Press Releases 2017

UWTSD celebrates the achievements of its Early Years graduates

06.12.2017

Last month, UWTSD held a very special graduation ceremony at its Carmarthen campus for those who studied innovative and flexible courses at the University.

November Graduation

The graduates included a cohort of students graduating with BA degrees from the pioneering Early Childhood programme - the first degree course to be offered at the Carmarthen campus as a flexible route to enable students to apply their workplace experience directly to their studies. 

The Flexible Early Childhood degree has been designed to combine students' work and volunteering commitments with study on evenings and weekends with the course offered over two years rather than the traditional three year route.  Students access lectures and tutorials during some twilight and evening sessions as well as on some pre-arranged Saturdays each term.

One of those who graduated in November was Emma Blofield, a mother of five from Llandovery.

“I decided to study the degree in early childhood as I have always been passionate about working with young children. I put my career on hold to have my own family and the fast track flexi route fitted perfectly around my work and family commitments.

“I previously worked as a teaching assistant and have always wanted to go on to do my teaching qualification, the Early Childhood degree offered great opportunities to get me started on my journey to becoming a teacher. I also met some amazing people whilst completing my degree who will be lifelong friends. 

“The lecturers were professional and approachable and made my experience of getting back into studying a very positive one.

“During the final months of my degree I applied for a position at Llandovery College as a LSA. My experience and knowledge gained from the course enabled me to go into my interview feeling confident and believing in myself, it went so well I was offered a position different to what I had applied for and I am now an SEN support teacher and lead the SEN provision in Llandovery College Preparatory School.

“In the short while of my employment I have been offered the opportunity to go on to complete an Independent Schools PGCE through my employer.

“Studying the degree as helped me immensely not only to build on my knowledge and skills but also to enable me to believe in myself.  With the support of the University, friends old and new, my supportive family and my own determination to succeed, I successfully completed the degree graduating with a first!”

Emma Blofield

Alison Baker also graduated last month and found the whole experience immensely rewarding.

“I had been working in various schools as a LSA but always wanted to train to be a teacher however I didn't have a degree,” says Alison.

“I read about the fast track degree in the local paper and then met with Glenda, one of the lecturers. I loved the idea that I could complete it in two years and still keep working.  It was a challenge - juggling work, studying and a looking after a family but the support we received was great.

“My confidence has increased so much and the course was really interesting. I am now studying for my PGCE in primary education with UWTSD in Swansea and I can't believe how much has changed in the last three years.”

During the Early Years degree course, students study a variety of issues linked to working with young children and families as well as exploring important aspects of childhood such as holistic development, wellbeing, education and care. The degree is very much focused on employment skills and develops students’ confidence in work situations with graduates therefore developing knowledge, values and understanding essential for informed good practice. 

“The University’s Carmarthen campus has a proud track record for programmes relating to education and training. It was established in 1848 as a teacher training college to raise standards and to effect social change,” said the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Medwin Hughes DL.

“Over the years, we have continued to offer innovative courses to make a difference to the lives of individuals and the communities we serve and the BA in Early Childhood is an example of such programmes.

“Having followed these leading new programmes, our graduates will have the opportunity to shape the future of the children entrusted to their care – to make the most of the opportunity to enable every young person, regardless of their backgrounds, to develop their potential to the full.  I should like to congratulate you all on your achievements and wish you every success for the future.”

For further information on the Early Years degree courses offered at UWTSD, please visit http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/undergraduate/early-years/

Alison Baker

Further Information

 

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 / sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk