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Learning and teaching in the primary years

This key introductory module covers a range of themes relating to primary education including children’s learning, inclusive education, play and creativity, home-school liaison, and the curriculum areas of English, mathematics and science. You will also develop the knowledge and skills needed to work collaboratively and equitably in a range of settings. These include evaluating and communicating information effectively to others, using digital technologies effectively for study, online collaboration and to support your continuing professional development, planning and managing time, identifying strengths and areas for development, and seeking and learning from feedback. This module will give you a sound foundation for further study relevant to a variety of roles within education.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects

Module

Module code
E103
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

You will develop your understanding of the ways in which teachers teach, the curriculum that guides children’s learning, the activities that children do, and professional decision making in schools. In particular, the module will give you insights into learning and teaching in the curriculum areas of English, maths and science. However, you will also learn about approaches for supporting children’s learning across the whole primary curriculum.

Through studying the module you will acquire:

  • knowledge of the nature of primary education today
  • insights into how children learn, and what adults can do to promote their learning
  • an understanding of the principles that underpin primary education policy and classroom practice
  • an awareness of some current theories and research that support primary education
  • insights into issues relating to race equality and social inclusion and the implications for practice
  • an appreciation of the complementary nature of home and school learning and the role of parents and the family in children’s education
  • skills related to academic reading and writing, including studying effectively online
  • the ability to plan for and review your own academic and professional learning

Vocational relevance

This module will provide you with a sound foundation for further study relevant to a range of roles relating to primary education. It is also relevant to other careers within childcare, health, education, playwork and working with families and young people. It will develop your understanding of practices and policies that affect children, and introduce you a range of aspects relevant to education in the primary years. 

Outside the UK

This module will be suitable if you are based outside of the UK, but if you are not already working or volunteering in school on a regular basis you will need to negotiate opportunities to spend some time during the module in a formal educational setting for children aged 3-12 (for example in a voluntary capacity) to observe teaching and learning and gain exposure to a practice context.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will guide you through the study materials, mark and comment on your written work, and advise and support you where necessary. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor will be particularly concerned to help you to study effectively. Group tutorials that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend will be provided at points throughout the module. Where your tutorials are held, and whether they will be face-to-face or online, will depend on the distribution of the students taking the module in your geographic area. These will be supplemented by a dedicated tutor group forum on the module website.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Learning and teaching in the primary years (E103) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
    No examination
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    You must be 18 or over.

    There are no formal academic or experiential requirements to study this module.

    However, we strongly advise you to arrange a placement in a formal education setting1 for children aged between 3 and 12 – for example a school, outdoor learning centre or museum – for at least 10 days to observe learning and teaching and gain exposure to a practice context.

    If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.

    1Access to settings will require you to meet the ‘fit person’ criteria, in your country, to work with children. You and your setting are responsible for ensuring you meet these requirements, not the OU.

    Register

    Start End Fee
    - - -

    No current presentation - see Future availability

    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2023.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 09/12/2018.

    What's included

    Print and online study materials including two module readers, 19 study topics presented in two books and online; a website where you can access a range of additional resources including audio-visual material, an online module guide, online forums and the module Assessment Guide.

    You will need

    You will need an internet connection to use the website in order to study the online module materials, access the Assessment Guide and engage in online discussions with your tutor and other students. Discussions with other students and your tutor through the online forums are a very important form of additional support so everyone is strongly encouraged to participate.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E103 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.