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Children's Play, Learning and Development Level 3 Extended Diploma at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

A career within the early years sector can be challenging but equally very rewarding. As an early years educator you will hold many qualities and have the necessary skills to observe, plan and assess children’s individual care and learning needs. This course will offer you the opportunity to develop those skills over a period of two years both within the College and out in a practical work placement setting.

If you are looking to work with children and their families and enjoy working in a challenging but highly rewarding environment then this course is for you. The course offers a range of units that provide opportunities for you to learn through a range of different activities including lectures, practical sessions in our practical based work room and visits from outside agencies. You will also be expected to keep up to date with the current changes in the early years sector in line with government policy.

Assessment is continuous throughout the course and consists of written tasks, presentations, demonstrations and a research project.  You will also be required to sit an external exam as part of the course requirements; this will aid your time management, organisational and research skills that contributes to effective practice when working within the early years sector.

Course content

Year 1 -  Modules

  • Child Development
  • Play and Learning
  • Meeting Children’s Physical Development, Health and Care Needs
  • Health and Safety in Early Years Settings
  • Working with Parents and Others in Early Years
  • Supporting Children’s Speech, Communication and Language
  • Safeguarding in Early Years
  • Observation, Assessment and Planning
  • Supporting Children’s Literacy and Numeracy Development

Year 2 – Modules

  • Supporting Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Reflective Practice
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Research Skills
  • Working with Children Under 3 Years
  • Working with Children With Additional Needs
  • Supporting Children’s Imaginative Play
  • Supporting Children’s Creativity
  • Promoting Children’s Development Outdoors
  • An Introduction to Working in a Montessori Setting

To be able to work within the early years sector you are required to have a GCSE at grade C or above in both Maths and English; this is a government requirement. If you do not already have a GCSE at grade A*-C in these subjects, you will be expected to attend additional lessons in these areas. These are varied study sessions, and are designed to cater for all ability levels. You will receive advice and guidance regarding the correct level for you.

Entry requirements

Four GCSEs at grade ‘C’ or above to include English Language and Mathematics. Learners wishing to use the qualification to progress to Higher Education will need a minimum grade ‘C’ or above in Maths, English and Science.

You will also be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service clearance check. 


Throughout this course you will be assessed through a series of internal and external assessments.

Internal assessment tasks may include:

  • Presentations
  • Professional leaflets or posters
  • Discussions
  • Extended pieces of writing

External assessment tasks will include:

  • Exam paper
  • Portfolio (PEP) that links to placement practice and provides the evidence to secure Early Years Educator status
  • Essay on reflective practice in action
  • A small-scale research project

Future opportunities

Previous students have undertaken degrees in BA Early Childhood Studies, BA in Education, BEd in early years or primary education, BA in Social Work and Child and Family Welfare studies. Truro and Penwith College also provides the opportunity to continue your studies onto our Foundation Degree in Children and Young People’s Workforce, Childhood Education, Youth and Community Studies and Psychology. These qualifications will lead onto professions such as teaching, social work and play work. Students have also gone onto successful careers direct from the course including teacher assistants in primary and specialist schools, play worker, early years educators in pre-school and day care settings, childminding settings, nanny positions in the UK, abroad and on cruise ships.  

Further information

Throughout the course you will be required to complete 750 hours of work placement practice within three different placement settings and work with children in three different age ranges including; birth to 1 years, 2 – 4 years and 5 – 7 years 11 months.

During your time at placement you will be assessed through a series of observations, witness statements and placement reports. You will be expected to reflect and report on your own practice and collate evidence to support that practice.  Practical Evidence Portfolios (PEPs) are an important part of the course and must be completed to secure the full Diploma with Early Years Practitioner status. 

On successful completion of year 1 students will achieve the Lever 3 Subsidiary Certificate and continue to complete the full National Diploma (Early Years Educator) in the second year. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

Key information