PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION. Foundation Degree (Working with Children: Education and Well-Being) Foundation Degree / Foundation Certificate

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1 PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION Foundation Degree (Working with Children: Education and Well-Being) Awarding institution: Institute of Education, University of London Teaching institution: Institute of Education, University of London Name of award: Foundation Degree / Foundation Certificate Programme title: Working with Children: Education and Well-Being 1. Language of study The Institute of Education teaches and assesses participants through the medium of the English language. Competence in the English language is required of all applicants. Programme regulations may indicate the level of competence required of each applicant and may make its achievement a condition of admission. 2. Participants The Foundation Degree in Working with Children: Education and Well-Being provides an opportunity for practitioners working with children to use and develop their experience to gain a higher education qualification. After the introduction of the Every Child Matters policy, employers have been working to increase the qualification profile of staff working with children. About half of children s sector workers nationally are working at qualification levels commensurate with A-Levels (NQF Level 3). There is policy and sector demand for higher level, more academic (rather than competency -led) qualifications which are more cohesive and which apply across a range of occupations. Teaching assistants working in primary schools and those working with children in early childhood care and education, youth work settings and residential and foster care constitute key groups of workers being targeted to develop their professional understanding by undertaking recognised educational qualifications, such as Foundation Degrees. 3. Educational aims of the Programme Foundation Degrees are designed to ensure critical understanding of concepts and principles in an area of study that will enhance skills relevant to employment. The specific aims of this course are to: acknowledge and develop participants existing knowledge and experience; develop participants skills in identifying and analysing links between experience, practice, theory and research;

2 develop participants understanding of: theories of child development; education and wellbeing of children and families with additional needs; contrasting theoretical perspectives on childhood and learning; and inter-professional working; develop participants understanding of and confidence in the use of study skills, independent learning and academic literacy; practise and develop skills in critical analysis, argument and reflection in relation to both theory and practice and relate these to theory and practice; and consistently provide opportunities for participants to reflect critically on their own practice in working with children. 4. Learning outcomes The learning outcomes of the Programme as a whole correlate to the aims of the Programme and to the learning outcomes of those modules designed as core to the Programme. These are presented in summary format. By the end of the Programme, students will be able to: use their existing knowledge and experience within an academic framework; engage with concepts, theories and research of relevance to working with children in a variety of settings; understand a range of issues in child development; the education and well-being of children and families with additional needs; contrasting theoretical perspectives on childhood and learning; and inter-professional working; use study skills and independent learning abilities to produce assessed pieces of work; and analyse, argue and reflect upon new knowledge and skills and relate these to theory and practice. 5. Criteria for admission Students will normally be required to have an NQF Level 3 qualification (A-Levels or equivalent) and at least two years experience of working with children. At the time of registering, students will need to be in concurrent employment in a relevant occupation, such as a teaching assistant, children s centre worker, residential care worker, foster carer, childminder or youth worker. In addition, all students will need confirmation that their employer or manager supports attendance at the Institute for taught sessions and access to resources to enable them to complete the work-based study tasks. Applicants without the relevant entry qualifications who, on the basis of their written application, work experience and current employment situation, appear eligible for entry to the Programme will be invited for interview, which will include a short writing task. For candidates who do not have either the usual length of experience or a Level 3 qualification, this will be an opportunity for the Programme Leader to confirm whether they have the necessary basis to enable them to complete the Programme. Applicants whose language is a language other than English may be required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.

3 The Institute of Education is committed to admitting and supporting participants with disabilities and welcomes applications from them. Participants do not need to be registered disabled to draw on these services, although in order to provide services in the long-term, we will need to ask for medical or other evidence, as appropriate. The Institute s Disabilities and Well-Being Support service can also support people who have a temporary mobility or dexterity impairment or other difficulty as a result of an accident, injury, illness or surgery. We aim to treat every person as an individual, with needs which may differ from those of other people with a superficially similar disability. We do not therefore have standard procedures for participants with dyslexia, nor do we have standard procedures for visually impaired participants. Each person s needs are considered individually. 6. Mode of study Two years full-time. As this is a work-based qualification, four days a week are spent in the workplace and one day at the Institute. 7. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules, credits and awards Figure 1: The structure of the Programme First year Understanding professional and academic texts The growing child: aspects of child development Bringing up children: parents, care workers and the state The development of literacy Understanding children s mathematical learning The history of the welfare state Promoting the education and well-being of children and families with additional needs Core module (10 weeks 40 credits) Second year Integrated children s services Effective learning in diversity Children s and young people s participation and rights Childhood studies Core module (10 weeks 40 credits) Curriculum development, evaluation, monitoring and assessment Creative development through art, craft and design Critically reflecting on personal and professional practice

4 Figure 2 sets out the credit values and levels of the core and specialist modules on the Foundation Degree Programme. Figure 2 Core modules Understanding professional and academic texts The growing child: aspects of child development Promoting the education and well-being of children and families with additional needs Critically reflecting on personal and professional practice Integrated children s services Childhood studies Optional modules Credit value 40 / Intermediate level 40 / Intermediate level Credit level The history of the welfare state The development of literacy Understanding children s mathematical learning Bringing up children: parents, care workers and the state Effective learning in diversity Children s and young people s participation and rights Creative development through art, craft and design Curriculum development, monitoring, evaluation and assessment We endeavour to run all of the above modules; however, this list can be subject to change The Foundation Degree followed within the Institute of Education is a two-year, full-time programme leading to the aware of a Foundation Degree in Arts. It will attract 240 CATS. Those students who successfully complete the first year and who choose not to continue will be awarded the Foundation Certificate. 8. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated Teaching and learning We use a variety of approaches including tutor input, group work, discussion and student presentations. The first module is designed to introduce students to study at this level and equip them with some of the skills needed on later modules. With larger cohorts, there is sometimes direct input to a large group of students as part of a session. This is normally followed by related work in smaller groups with close tutor support.

5 Work-based study The specific objectives of the work-based study element will depend on module objectives, but across the degree, these will incorporate: Observation of practice to help students to contextualise, analyse and evaluate ideas discussed in Institute sessions and in set reading. Interpretation of observations made in the workplace in relation to ideas discussed in Institute sessions. Practice in applying knowledge and ideas discussed in Institute sessions and in set reading. Reflection on individual professional and academic practice. Collection of evidence including children s work, policy documents and learning materials. Analysis of evidence collected. Some modules may place more emphasis on experiential practice while others stress observation and interpretation or collection of evidence and analysis of evidence. All will develop skills in reflection on individual professional and academic practice, and all will have clear links to concepts introduced in the module sessions and set reading. The Programme Leader and Programme Team will monitor the work-based study across modules to ensure balance is maintained between these different objectives within the work-based study. Assessment The aim of the Programme is to provide a range of methods of assessment while ensuring enough consistency to allow students to develop key academic literacy skills. To do this, we will: encourage the inclusion of relevant and imaginative forms of assessment; ensure a consistent coverage of more traditional modes of academic writing to enable progression; and embed staff reflection on modes of assessment through Programme Team meetings, module evaluations, standardisation meetings and staff development sessions. Incorporation of ICT We recognise the centrality of ICT in the development of transferable skills and will continue to develop these aspects of the programme. Approaches currently being used / developed are: a basic requirement for word processing and library research; further presentational skills embedded in two core modules, The Growing Child and Critically Reflecting on Personal and Professional Practice; the use of video / DVDs within work-based study tasks; and the use of a virtual learning environment website on one module, and participants and tutors are encouraged to explore this technology further. 9. Information about assessment regulations Assessment for each module of the Programme is by successful completion of assignments which will include both an essay and work-based study tasks. There is also an 80 per cent attendance requirement.

6 Formative feedback on essays and tasks is built into the modules. All work submitted for assessment is double-marked for quality assurance. Students are required to pass all of the modules which they take (see above for details). All assignments are independently marked by two staff members, who meet to discuss and reconcile the marks and comments for each individual. Assignments are graded from A to D, with D being a fail grade. Participants are permitted to re-present a failed assignment on one further occasion, within twelve months of the original submission. An external examiner is appointed by Senate and plays an important role in monitoring the quality of the Programme and evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching and support provided for the programme participants and the reliability of the judgements made in assessing them. 10. Support for learning reading and academic literacy To support students development of reading and academic literacy skills, the Programme will pursue a coherent and consistent approach across modules. This approach will be developed through a range of activities: an initial module to introduce students to some of the conventions of academic texts; module readers to provide students with set reading for each week; structured assignment briefs to support students planning and writing of tasks and essays; tutorial support within each module to support all aspects of academic literacy; a range of relevant support documents to enhance consistency of support throughout the programme, such as a tutor handbook and a guide to referencing. Students are encouraged to sign up with the Academic Writing Centre for continued support throughout the Programme. In addition, all students are assigned a personal tutor for the duration of the Programme. Personal tutorial time is built into the Programme, and in addition, students are encouraged to contact their personal tutor or the Programme Leader if they wish to discuss particular issues. 11. Methods for evaluating and improving the Programme Feedback is offered by the external examiner both at the meeting of the Board of Examiners and via a written report. Plans for improvement are drawn up as part of the annual Programme Review process and the associated action plan.

7 12. Indicators of quality and standards Module feedback forms indicate increased confidence and understanding of issues related to practice. Many students progress on to the Bachelor of Education undergraduate degree, often with the intention of becoming qualified teachers. For those working in settings other than schools, other progression routes are being developed. 13. Relevant benchmark statements and other external and internal reference points used to inform Programme outcomes The Programme adheres fully to the Quality Assurance Agency Foundation Degree benchmark standards. For further details, go to: (Last accessed: 23rd August 2012.) The Programme contributes to widening participation and lifelong learning by encouraging participation by learners who may not previously have considered studying for a higher level qualification. Academic knowledge and understanding is integrated with the development and support of vocational skills and competencies. The Foundation Degree has the defining characteristics of employer involvement, accessibility, articulation and progression, flexibility, partnership, and the development of knowledge, skills and understanding. The Foundation Degree is located within the Intermediate level of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Date of completion: July 2010 (Revised and re-issued: August 2011, August 2012)

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