The Flexible Early Childhood degree is designed to combine students' work and volunteering commitments with study on evenings and weekends. Students access lectures and tutorials during some twilight and evening sessions as well as on some pre-arranged Saturdays each term.
Students explore the links between theory and practice and the degree places a strong emphasis on children's wellbeing and development. The degree reflects the values of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a strong emphasis on young children's rights, the importance of listening and respecting children's ideas and decisions, and the right for young children to have access play.
During the degree students will have several opportunities to explore the importance of play for young children's development and learning. These ideas will be explored in the context of the Foundation Phase, Flying Start, the Foundation Stage and other international early childhood approaches.
The degree places a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on learning and offers several opportunities for students to undertake practical activities which support the content of lectures.
Outdoor learning and creative development are also themes that feature prominently within the degree and throughout your study there will be opportunities for students to learn in the outdoors and to use their own ideas and initiative to undertake learning tasks. There are also opportunities for educational field visits and trips which are included as part of the different module content.
- music and dance workshops
- language and play workshops
- visits to early childhood centres
- speakers from local and national early childhood organisations and professions.
There are also opportunities for optional visits abroad.
During the degree students will develop effective research, critical thinking, analytical, problem-solving and IT skills as well as developing both team and independent working skills.
This is an ideal course for those interested in developing their knowledge and understanding of the issues which impact on young children and their families. It also provides an opportunity to integrate full-time study with students' work commitments, allowing students to study and work at the same time. The new two-year flexible learning route also allows students to condense their study thus allowing them to progress more quickly into graduate training or promotion opportunities.
The School, and degree, is located on our Carmarthen Campus which provides a welcoming and friendly learning community. Throughout the course staff provide a supportive and engaging environment where students are encouraged to develop new skills and partake in new experiences.
Within the degree there are also opportunities to undertake certificated courses such as the John Muir Award. There are several opportunities for visits, to listen to guest lectures from early childhood experts and professionals and for optional visits to other countries within Europe and further afield. Current students have gained confidence and valuable life experiences from such opportunities. All these experiences are designed so that students can develop a varied and impressive CV alongside their academic degree.
The degree is designed to develop students' research, evaluation and self-reflection skills so that they are well equipped to question and develop their own professional development. The hands-on focus of the course and the opportunities for outdoor learning ensure that the academic content of the course is closely linked to practice. Time is also provided within the timetable and within some modules for students to volunteer in early childhood / early years settings to gain important practical work experience.
The School has developed a strong study skills programme which is designed to provide students with additional support with written and academic skills. This support provides students with the opportunity to increase their confidence and improve their attainment in assignments.
Typical modules in the first year include:
- Academic Study Skills for Students;
- Human Development: The Early Years;
- Working with young children and families: principles;
- Young Children - Creative Thinkers;
- The Young Child: health and well-being in the early years;
- Working with young children and families: practice.
Typical modules in the second year include:
- Research for Learning;
- Come rain or shine: young children learning outdoors;
- Keeping children safe: well-being and safeguarding;
- Talking Together: adults, children and language;
- ABC or Stories? - Children's Early Literacy;
- Promoting Bilingualism and the use of Welsh in Early Childhood.
Typical modules in the third year include:
- The Reflective Adult;
- Social Justice and Inclusion in the Early Years;
- A Green Childhood: Sustainability in Early Childhood;
- Early Childhood: International Perspectives;
- Leadership in Early Years Provision;
- Children and the media;
- Extended Essay.
In the third year some modules are compulsory and some are optional, depending on the student's own interests.
- Ann-Marie Gealy