, including consideration of Subject and Award External Examiner Reports. Periodic Programme Review. Student Representatives and Student/Staff Consultative Committees. National Student Survey. Staff Performance and Development Review. Peer Review and Development Framework. Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee. B. Responsibilities for Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Co-ordinators for unit content and delivery. Course Leader for day-to-day running of course. University Contact for day-today running of course. Partner Institution Academic Contact. Board of Studies with overall responsibilities for operation and content of course. Head of Department. Associate Dean (Academic). Associate Dean (Students). Quality Assurance Committee. Unit, Award and Progression Board of Examiners. C. Mechanisms for Gaining Student Feedback Student Representation on Board of Studies. Student Staff Consultative Committees. Unit and Course level student feedback questionnaires. University participates in external student surveys, e.g. National Student Survey (NSS), Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and International Student Barometer (ISB). D. Staff Development Priorities Academic staff undertake activities related to research, scholarship, teaching and learning and student support and guidance. Annual staff performance and development reviews match development to needs. Managers undertake a variety of management development programmes. New academic staff require to undertake APEX. All academic staff encouraged to seek Higher Education Academy membership. Academic staff undertake initial and continuing professional development within the Academic Professional Excellence Framework (APEX) programme which is aligned with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) s UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) Support Staff are encouraged to attend short courses in areas such as minute taking, and specific IT packages. Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 7

10 20. Assessment Strategy The Assessment process is treated as an integral and prominent component of the teaching and learning process and multiple roles of assessment are recognised. Formative assessment is concerned with students ongoing educational progression (developmental), whereas summative assessment, where the emphasis is on making decisions on satisfactory completion or readiness to progress to the next level of study (judgemental). The motivating effect of assessment requirements on students is understood and assessment tasks are designed to foster learning. Carefully designed assessment contributes directly to the way students approach their study and therefore contributes indirectly, but significantly, to the quality of learning at each level. A variety of assessment methods are employed so that the limitations of particular methods are minimised. Assessment tasks are designed to assess relevant generic skills as well as subjectspecific knowledge and skills. Level 4 assignments are marked on a Pass/Fail basis and assessments include a mixture of reflective essays, reports, and presentations and assess students on their ability to: 1. Develop a broader knowledge base in relation to learning support; 2. Apply a range of skills and knowledge to practice; 3. Assess, selecting and utilising information (printed and electronic) using basic information management skills; 4. Direct own activities towards independent learning; 5. Develop the ability to functions as part of teams and groups. Level 5 assignments are marked with a percentage value which follows the standard Assessment Criteria used by the University, using a similar range of assessment methods as in level 4, which assess students on their ability to: 6. Compare, contrast and analyse relevant concepts and processes; 7. Identify, extract, process and disseminate text and electronic information; 8. Reflect on practice, demonstrating flexibility and critical thinking in the application of problem solving skills; 9. Refine independent learning skills. 21. Assessment Regulations Standard university rules apply (see Assessment and Regulations). 22. Role of Externals Subject External Examiners who will: oversee unit assessment and usually attend Unit Assessment Boards; approve unit assessment strategy; sample assessment artefacts; present reports to Unit Assessment Boards Award External Examiners (usually also a Subject External Examiner) who will: oversee and attend Award/Progression Boards; scrutinise and endorse the outcomes of assessment; ensure that the standard of the award is maintained at a level comparable with that of similar awards elsewhere in the United Kingdom. 23. Indicators of Standards and Quality A. Professional Accreditation/Recognition Sector endorsed Early Years Foundation Degree Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 8

11 B. Periodic Programme Review (or equivalent) Periodic Review was conducted in March 2015 and confirmed the fitness of purpose of the curriculum and the effectiveness of its annual monitoring and review processes. C. Quality Assurance Agency QAA Higher Education Review, March 2015, judgements about standards and quality meet UK expectations (for full report see Higher Education Review of the University of Portsmouth, March 2015[1]). [1] Others None. 24. Other Sources of Information Other sources of information may be found in Course Approval Document. Student Handbook. University of Portsmouth Curricula Framework. University of Portsmouth Undergraduate Prospectus. Assessment Regulations. University of Portsmouth (http://www.port.ac.uk/) and (http://www.port.ac.uk/secs) website. Programme Specification for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 9

12 Unit Learning Outcomes Map for FdA Early Years Care and Education Page 1

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