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Certificate of Higher Education in Education Studies (Primary) - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This programme takes an interrogative approach to the development of students’ knowledge and understanding of the aims, values, processes and outcomes of education for children aged 3-12 (primary education) and the contexts in which these take place.

The aims of this qualification are to:

  • develop students’ awareness and understanding of the philosophies, beliefs, practices and provision for primary aged children including global perspectives 
  • enable students to develop as skilled, creative, flexible and reflective learners able to transfer skills to a range of professional contexts, 
  • support students in establishing strong foundations for professional and further academic study in the field of primary education.


Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this certificate, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
  • some of the factors, principles, issues, theories and research that influence and relate to children’s development and learning, and how these underpin and inform education policy and practices for primary aged children
  • curricula for primary age children and related approaches to assessment that support progression in learning 
  • some of the ways in which ethnicity, religion, class, gender, and sexual orientation can impact on children’s learning and development, and the importance of creating inclusive learning environments
  • the needs of a range of pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs, disabilities, those of high ability and those learning an additional language, and knowledge of provision to engage and support them  
  • the importance of subject knowledge in supporting children’s learning in the core subjects of literacy and language, mathematics and numeracy, science and ICT, and some approaches to supporting children’s learning in these curriculum areas
  • some of the political, legal, ethical and rights frameworks that guide practice with children and support their health, safety, wellbeing and achievement 
  • the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders within educational settings, and the central importance of engaging with children’s voices and perspectives. 

Cognitive skills

On completion of this certificate, you will be able to:
  • analyse and evaluate concepts, theories, policy and practice relating to child development and children’s learning
  • recognise some of the theories and concepts applied in practical teaching and learning contexts, and reflect on the nature of the relationship between educational theory, policy and practice 
  • identify different perspectives on educational issues and consider evidence to develop and present arguments and proposals for practice
  • identify and reflect on your own attitudes, experiences and perspectives and those of others, and consider the implications for practice.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this certificate, you will be able to:

  • work independently and collaboratively and value the contributions of others
  • develop knowledge and awareness of some activities that can be used to monitor and assess children’s learning and development
  • develop knowledge and awareness of some of the skills needed for teaching and learning, including the promotion of mutually respectful relationships with children, families, colleagues, other professionals and the wider community
  • demonstrate sensitivity and awareness of some of the contextual factors that influence children’s learning and behaviour 
  • demonstrate personal and professional conduct based on mutual respect and with regard to appropriate ethical considerations, and to develop knowledge of professional standards relevant to their context
  • plan and manage time and tasks, work to deadlines, and articulate their own approaches to learning
  • identify strengths and areas for development, and to seek and learn from feedback.

Key skills

On completion of this certificate, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
  • read independently and purposefully to identify and critically evaluate relevant information from a range of sources communicate and write accurately and clearly, using the conventions of academic writing for a range of purposes
  • articulate the knowledge, skills and understanding that underpin effective practice in the education of primary aged children
  • retrieve, organise and interpret information, and present findings
  • use a range of digital technologies for study, participate in online discussion  and recognise the role of ICT in supporting practice and continuing professional development   
  • develop understanding of the purposes and processes of research in the area of primary education including the importance of ethical considerations.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding is taught through diverse study materials, including multimedia. You will develop your knowledge and understanding through critical engagement with material. Audio-visual materials offer opportunities to hear from adults and children in schools and observe practice in a range of settings. You will work independently with the study materials but are encouraged to form self-help groups with other students communicating by telephone, email etc. Tutors support your learning in online tutorials and online day schools.

The assessment process requires you to demonstrate your understanding of key concepts and theories, to present arguments, to develop and evaluate ideas and to show how you apply these in practice. You are encouraged to assess your own progress frequently through activities in the study material.

Key skills are developed through study guide activities and tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that offer opportunities to practice and improve. Assessment is through formative TMAs.

Professional and practical skills are developed as part of an increased understanding and awareness of the experiences of children and young people, and what constitutes good practice. You’ll be supported during your study by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and online community forums.