Teaching & Learning Support (Primary) Foundation Degree FdA - Subject to Validation

This course is validated by: Lancaster University
Award: FdA Teaching and Learning Support
Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: LX77
Code: EH2502A12
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Duration: Full time: 2 academic years
Part time: 3 academic years
Term Dates: View term dates

Our popular Foundation Degree in Teaching and Learning Support (Primary) is recognised by Head teachers and Governors alike as a successful, relevant qualification that impacts positively on teaching and learning in schools. This degree can be studied either as a 3 year part-time or 2 year full-time Lancaster University validated foundation degree designed as a professional development qualification for Primary School Teaching Assistants who want to further their understanding, knowledge and skills across the ever-changing primary curriculum.

Students taking part on the course get involved in a range of trips and activities. Past students have enjoyed trips to a Steiner School near York looking at alternative philosophies of teaching and learning. Students on the course also take part in a range of team building activities and socialise as a group at organised events - this helps you to learn from colleagues and other students in both informal as well as formal settings.

As well as your placement, you will be able to take part in a 2 day placement in a different primary school. Our students often tell us this is a valuable insight into the way that different primary schools operate. All staff teaching on the course are former or existing Primary school practitioners who are able to bring a wealth of valuable experience, real-life examples and case studies into the classroom.

Please download the Additional Application Pack for more information.

What will I study?

You will study a common core of introductory modules designed to familiarise you with differing approaches in supporting the teaching and learning of primary English, Literacy, Mathematics, Science and ICT and Computing to help you apply key theories, concepts and skills to the primary classroom. There will be opportunities to draw upon established and current primary age educational theories through the How Children Learn module. The Reflective Practitioner will develop students understanding of personal development planning rationale and practices.

In the later stages of the course you will study how the challenging area of Special Education Needs and Inclusive Teaching and Learning practice impacts upon your teaching and learning support and explore aspects of the Humanities elements of the Primary Curriculum. Additionally, you will begin to research educational issues that affect teaching and learning and engage in your own Research Project following the Research Methods taught module.

You will also examine the Creative elements of the Primary Curriculum and develop Digital Skills for the 21st Century Classroom. You will become familiar with the Assessment methods used in schools and complete an analysis of a case study on the Future of the Primary Sector. Work based Learning will enable learners to consider, explore and examine the key attributes needed to become an effective and reflective practitioner. Please download the Additional Application Pack for more information.

Modules can include:

  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in English
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Mathematics
  • How Children Learn
  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Teaching and Learning practice
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Science
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in ICT and Computing
  • The Reflective Practitioner
  • Research Methods
  • The Role of Assessment in Supporting Learning
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Humanities
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Creative Subjects
  • The Future of the Primary Sector
  • Educational Issues Affecting Teaching and Learning in the Primary Sector
  • Developing Digital Skills for the 21st Century Primary Classroom
  • Research Project
  • Work based Learning

Download the Programme Specification for FdA Teaching & Learning Support (Primary). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.


Entry Requirements

You will need 48 UCAS points and a Level 2 Qualification or GCSE at Grade C or above in both English and Maths. In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. One year’s recent experience working in a primary school for at least one day each school week (30 days) to allow you to carry out a placement for one day a week for three years (part-time) or one and half days a week for two years (full-time).

Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview. You will need a clear, current DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) certificate. All offers are conditional and are subject to a successful interview and the signed support of the Headteacher. 

If you are an International Student from outside of the EU it is a requirement for you to have a Tier 4 Visa in order to study with us. In order for you to undertake this particular programme of study, you will also need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English and will require a UK VI Academic IELTS score of 5.5. Please note: the fees for International Students from outside of the EU, for this particular programme are £9,250 per year. Fees are subject to change in subsequent years.

New UCAS Tariff 2017 Entry. UCAS has introduced a new tariff system which aims to provide a fair and more transparent process of allocating tariff points across a wide range of qualifications. This new tariff system will be used for courses starting 2017. Applicants should note that new tariff points for a qualification may be different to the points for the same qualification in the previous system – generally tariff points will be lower on the new tariff.



How will I be assessed?

During the course you will be assessed by a variety of methods including coursework, written assignments, reports, poster presentations, electronic presentations and portfolio building. Additionally, there will be a series of reflective tasks to complete at your primary school placement or employment as well as a successful lesson observation in each year of your placement.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

The Foundation Degree is recognised as quality award in the primary school sector. It can lead both directly and via top-up qualifications to careers in:

  • Primary School Support
  • Teaching
  • Learning Mentoring
  • Educational Management/Administration
  • HLTA
  • Family Support
  • Behaviour Management

Graduates of the programme traditionally do two things upon completion. The first is to join the 3rd year of Education Studies BA (Hons) and, from there, progress onto a PGCE in Primary Education. The alternative is to join a number of Top Up programmes. Please download the Additional Application Pack for more information and an illustration of the different routes into teaching upon successful completion of the qualification.

Student Stories

Billy AlmondPGCE (Education & Training)

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"The team is supportive, well-read in their discipline and understand the challenges and nature of the classroom. […] As one student said “I couldn’t have done this without the team’s support” this was then echoed by the rest of the group."

External Examiner’s Report 2016/17