Foundation Phase - Cardiff Metropolitan University

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Cardiff Metropolitan University
Post Graduate Certificate of Education: Foundation Phase (3-8)
About the programme
The Post Graduate Certificate of Education: Foundation Phase (3-8) programme is an intensive,
highly challenging and rewarding programme that will enable students to qualify as primary
teachers with a specific age group focus in the Foundation Phase (3-8). The programme is
delivered and managed collaboratively between Cardiff Metropolitan University and partner
schools as part of the South East Wales Centre for Teacher Education and Training (SEWCTET).
Students will graduate with 60 credits at Master’s level and Qualified Teacher Status that will
allow them to teach across the primary age phase.
Special features of the programme
The programme offers an advantage towards continuous professional development by affording
60 credits at Master’s level. These credits may be carried forward towards a full Master’s
qualification studied on a full or part time basis.
Students will receive ongoing support and guidance from an experienced personal tutor who will
mentor the individual through their academic and initial professional development. Personal
tutors will endeavour to place students in partner schools that can best support the student’s
individual development and the programme is designed in such a way that regular contact in
university is maintained throughout school placement.
Programme design
Credits = 60, level 6
School Experience
Credits = 60, level 7
Understanding Learning and Teaching
Comprising of:
Learning & Teaching 1: Professional Studies
Learning & Teaching 2: Literacy and Numeracy
Learning & Teaching 3: Curriculum focus
University element
The university based element of the programme consists of one module namely Understanding
Learning and Teaching that aims to enable students to become informed, reflective
practitioners, with a clear philosophy about learning and teaching.
The programme fosters students’ abilities in advanced scholarship to make purposeful use of
educational research findings and to critically analyse and articulate relationships between
theory and practice in learning contexts. Students should feel secure in their ability to
investigate current learning and teaching initiatives and to be discerning and pro-active, in light
of practical experience and research. The university element adopts a blended learning
approach including lead lectures, group seminars, tutorials, independent study and directed
activities using Cardiff Metropolitan University’s virtual learning environment.
Understanding Learning and Teaching Module
This module consists of three constituent parts as identified in the programme design above. All
parts of the programme complement each other and specific links are made with the School
Experience module. The module as a whole develops students’ conceptual understanding of
fundamental principles of primary education and pedagogical aspects related specifically to the
Foundation Phase.
Learning and Teaching 1: Professional Studies
Within this aspect of the module students will gain an insight into child development and the
many factors that can influence learning. Students will also learn about the statutory
frameworks for primary education and the legal requirements of the Foundation Phase, National
Curriculum, and assessment together with an understanding of the inter-relatedness within the
whole curriculum, including in Wales, Y Cwricwlwm Cymreig.
Learning and Teaching 2: Literacy and Numeracy
The focus of this aspect of the module relates to the recent developments in the teaching and
learning of literacy and numeracy. Specific reference is made to the Literacy and Numeracy
Framework in Wales and the implications of this within the primary curriculum.
Learning and Teaching 3: Curriculum focus
The curriculum focus aspect of the module reflects the innovative advances made within
primary education in Wales. The content of the module is based on the areas of learning
identified in the Framework for Children’s Learning for 3 – 7 year olds in Wales. Although focus
in based on lower primary, reference is also made to expectations, typical curricula and
teaching arrangements before and after the phase students are trained to teach.
Students also have the opportunity to learn Welsh as part of the university based programme.
School experience
School experience, undertaken in our excellent range of SEWCTET partnership schools, is an
integral part of the programme. Students will spend a total of 120 days in school which is
predominantly arranged on a 4:1 split. This means that Monday – Thursday is spent on school
placement whilst Friday is spent in university. This allows for clear links to be made between
theory and practice and for the skills associated with being a reflective practitioner to be
developed. A key part of the development of the reflective practitioner is enquiry based learning
to encourage student teachers to reflect critically on learners, their own practice, and to develop
an independent, enquiring approach to their professional development. This is achieved through
the completion of “Learning Packages” that focus on key educational priority aspects. The
packages scaffold the student teacher in identifying their own areas of interest and to improve
their practice in systematic ways as they are more able to closely examine the issues and
acquire new found knowledge that is readily retained.
The module comprises of three elements:
- First Foundation Phase school experience
- Key Stage 2 school experience (dealing with transition)
- Second Foundation Phase school experience
Students' progress is continuously supported by school mentors and university tutors.
Teaching experience is arranged by university tutors in conjunction with the Partnership Office
within the School of Education.
Students will be assessed on both their practical teaching and on university coursework. To
complete the course successfully, a pass is required in all elements of the programme. Progress
is monitored by continuous assessment and there are no formal end-of-programme
examinations. Successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of Postgraduate
Certificate in Education (PGCE) and recommendation to the General Teaching Council for Wales
(GTCW) for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Career potential
The university offers excellent support to students both during and after the programme
through their Career Services.
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Applicants in England and Wales must successfully complete one year of teaching before their
QTS status is confirmed.
Differences between Wales and England
There are differences in the curriculum and assessment requirements between England and
Wales. However, training in Wales does not prevent trainees from obtaining teaching posts in
England (or elsewhere) or vice versa. It will be up to the applicant to gain up-to-date
information regarding curriculum and assessment differences between Wales and England (or
Literacy, numeracy and IT skills tests are not a requirement for achieving QTS in Wales.
Students are also not required to take the skills tests if they gain QTS in Wales and
subsequently wish to teach in England
Time commitment required
The school based element requires students to be in school for the normal working school day
as well as additional time before and after school for preparation and meetings.
A similar professional commitment is required of students when undertaking the university
based element of the programme.
Flexibility for individual requirements
The School of Education will try and meet individual requirements for students as far as possible
but there are limitations due to the nature and restraints of the programme as well as
Study facilities
The programme is based on the Cyncoed campus which has a number of good study facilities
including its own learning centre with 24 hour access.
How do I apply?
Applications for the programme must be made through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry
(GTTR) by applying online via You can also contact them on 0870 1122205 or at the
following address:
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
View Fees information on programme provider's website.
Sources of finance (Teacher Training Agency)
View Sources of finance (Teacher Training Agency) information on programme provider's
What can I expect to earn when I start teaching?
Information can be obtained from the Training and Development Agency for Schools website:
Planned Intake
Intake for the Post Graduate Certificate of Education: Foundation Phase (3-8) programme
is approximately 65.
Please note numbers are subject to change.
Further Information
View Further Information information on programme provider's
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