Foundation Degree in Early Years (awarded by Birmingham City University)
This course is a level 5 qualification awarded by Birmingham City University (BCU) but taught at South and City College Birmingham Digbeth Campus. The Foundation Degree in Early Years aims to develop the skills and knowledge for you to develop your professional practice and support your career aspirations within the early years sector. The foundation degree is a recognised qualification in the sector and can also be a steppingstone to higher level and degree studies. This course will give you a thorough understanding of the early years sector and your role as a practitioner providing you with both theoretical and practical skills. The course is carefully designed to offer appropriate skills and knowledge relating to professional practice, and the application of work-based experience. It also focuses on your self-development and independent learning, as well as teamwork and your ability to manage others.
This course is run on a full time and part time basis.
Skills and knowledge acquired from your modules combine to give you a thorough appreciation of a child’s social and emotional development, covering issues of language, literacy and numeracy, knowledge and understanding of the world, and physical and creative development.
Teaching and Learning:
It is intended that, through this course, you will develop your critical, analytical and thinking skills sufficiently to become an independent reflective learner. You will also gain skills to work in teams in order to prepare you for the role of an effective Early Years practitioner. Early Years is a fast-growing sector and, as new developments and research in the field of Early Years Education emerge, you will have the opportunity to consider and evaluate the implications for policy, provision and practice. Your placement is core to succeeding on the course as all assessments are linked to you working with children in the Early Years sector.
A range of approaches to learning and teaching will be adopted across the individual modules which comprise the course, to provide a stimulating and challenging learning experience. Flexible approaches will be used to ensure achievement of specific module outcomes and to facilitate the different learning styles and needs of students. Attain (see below) will be utilised for engagement in forums, tasks and completing a Mahara page of evidence from your professional practice. You will be expected to carry out further research and wider reading outside taught sessions. Effective learning in taught sessions will involve you engaging in a variety of interactive tasks. There will be opportunities for you to work independently during taught sessions and you may be asked to carry out individual directed tasks which contribute to later seminar sessions. At times you will be expected to work with a small group of your colleagues to prepare and present items in subsequent sessions.
Assessments: Both formative and summative assessments will take place for each module. Placement and professional practice within an early years setting will also play and important role in helping you complete the assignments set. Examples of assessment include:
- Observations and interpretation of children’s activities
- Evaluation of given case studies
- Planning for and evaluating children’s learning
- Critical review of literature on specific topics
- An extended study based on critical reflection and analysis of a specific issue
- Professional Dialogues
- Seminars on current issues
- A report which appraises the role of early years practitioners
- Reflective journals
- An interrogation of theoretical and research-based evidence.
What areas will I study?
The course aims to develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the early years sector through the study of 120 credits per academic year (full-time route) or 80 credits per academic year (part-time route) with a total credit value of 240 credits (equivalent to the first 2 years of an honours degree).
The modules you will be taught through the course of your study:
Year 1 (Level 4):
- An introduction to professional practice (40 Credits)
- Safeguarding children’s well-being (20 Credits)
- Early Years curricula (20 Credits)
- Learning through play (20 Credits)
- Observing children’s holistic development (20 Credits)
Year 2 (Level 5):
- A development of professional practice (40 Credits)
- Early years research as a driver for change (20 Credits)
- Promoting inclusion and parental partnership (20 Credits)
- Fostering children’s mental health and wellbeing (20 Credits)
- Social construct of the child (20 Credits)
The overall qualification will be graded at Pass, Good Pass, Commendation or Distinction depending on unit achievements.
Year 1 (Level 4):
- An introduction to professional practice (40 Credits) This module aims to introduce and reinforce study and transferable skills required in order to successfully complete a Foundation Degree in Early Years. Learners will be required to reflect on personal and professional targets, and plan effective strategies in order to improve their performance in the Early Years sector
. Safeguarding children’s well-being (20 Credits) Safeguarding children in the setting is core to the role of the Early Years practitioner. This module aims to inform learners of their key responsibilities and what to do if they have concerns about a child. This module will embed the most current core legislations related to working with children, their parents and/or carers and working as part to the larger team.
Early Years curricula (20 Credits) This module will consider what is meant by a child led curriculum and what historical and contemporary influences can impact on pedagogical approaches. Learners will investigate the contribution of early pioneers to current early years practice and study a range of curriculum models, reflecting on implications for curriculum planning.
Learning through play (20 Credits) This module aims to give learners the requirements of the statutory early years’ curriculum for the provision of play and learning. Play-based curricula and enabling environments will be explored in terms of the benefits for children’s holistic development, wellbeing and the provision of development opportunities to meet different needs.
- Observing children’s holistic development (20 Credits) This module will consider how the role of observations is essential in supporting the early years practitioner to identify a child’s next steps and learners will develop skills to evaluate the effectiveness of different methods and use appropriate strategies to support children’s progress and development.
Year 2 (Level 5):
A development of professional practice (40 Credits) This module aims to build on the level 4 competencies evidenced on the learners E-portfolio. Level 5 evidence will sit alongside the level 4 evidence so that the learner can self-assess and reflect on their own continuing professional development.
Early years research as a driver for change (20 Credits) This module gives learners the opportunity to research current issues in Early Years that have arisen from their practice working in the sector. The Early Years sector is built on historical and contemporary quality research that has been carried out by experts in the field and disseminated into policy and practice
Promoting inclusion and parental partnership (20 Credits) Early Years professionals take on many roles and responsibilities related to the provision of care and education for children, which involves collaboration with parents and carers, and liaison with other child and family focused professionals.
Fostering children’s mental health and wellbeing (20 Credits) This module aims to promote the principal of the “Unique Child” by exploring mental health and well-being. The field of how neuroscience impacts on a child's emotional development will be scrutinised. It will cover the global perspective, addressing current concerns about children having what is deemed as an ‘adverse childhood experience’ (ACE).
- Social construct of the child (20 Credits) This module will highlight the range of contemporary global issues that may impact children’s development. Issues faced by children are interconnected, for example, a child born into poverty may also face malnutrition and therefore a lack of access to health services and education. Different social, political and economic factors will be explored in terms of their influence on children in the existing society and the effects of this in the future