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Focus Awards Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (QCF)


Focus Awards Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (QCF)

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    Periodic Tutor-Marked Assignments, No Exams.


    **Reasonable standard of literacy**

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    Focus Awards Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (QCF)


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    Our brand new “Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools” course is a competence based qualification suitable for all support staff roles in schools. The course aims to enable learners to understand the roles and responsibilities of those involved in supporting teaching and learning in schools. It prepares students to support the Teacher and the delivery of curriculum within a school, as well as developing skills to help children and young people to develop self-esteem, independence and to acquire the skills of learning.

    The course also helps to further develop professional and technical skills and knowledge, and aims to deliver an understanding of the importance of positive relationships within a school.

    It will develop your knowledge and understanding of all the critical areas you need in a school setting, including safeguarding of children, communication skills, and understanding the school context and environment.


    Although the knowledge components required to pass the course have been designed specifically to be acquired by the distance learning method at your own pace from home, there is also a practical and competence based element to it.

    In order to successfully complete the course, you will need to complete 8 tutor marked assignments and a minimum of 50 hours in a school setting.  In addition to this, you will need to produce an evidence portfolio, which is designed to ‘pull together’ your written assignment work and your practical work.

    We strongly recommend that you arrange your placement before embarking on the course, as you will need to ensure that a teacher (or another member of staff who is qualified to at least Level 3 in a related field) will agree to be your supervisor and write witness statements confirming your competence, which will form part of your evidence portfolio.  Your supervisor will also need to confirm that you have completed the required number of hours and confirm that the evidence work you have produced whilst on placement is your own work.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange placements for you.


    One of the key benefits of studying with My Distance Learning College is that we deliver the entire package of course materials in a single dispatch. This enables our students to get a real feel for the overall structure and content of the course, and chart their progress much more effectively. The modular method of delivery favoured by other providers breaks up and interrupts the learning process. It actively prevents students from moving faster through sections they are more confident with, or taking more time over the deeper concepts that require more thought and comprehension.

    The Qualifications and Credit Framework is a system for recognising skills and qualifications at a national level by awarding credit for qualifications, and for smaller individual learning outcomes (or “units”), which can be “banked” to make up a larger or more inclusive accreditation. It is a very flexible system, which allows learners to gain qualifications at their own pace, and through routes such as distance learning which suit their own personal circumstances. QCF enables courses, qualifications and accreditations obtained by students in a wide variety of subject areas to be effectively “benchmarked” or measured against diverse and otherwise unrelated subjects according to difficulty and quantity of study time required. In this way, achievements can be recognised and rewarded through the award of credits and qualifications at a nationally recognised level, regardless of the subject matter studied.

    There are three types of qualification:

    1. Awards (1 to 12 credit units)

    2. Certificates (13 to 36 credit units)

    3. Diplomas (37 or more credit units)

    Every unit and qualification has a credit value and a level. Each credit represents 10 notional hours of learning, which is the amount of time an average learner would take to complete a single unit. Levels indicate difficulty, and vary from entry-level (1), to the most advanced or highest level 8. To give the reader a broad comparator, GCSEs (A* to C) are level 2, GCE A-levels are level 3, and a Ph.D. is a level 8.

    This Focus Awards Level 3 Certificate for Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Course attracts a Credit Value of 32 on the QCF system on successful completion


    The course is accredited by Focus Awards, who are regulated by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England.

    NO FINAL EXAM . . . .

    If the prospect of exams frightens the life out of you, there is even more good news. There is no final exam!

    The low price of the course includes dedicated tutor support, regular critique and feedback, and all assignments are marked by one of our professional tutors. You can even pay by instalments if funds are tight.

    1. What Are Special Education Needs (SEN)?

    a. The SEN code of practice 2001.

    b. Signs that tell a child may have SEN.

    c. What qualities are needed to be a SEN teaching assistant?

    d. What skills are needed to be a SEN teaching assistant?

    2. Theory of Special Needs

    a. History of special needs education.

    b. The inclusive approach to special needs education.

    3.The Big Picture of Special Educational Needs Provision

    a. Government policy.

    b. Legislation.

    c. Codes of practice and other guidance.

    d. Of stede. SEN reforms planned for 2014.

    4. SEN Provision in your school

    a. School Policy.

    b. School Practice.

    c. The role of the SENCO.

    5.Observation, testing and assessment

    a. Identifying pupils with SEN.

    b. P Scales.

    c. State mending – what does it involve?

    d.Staffing and resourcing.

    6. SEN Provision in Your School

    a. School policy.

    b. School practice.

    c. The role of the SENCO.

    7. Observation, Testing, and Assessment

    a. Identifying pupils with SEN.

    b. P scales.

    c. Pivots.

    d. State mending – what does it involve?

    e. Staffing and resourcing.

    8. Supporting Dyslexia and Literacy

    a. What is dyslexia.

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have dyslexiac.

    c. Supporting children with dyslexia.

    9. Aiding Speech and Language Difficulties

    a. Types of speech and language difficulties.

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have speech and language difficulties.

    c. Supporting children with speech and language difficulties.

    10. Managing Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties

    a. What are behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties?

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties.

    c.Supporting children with behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties.

    d. Examples of behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties.

    11. Supporting Autism and Asperger Syndrome?

    a. What are autism and asperger syndrome?

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have ASD.

    c. Home based approaches and interventions.

    d. Supporting children with ASD in schools.

    12. ADHD

    a. Signs that tell you a child may have ADHD.

    b. Supporting children with ADHD at home at school.

    13. Teaching Talented and Gifted Children?

    a. How to identify talents and gifted children.

    b. Signs that tell you a child may be talented and gifted.

    c. Supporting talented and gifted children.

    14. Supporting Blindness and Visual Impairment

    a. What are blindness and visual impairment?

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have vision problems.

    c. Supporting blind and visually impaired children in schools.

    15. Physical Impairment and Cerebral Palsy

    a. What is physical impairment?

    b. What is cerebral palsy?

    c. What is dyspraxia?

    d. Signs that tell you a child may have physical difficulties.

    e. Supporting physically impaired children in schools.

    16. Deafness and Hearing Impairment?

    a. What is deafness?

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have hearing problems.

    c. Hearing aids and other technologies.

    d. Communication approaches.

    e. Supporting deaf children in schools.

    17. Intellectual Difficulties

    a. What are intellectual disabilities?

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have an intellectual disability.

    c. Supporting children with intellectual disabilities.

    18. Dyscalculia and Numeracy

    a. What is dyscalculia?

    b. Signs that tell you a child may have dyscalculia.

    c. Supporting children with dyscalculia.

    19. Using Technology

    a. Using technology effectively.

    b. Types of technology – hardware.

    c. Types of technology – software.

    20. The Different Ages of the Child

    a. Early years education.

    b. Primary school.

    c. Secondary school.

    21. Providing Support at Home and Choosing the Right School

    a. Providing support at home.

    b. Mainstream or special school?

    22. Finding a Job in SEN

    a. Gaining experience.

    b. Applying for a job.

    c. Who to approach.

    d. What to include in your letter.

    Preparing for an interview

    When you have successfully completed your studies you will receive a certificate of achievement from Focus Awards.

    This is a non-regulated qualification which is endorsed by Focus Awards under the FQP scheme. They are not nationally recognised qualifications; on successful completion of your studies you will receive a Focus Awards Certificate of Achievement and a certificate of completion from Distance Learning Plus.

    Focus Awards is regulated as an Awarding Organisation by Ofqual, the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Non-regulated qualifications endorsed under the FQP scheme are ideal for professionals required to demonstrate commitment to CPD (Continuous Professional Development), and for those wanting to gain specialist knowledge of a particular subject.

    Who is this for?

    Anybody with a reasonable standard of general education will be able to cope with the academic demands. If you can read and write well enough to complete a job application, and have a good grasp of basic maths (add, subtract and divide) you should have no problems. The learning materials are written in simple everyday language and the answers to your assignments will be completed in the same style. In addition to the comprehensive learning materials provided, you will receive a Study Guide to assist you, and, of course, you will have the support of your tutor.

    What will I cover?

    Your studies will cover the areas of study listed above through detailed exploration of the subject matter. You will also receive tasks and prompts for further personal exploration and research to carry out so that you can gauge how much you have learned. There are plenty of examples to help you but personal research is a prerequisite, so be prepared to use your initiative to fully answer the assignments.

    Is it accredited?

    This is a non-regulated qualification endorsed by Focus Awards under the FQP scheme.

    Although the learning materials are comprehensive and informative, we do expect you to carry out your own investigations. After all, if you are not prepared to do your own research, you should be asking yourself if this is the right subject choice for you!

    Your work is not graded; assignments are simply identified as Pass, Fail or Referred. For assignments not passed at first attempt, your tutor will advise on the improvements to be made to obtain a Pass on a reworking. A certificate of achievement will be issued by Focus Awards on successful completion of all the assignments.

    Is this a nationally recognised qualification?

    No, this is a non-regulated qualification which has been endorsed by Focus Awards under their FQP scheme

    What will my studies prepare me for?

    The learning materials and accompanying tasks will help you to develop the necessary knowledge and confidence to successfully complete the tutor marked assignments. The tasks are designed to encourage you to apply your knowledge, and help you to develop relevant research and academic writing skills.

    If I fail an assignment can I retake it?

    Yes, your tutor will ask you to resubmit your assignment and give you some pointers as to where you could improve.

    How do I send in my work?

    You email your assignments one at a time for marking. This enables your tutor to properly assess the standard and style of your work for each section, and give you feedback which will be used on your next assignment; a process of continuous improvement. On obtaining feedback and comment you will either move on to the next assignment or review and rework the one you submitted.

    What do I receive once I enrol?

    You will receive login details to our Online Student Community. Here you will be able to access your course materials, contact your tutor, submit your work, and interact with other learners via the online forums.

    Is there a time limit or any deadlines?

    Your studies should be completed within 12 months, but can be extended for a small fee if your tutor supports your request. As a rough guide, depending on your circumstances and commitment, you can complete your studies in about 100 study hours. There are no other deadlines to meet.

    Is there a word count for my assignments?

    Although a word count is not given for the tutor marked assignments, it is important that you demonstrate to your tutor that you have fully understood the questions; a comprehensive Study Guide is included with your materials. Many students start slowly at first, but your tutor will give guidance to help and encourage you to improve.

    Do I need a computer to complete my studies?

    Yes, you will need access to email and the internet to access your materials, submit assignments and do research. Most students also find word-processing their assignments is much more convenient than writing by hand.

    Are the learning materials paper-based or online?

    All of the learning materials are online. You will receive a login to the online student community when you enrol, where you will be able to access the full set of materials and assessment tasks for your course.

    Why did you decide to become a SEN teaching assistant?

    I had worked as a Teaching Assistant in the local primary school for many years. There was a child that began in our school with special needs, he had learning difficulties. It became apparent he was going to need one to one care and support as his parents did not want to take him from mainstream school. I then asked the Head teacher if I could be put through a programme specific to those children with special needs so I could give the one to one support that the young boy needed. I also knew I could work with other children considered to have a learning difficulty.

    What activities to SEN Teaching Assistants on a daily basis?

    SEN Teaching Assistants still have similar roles to a Teaching Assistant in preparing learning materials for lessons, encouraging and supporting children. More specifically to SEN they would have to carry out the child’s care plan and encourage the child to communicate and engage with others. Physical needs may also have to be supported.

    What qualifications do I need to become an SEN Teaching Assistant?

    Generally, there are no required qualifications needed to become an SEN Teaching Assistant as it comes down to what LEA’s are looking for. It is suggested however that a qualification is taken such as Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools. Courses and programmes can be taken when in employment to ensure that you are able to work with children specifically with Special Educational Needs.

    What can I expect to earn as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant?

    Salaries for full time – £12,000 – £17,000

    Teaching Assistants usually are paid for term time only (known as pro-rata).






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