Early Childhood Studies at Roehampton is committed to babies and young children as people with agency and unique capacities, and to their overall wellbeing from the prenatal period.
The postgraduate programme draws on Froebel’s understanding of the transformative power of young children’s play on their thinking, and the crucial way that adults can either seek to assist or control young children’s intrinsic creativity. In adults’ interactions with children, however, Froebel recognised the profound influence of the community and social context.
The syllabus is underpinned by an awareness of the influence of these social, cultural and political contexts on young children’s lives, and of the roots and structures of inequality that arise from these issues. The programme will strengthen your awareness and understanding of these influences and explore how you take account of them in action. In these respects, the programme also draws inspiration from the work of Paulo Freire, the radical and pioneering educator.
The teaching is informed by active research and scholarship in early years policy and practice, as well as leading research into young children’s well-being, thinking and understanding. There is a deep commitment to working in partnership with families and communities and to the development of students’ professionalism, advocacy and leadership.
The programme is relevant, engaging and of professional and personal value for a variety of roles within the early years sector. For those working directly with young children, engagement with the course content will provide a platform for continuing professional development and career progression, while for those involved in early years policy or research, the course offers an opportunity to engage with up current thinking in a broad range of issues.
Students will first look at babies' and children’s capacity for play, how they think, and how they communicate their ideas and emotions though a variety of ‘languages’ such as talk, mark-making, drawing, construction, movement, music and dance. This is studied from a variety of theoretical perspectives, critically looking at the values and assumptions underpinning these views.
There is special focus on Froebel’s legacy in early childhood practice and other key pioneers in the child-centred tradition, which embodies advocacy and respect for children and their families. You will gain an understanding of the political nature of this work, learn advocacy skills for the well-being of young children and their families and develop effective leadership and collaboration techniques across disciplines in the field of early childhood. Alongside modules going deeper into young children’s emotions and well-being, students will learn skills for undertaking their own social and educational research. These skills will be put into practice with an extended in-depth research-based project, critically enquiring into an identified social or educational problem.
This course is designed for graduates with limited experience of working with children aged 0-5 years. Your studies are based around extended placements in at least two different early years settings to give you the confidence, skills and experience to work across the 0-5 age range.
Alongside this practical experience you attend taught sessions which provide you with theoretical knowledge of child development, pedagogy and the key areas of early years foundation stage (EYFS). You also gain knowledge and understanding of transition issues, including children's progress through Key Stages 1 and 2.
Supported by experienced workplace mentors during your placement, you develop your knowledge and professional skills in key areas including
During your training you also gain skills in teaching early literacy, including reading, and mathematics, including numeracy.
Throughout the course you are supported to develop a range of relevant academic and professional skills at graduate and postgraduate level. This enhances your career potential and opens up future opportunities for higher level posts within early years services.
By meeting the standards for Early Years Teacher Status, you are recognised as an Early Years Teacher (0-5) with EYTS by the http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/index" target="_blank">National College of Teaching and Leadership.
Key areas include
During the course you complete two assessed teaching practice placements in different early years settings.
This course prepares you for roles including • early years teacher • senior early years practitioner • children's centre teacher • nursery manager.
Previous students have gained employment as early years teachers in private nurseries, preschools and children's centres, working with children and their families.
Early career roles are often practice based but involve some form of leadership such as a room leader, EYT leading practice across a setting or SENCO co-ordinating provision for children with special education needs. Students have also gained practitioner roles in schools, working with young children aged 2 - 5.
There are developing opportunities as schools extend provision to two-year-olds. Early career salaries on graduation vary across the early years sector, starting at around £16,000 going up to £24,000.
Some graduates take up teaching roles in further education, with salaries starting at £25,000. Others continue their academic and professional development at masters level.