ED1FPS-Professional Skills in the Children’s Workforce

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Hilary Harris
Email: hilary.harris@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will benefit the student both personally and professionally, as it examines aspects a student would need to consider for their continued growth as a professional within the Children’s Workforce. The benefits of collaborative and culturally appropriate practice are identified and discussed. The importance of change and regular self-review for increased self-efficacy is also examined. 

The module will focus on building the student’s competence and confidence as an effective practitioner within early years/educational settings (0-11). It will extend the student’s understanding of the frameworks, underpinning values and ethical practice within which practitioners are working. It covers the application of ethical principles to a variety of situations and issues in the practice. 

Students will explore the importance of developing their skills of effective communication, and the dynamics of team formation as they work collaboratively with other professionals to support the learning and development of young children.

The module also supports students to develop academic and study skills in the context of their work-based environment.


The aims of this module are to develop knowledge and understanding of professionalism and the development of academic and professional skills through:

  • Exploration of the importance of beliefs and values in shaping professional practice and responsibilities

  • Examination of a range of theories and perspectives and the way in which they inform and guide professional practice

  • Development of self-evaluative and critical reflective skills

  • Evaluation of aspects of effective professionalism in early years and education across a range of contexts

  • Identification and application of study skills required for academic development and professional practice

  • reflection upon the importance of developing  relevant information and communication technology skills to support learning and practice

  • Reflection upon the use of personal experience to help challenge thinking and assess impact of actions

  • Exploration of the development of practitioners into effective communicators who adapt their styles of communication appropriately when working with other professionals, parents and carers and children 

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • identify relevant principles and concepts in relation to professionalism in the children’s workforce

  • reflect upon their own professional practice and developing study skills for academic achievement, using models to support their reflective writing and drawing on theory, academic literature and current research as appropriate, as well as personal experience

  • dentify  key principles and concepts in relation to effective communication with children and adults

  • evaluate the role of the practitioner in communicating effectively with children, families and other professionals in the workplace

  • recognise and incorporate connections between module, practice and relevant areas of the appropriate curriculum/framework

  • Develop and apply knowledge required for practitioners which are linked to government policy, legislation, statutory and non-statutory guidance and current initiatives

Additional outcomes:

  • Apply knowledge of ICT to support development of e-portfolio

  • engage with study skills support to improve academic practice

  • manage, organise and evaluate own time, resources, records and information during portfolio-building

  • Develop own inter-personal communication skills including the ability to adapt styles of communication to different audiences

  • work as part of a team with members of the cohort

  • identify the ways that actions support equality, diversity, rights and responsibility

  • Engage with tutor feedback in order to develop academic practice

Outline content:

  • Professional practice and teamwork – including assertiveness skills

  • Ethical principles and guidelines

  • Relationships with other professionals

  • Self-esteem, self-concept, self-efficacy – with theoretical underpinning

  • Development of students’ own educational philosophy

  • Pedagogy and principles that underpin philosophy

  • reflective practice and models for reflection

  • Study skills development

  • ICT skills development

  • effective inter-personal communication – theory into practice

  • development and use of effective communication skills appropriate to the audience

  • Group dynamics and working with other professionals

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, discussion groups, tasks, research, work based activities; work – based learning will provide an essential contribution to achievement of the outcomes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 21 13.5 7.5
Seminars 1 0.5 0.5
Tutorials 2 1.5 1.5
External visits 3 3
Placement 70 60 50
Guided independent study: 67 55 46
Total hours by term 164 135 107
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Practical skills assessment 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

As this module is delivered over the year there are submission points in each term:

Oral assessment and presentation

Group presentation supported by a Wiki (20%) (Spring Term

Written assignment (including essay)

E-Portfolio with Reflective Account (1) (20%) (Autumn Term)

E-Portfolio with Reflective Account (2) (40%) (Summer Term)

Practical skills assessment

Guided Professional Discussion with work-based mentor (10%) (Autumn Term)

Guided Professional Discussion with work-based mentor (10%) (Spring Term)

Formative assessment methods:

Work-based discussions with the mentor, plus tutorials and placement experience all contribute to formative assessment.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission during the summer resit period if candidate would otherwise fail to progress

Suggestion for reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission during the summer resit period if candidate would otherwise fail to progress

Candidates can chose to resubmit all or only failed components.

For resubmission of the oral assessment and presentation or either of the practical skills assessments, alternative assessments will be set.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books:  Core Texts (you will not need all of these books)

The essential text books for this module are below. These texts are available in the library or within online resources or you may be able to source them more cheaply than the publisher’s recommended price


Bedford, D., &Wilson, E. (2006). Study skills for foundation degrees. London: David Fulton. Approx £15

Cottrell, S. (2013). The study skills handbook (4th ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Approx £14.99

Lindon, J. (2010). Reflective practice and early years professionalism. Oxford: Hodder Education. Approx £24

Veale, F. (Ed.) (2013). Early Years for Levels 4 and 5 and the Foundation Degree. Oxford: Hodder &Stoughton. Approx £25

Blandford, S., &Knowles, C. (2009). Developing professional practice 0-7. Harlow: Pearson Education.approx £29


Wilson, V., &Kendall-Seatter, S. (2010). Developing professional practice 7-14. Harlow: Pearson Education.approx £29

2) Specialist equipment or materials:  None

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:  None

4) Printing and binding:  None

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:  None

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:  None

Last updated: 30 July 2021


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