Adult Learners complete Introduction to Early Years course through UWTSD


University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) are working with a group of young parents brought together by the Flying Start team in Neath, Port Talbot, to deliver adult learning courses.

Neath Parenting group line up for adult learners course

In October 2022 the group of parents successfully completed a course run by Donna Williams from the University’s Widening Access Department. The course, entitled Living Life to the Full, is one of UWTSD’s Stepping Stone courses, and uses Cognitive Behaviour Approach to help build confidence, resilience and enable individuals to feel happier and healthier.

Drawing upon learner needs and the Widening Access department’s objectives, the University worked closely with the Institute of Education and Humanities and two lecturers Jessica Pitman and Glenda Tinney to plan and deliver a 4-week Introduction to Early Years course.

The course was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) Reaching Wider programme, as part of the university’s commitment to widening access and creating pathways into Higher Education.

Each week, learners took part in hands-on sessions based around the foundations of the Childhood Youth and Education degree programmes. The course proved hugely successful, and upon completion, the group are now keen to undertake more learning opportunities offered by UWTSD.

child from neath parenting group adult learners courses

Ashley Chipps, Flying Start Parenting Support worker said: “The young parents group has been lucky to receive various programmes from UWTSD. On Live Life to the Full, parents looked at their own personal wellbeing and what changes they can make to their life to improve their mood.

“They really enjoyed the course and some were able to make positive changes in their lives as a result of attending. Another programme saw tutors from the University give parents practical play ideas that were easy, affordable and fun. The parents created brilliant crafts including story sacks and were keen to recreate these sessions at home with their children”.

With a newfound appetite for learning since completing the course, the group visited the University’s IQ building at the Swansea Waterfront Campus with their families in February for an afternoon of fun, play and learning, which included meeting academics and current students.

UWTSD is delighted to offer on-campus visits for community-based Adult Learners as well as their families, and plans to work closely with more institutes within the University to offer a variety of short courses and taster sessions in the near future.

Jessica Pitman, lecturer in Childhood, Youth and Education at UWTSD said: "It was a pleasure to meet the parents and children from Melin, Neath. It’s important to show the communities we serve that we are welcoming to all and supportive of their Higher Education journeys.

“It was refreshing to see children on our campus in Swansea. We are a truly inclusive university and I am looking forward to bringing more families in to visit us. I have a feeling we will see one or two parents and children come through our doors again”.

Glenda Tinney, lecturer in Early Years Education at UWTSD, said: “This has been a wonderful project which I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved in. Meeting at the Melincryddan Community Centre and undertaking activities that reflected some of the play-based and creative learning activities we discuss on our Childhood, Youth and Education courses was great.

“I also enjoyed hearing their ideas and aspirations for future learning journeys. UWTSD is a community university, and being able to visit the parents in their community centre and welcome families to our campus made our community link very real. I am sure this will be the start of a long relationship with the parents and families. Fantastic!”

Neath parenting group on course for adult learners

Note to Editor

The Hefcw funded Reaching Wider Programme is a Wales-wide, collaborative, long-term programme to widen access to higher education and higher-level skills. It aims to increase higher education participation from priority groups and communities in Wales by raising educational aspirations and skills, and creating innovative study opportunities and learning pathways to higher education. 

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