Meet the Team

Deborah Harris

I have been a lecturer at Newman for around 16 years and before that, I was a Reception Class Teacher and I also taught music across all key stages, which I loved.

Having had two children go through university, I know how good the experience can be but also recognise some of the challenges that students can face. It is important to support students in their transition to Higher Education and this is an aspect of my role which is very important to me.

I work on a range of modules on the programme and particularly enjoy supporting students undertaking placements and working on research modules.

You can contact me if you have any questions about this course:

Jane Beniston

I have been at Newman for nearly 14 years, so I know the place really well. I teach on many of the first year modules, so I am looking forward to getting to know you.
My own study and research is focused on student engagement and experiences at university, so I am keen to support you with your transition to university.

I have two children that are at university, so I also understand some of your nervousness and excitement. I am really looking forward to building some good learning experiences and memories with you!

Mark Cronin

I have been a lecturer at Newman for just over 14 years. Prior to this role, I worked as a Children and Families Social Worker for 10 years, supporting vulnerable children and young people and their families.

I am currently completing my PhD at the Institute of Education looking at our care system and its ability to meet the needs of children who need alternative care. I am particularly interested in safeguarding children, children in care, social policy and the role of men in early childhood settings. In my spare time, I like to stay active by going on long walks with our family dog Bingo, which helps balance out my sweet tooth and love of cakes and biscuits.

Kate Dudley

I am a lecturer on the Foundation Degree and BA programme and I am currently a student myself studying for my doctorate in Education, which has the focus of gender development in early years.

My passion has evolved around inclusion within society, inclusion for all children and families, and I have worked with children, young people and families from all different walks of life, experiences and social context.

One key part of my job which I enjoy is getting to know the students, learning and sharing stories and analysing the world through different people’s experiences. I believe we all have a unique journey and story to tell of the world and education is a great way to explore this. I am also a Mum to three children and have a large extended family, which keeps me busy.

In your first semester you will cover 2 compulsory modules – Dissertation and Leadership and Management. Alongside this you will also undertake a double module professional practice which requires you to either work or volunteer in a setting for a total of 100 hours to meet the module requirements.

We use a range of teaching strategies that encourage independence and co construction of learning such as discussions, seminars, workshops, case studies and presentations.

Dissertation – Semesters 1 and 2

40 Credits (Compulsory)

This double module aims to enable students to identify a specific issue or area of interest to investigate for their research study. It will enable students to examine the aspect in depth through e an empirical study. It requires students to identify and apply an appropriate research design, addressing ethical principles, and employing systematic research procedures. Students will present and analyse their findings with critical reflection on their research question, methodology, management and organisation and analyse limitations of their study. They will identify the implications for policy and practice in the field of early childhood education and care.

Leadership and Management in Early Childhood Education and Care Settings

20 Credits (Compulsory)

This module provides students with the opportunity to gain a practical and critical understanding of the current issues facing leaders and managers within ECEC settings in England, with a particular focus on the management of change and multi-agency and multi-professional (integrated) partnership-working.  This will involve analysis of the range of skills, knowledge and understanding concerned with team membership, management and leadership as well as pertinent theories to support becoming an effective leader. Seminal and contemporary theoretical perspectives and research on leadership and management will be presented and analysed in order to increase students’ understanding and appreciation of the roles and values of practitioners from different professional cultures.  Students will also participate in activities that will enable them to learn from their own and others’ experience of leadership and management in practice in order to develop their own leadership and management strengths.

ECU614 Professional Practice in Early Years

This double module for Top-Up students provides an opportunity for students to explore the concept of quality practice with the content being framed around the standards for the Early Years Educator (NCTL, 2013) and the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (DfE 2020). The module also requires students to work alongside professional practitioners in Early Years settings/schools/organisations to further develop their knowledge, skills and competence of working in practice with children, families and other professionals. Students will be required to identify and attend an appropriate setting/school/organisation, in negotiation with the student, the tutor and the setting. in order to experience, participate in and develop competence in a range of tasks associated with education and care in an Early Years setting/school/organisation. Alongside the practical experience, students also attend taught sessions around aspects of Quality Practice in Early Childhood Education and Care.  Settings are provided with guidance in the form of an Employer Handbook which provides information on all aspects of the Placement including the aims of the placement, the role of the setting in supporting the students, information as to what students need to undertake whilst on placement and contact details of tutors. Students also have access to a handbook which includes information as to the purpose of placement, their role in terms of professional conduct and an overview of the taught sessions and the assessment.

Welcome to the Early Childhood Education and Care subject area. We would like to offer you a very warm welcome as you begin your Top-Up degree programme in Early Childhood Education and Care with us.

One of the modules that you will be undertaking over the year will be your dissertation. We would like you to begin to think about an area of interest that you may be able to take forward for your study. This could be based on a module that you have particularly enjoyed, or an area of practice that you want to find out more about. So, over the Summer see if you can do some reading around this topic.

You will be asked to submit an initial proposal usually by mid-October outlining the aim of your study, your research questions, and a written piece of 500 words about the research topic. We look forward to hearing your ideas when we meet with you.

If you have any further questions about dissertation then please email the Programme Coordinator Deborah Harris

We look forward to working with you in the next academic year.

Meet the Team’

This pre recorded information will give you a chance to virtually meet your tutors.

Meet the Team – Deb Harris

Meet the Team – Mark Cronin

Meet the Team – Kate Dudley

Meet the Team – Jane Beniston

Semester 1 Modules

This pre recorded information will give you a chance to learn about the modules you will be undertaking, delivered by the tutors who will be working with you.

Top-Up Year

Leadership and Management module