Looking to channel your inner Mary Poppins? No, it’s not a rooftop dancing HND; today we’ll be looking at the details of Pearson’s Advanced Practice in Early Years Education Level 5 Higher National Diploma.
The Advanced Practice in Early Years Education HND is a qualification designed to help prepare students for professions and further qualifications that involve educating young children. The HND was first introduced in January 2016 and includes practical elements that are recognised as “full and relevant by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).” Practical learning is a particularly important part of the Advanced Practice in Early Years Education HND; students are required to dedicate a total of 1,400 hours in work placements over the two-year course, split between 600 hours in year one (Level 4, and 800 hours in year two (Level 5).
The work experience must be gained from a variety of setting at both year one and two. During both years, students will need to complete a minimum of 100 hours of work experience in each of the following age ranges: birth to one year, 11 months; two years to four years 11 months; and five years to seven year, 11 months.
The Advanced Practice in Early Years Education qualification aims to teach students both subject specific knowledge and more widely applicable skills like professional development. Students will be asked to engage with reflective practice and self assessment in a bid to “improve professional practice standards.” Reflective practice and professional development are skills introduced early into the course and provide a basis for success at later stages of the qualification. As part of this first stage of the HND, learners will be tasked with developing a professional development plan in which they will be encouraged to look at potential future achievements, as well as assessing what will be needed to reach those achievements.
As with all Pearson HND qualifications, students must complete a set of mandatory modules to gain the Advanced Practice in Early Years Education qualification. There are a total of 14 mandatory modules spread between the two years (six in year one, eight in year two). Specialist modules included in year one include: Developing Research Skills for Early Years Practice, Fundamentals of Early Years Longitudinal Study, and Promoting an Understanding of the World in the Early Years. Specialist modules in year two include: Diversity, Difference and Inclusion in Early Years Settings, Working with Families, and Contemporary Issues in Child Health.
Students will also be tasked with advancing their communication skills. Modules in the course place importance on “understanding the importance of communication,” with assessments created for students to demonstrate their ability to communicate in a variety of settings that include children and adults. Learners will study communication techniques as well as the barriers preventing effective communication in early years settings.
Late in the course, students will also have the opportunity to choose from specialist modules including Managing the Early Curriculum in which they will learn the necessary skills for planning classes. This module covers understanding the purpose of curriculum planning, as well as planning itself, from a broad perspective that includes “design, management and implementation,” as well as the budgetary concerns that come with such tasks in a professional setting.
Upon graduation, students can either go straight into the workforce in positions such as Early Years Practitioner, Nursery Teacher and Early Intervention Worker, or they can continue onto higher levels of academic qualification such as a bachelor’s top-up degree in Early Childhood Studies.