Here at Leeds Beckett, I’m studying a subject called Childhood Development and Playwork. This is where we study the way that a child develops through play, and the importance of allowing children the opportunity to play. We study the Sociological and Psychological elements of a child’s development. This is interesting because it gives a unique perspective of childhood and how important it is for children to just be children. I chose this course because it focuses on the more playful side of a child’s development and allowing children to just be themselves. It is an enlightening subject that makes you think a lot about the right way to work and interact with children, an extremely unique perspective. It is something that really interested me because it is different from anything I have ever been taught and follows the way that I feel children should be treated.
What we do
Activities are involved during some of the lessons. This is so you can prepare to think of activities on the spot to help when working in a childhood setting, because you never know when you are going to have to cater to a spontaneous activity. The course is all classroom-based lessons rather than big lecture theatres, because it’s quite a small course. Many people would look at the small number of students as a negative, but I see it as a positive because you get more one to one time with your tutors and get to create a better relationship with them. This means you receive more guidance on your work than you may do if you were on a huge course.
Tutors and teaching
The tutors on my course are so lovely. They not only care about you getting good marks in your assignments, but they also really care about you as an individual. They are checking in with you every lesson, making sure everything is good, especially in the first year because people can become home sick in the first few months of university. They always do their best to have catch up sessions with you to make sure your assignments are going well and to see if you need any help. I know that over the summer after my first year, I struggled because I thought I wanted to go down one career path but after completing a placement, I realised this was not for me. I thought about dropping out altogether, so emailed my tutor who called me straight away. She asked if I was okay and whether I wanted any help looking into other careers that would fit in with the course that I was doing. She opened my eyes to the numerous career possibilities and that really helped me. They only want what is best for you and will help you as much as possible.
A bonus about this course is that there are no exams. This worked well for me because I am much better at coursework and writing assignments than exams. It means that through assignments, they can see whether you have understood the content and if you are able to apply this in future careers. Therefore, this would be perfect for anyone else who does not do so well with exams either, it definitely leads to a lot less stress for me.
For the first two years, you go on placement from January to May in a placement of your choosing. This is so that you can gain valuable work experience and try out careers which you may want to go into after university. The tutors will help you find the placement, but it’s you who drives it - you tell them what area you want to go into. I went to work as a Therapeutic Playworker in a hospital in my first year and then worked in Leeds City Council in my second year. This was helpful because you can really gain a feel for what work would be like after university. You also get to experience something different from what you’d expect – it’s not just school or nursery placements (although they are an option if that’s what you’re interested in). I do feel that doing the placement has helped me to realise my potential, helped me to become more confident and decipher the type of career that I would like to go into after university.
I would recommend this course to anyone. It is so unlike any other course I can think of, and the amount that you learn and gain from it is amazing. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I know that others on my course have too!