University of the West of Scotland

Module Descriptor

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 14/12/2022 14:57:46

Title of Module: Children's Learning Pre-Birth to 6

Code: EDUC08001 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:S  Henderson-Bone

Summary of Module

The module commences with examination of the distinctive features of an early learning and childcare (ELC) curriculum for the 0-6 age range, identifying the roles and responsibilities of practitioners to support early learning and pedagogy using Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) and the Reggio Emillia approach. Guidance and policy documents such as ‘Realising the Ambition’ and ACfE early level frameworks are investigated in relation to neuroscience, attachment theory, metacognition and socio-cultural theory, with a particular emphasis on playful pedagogies, enabling environments and empowering learners through child-centred practice. Analysis of case studies from childhood practice will allow the student to develop skills in using observations and documentation to plan, assess and progress the child’s learning and development. Students will also develop skills in reflective practice and self-evaluation using ‘How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare’ and the Health and Social Care Standards documents, with consideration of inclusive practice and anti-racist education priorities.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully Online
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance Learning (D/L) (ie.Virtual Campus): (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Hamilton:D/L Virtual Campus:Other:
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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

At the end of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Acquire broad knowledge of the Scottish Government frameworks for children’s learning and the resulting expected practice

L2. Investigate some aspects of professional practice by drawing on key psychological and learning theories and principles

L3. Apply skills in observation and assessment to critically reflect on childhood practice

L4. Adopt an ethical approach to planning for child-centred learning, using principles of inclusivity and anti-racist educational practice.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

Broad knowledge of Scottish Government frameworks for children aged birth to six years, with detailed knowledge of assessment.

Broad knowledge of the theories of developmental psychology, with detailed knowledge of attachment, neuroscience and socio-cultural theories of learning.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Ethical observation of children (either in the workplace or through simulated observation) with the purpose of progressing children’s learning and development.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Synthesis of ideas through writing reflective reports.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Present data documenting children’s learning using observation schedules and other means of displaying data.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Take a lead in progressing children’s learning and responsibility for their assessment.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:HNC Early Education and Care or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Learning and Teaching
Use of VLE, Interactive Whiteboards, on-line tutor/student led discussions, individual and group tasks. Lectures, tutorials, student-led seminars, group-work, role-play, presentations, workshops, and problem based learning will be used to develop student learning. Formative and summative assessments will be used including such instruments as in-class debate and oral presentations, alongside the summative assignment.

Student handbooks, and other detailed material made available to students, will give more specific information on the particular learning and teaching methodologies, and combinations of these methodologies, to be used for timetabled student sessions. This will clarify for students both their expectations for timetabled sessions, and their expectations for the overall balance of learning and teaching methodologies to be used during the module.

Note: Students’ learning activities will vary depending on their degree pathway. For students enrolled on the BA Childhood Studies programme, in-class practical learning will take place. For students enrolled on the BA Childhood Practice programme, work-based learning will take place.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
CategoriesStudent Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content DeliveryScheduled36
Work Based Learning/Placement Placement35
Independent StudyIndependent129
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Abbott, L. and Moylett , H. (1997) Working with the under 3s: Responding to children’s needs. Buckingham: Open University Press

Abbott, L. and Nutbrown, C (2001) Experiencing Reggio Emilia. Implications for preschool practice. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Education Scotland (2016) How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare. Livingston: Education Scotland

Education Scotland (2020) Realising the Ambition. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Fabian, H. and Mould, C (2009) Development and Learning for Very Young Children London: Sage Publications

Fisher, J. (2007) Starting with the Child (2nd ed). Buckingham and Philadelphia: Open University Press

Kinney, L. and Wharton, L. (2008) An Encounter with Reggio Emilia. Making Learning Visible. London and New York: Routledge

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2007) A Curriculum for Excellence Building the Curriculum 2. Active Learning in the Early Years, Livingston: Scottish Executive.

Macblain, S. (2022) Learning Theories for Early Years Practice (2nd edition), London: Sage.

Scottish Government (2017) Health and Social Care Standards My support, my life. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Whalley. M (2007) Involving Parents in their Children’s Education (2nd. Edition). London: SAGE/Paul Chapman Publishing

Wood. E and Attfield. J. (2006) Play, Learning and the Early Childhood Curriculum 2nd. Ed. London: SAGE/Paul Chapman Publishing.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)
Attendance Requirements
All full-time students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

Course Reference Numbers (CRNs) (if known)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Hamilton:D/L Virtual Campus:Other:


not known

not known

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Trimester(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Trimester 1check markTrimester 2check markTrimester 3check mark

For Internal Use Only

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelChildhood Studies/Practice
ModeratorC Gollek
External ExaminerJ Shaik Mopidevi
Accreditation DetailsContact School for current details.
Changes/Version Number


Changes to summary of module - 'housekeeping' including update to policies; remove mention of placement; include ‘childhood services’ instead of ‘early years’. Changes to ILO 3 and ILO 4 - wording previously inferred placement/workplace experiences needed. ILO 4 now includes specific mention of anti-racist practice; changes to moderator; changes to assessment - one single assessment submission proposed; update with removal of placement.

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids at end of document)
Formative assessment opportunities such as observations and practice completion of Grids are provided. Summative assignment is one portfolio of work submitted at the end of the module, comprising two parts.

Part A: A discursive essay investigating aspects of professional practice by drawing on the main learning theories and principles.
Part B A reflective report displaying broad knowledge of the government frameworks for children’s learning, and using this knowledge to critically reflect on practice within childhood settings.

Note: Part B will vary, depending on the student’s degree pathway. For students enrolled on the BA Childhood Practice degree and currently in employment, the Part B assessment will consist of students undertaking observations of children’s learning in their employment setting, which they will then critically reflect on. For students enrolled on BA Childhood Studies degree, Part B will consist of a simulated practice assessment, involving case study observations that will enable critical reflection on practice.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each main assessment category) can be found at the end of this descriptor which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Assessment Category 1
Assessment CategoryAssessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
AssignmentPortfolio of written workcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Assignment Categories100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using the VLE, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)