Amanda Clark, FdA second year student:
"I have experienced a wide variety of emotions since beginning the Foundation degree course, but I can honestly say that, as I enter the last semester, I am proud of my achievements and feel as though I have grown as a person and a practitioner.
"The whole experience has been very worth while and has benefited my practice, knowledge and understanding of child development and most importantly given me the skills to be reflective, thus enhancing my professional development and the quality of care that I am able to offer.
"I would recommend the course to any practitioner who is enthusiastic about what they do and wants to make a difference, however small it may be, to the children in their care. We need to challenge ourselves, be receptive to new ideas and concepts and not be afraid to analyze and critique the work of others in order to improve our professional practice on a day to day basis. I feel that the Foundation degree has enabled me to do this and I am positive that the skills I have developed, and am still developing, will enhance my professional career".
Gail Lewis, BA (Hons) (Progression Route) graduate:
"I am the owner and manager of a pre-school in Felixstowe and for my personal gain and for the pre-school I wanted to gain the highest qualification in early years, so the setting could meet the needs of all children and I could continue to provide them with the best possible care in the foundation stage.
"Being a student on the course allowed me to continue to work in my practise and also get together will other working students which I feel enhanced the learning environment as you had different working background with lots of different expertise.
"As a full-time worker any type of study is difficult and degree level is something that you really must really want to do, because trying to balance you life around work, home and your families in something of a task!
"I found the first year of the course very difficult a lot harder than I could have imagined. Giving up was on my mind a couple of times in the first year, as going back to studying after a ten year break was hard and trying to write academic was something alien to me, however over time and support from some really good tutors, I did really start to enjoy meeting up every week for the lectures and meeting up with the other students and that became my life for three years.
"Looking back I did really enjoy those three years and I learnt so much about child development and It has enhanced my practise so much and the way I work, also my confidence is so much stronger and my belief that we need to ensure that every child can be given the best possible start in early education. I would recommend this course to anyone."
Lisa Thurlow, FdA second year student:
"I have been studying towards my Foundation degree for the past four years. The course has been very beneficial for me as a practitioner, as well as my setting. I have become a more reflective practitioner which I believe has assisted in my role as a leader.
"It was difficult to get used to reading to begin with but I now have built up a good collection of texts that have supported me in my studies and in my role and will continue to be of use in the future. My setting has been extremely supportive and value the knowledge that I have brought to the setting and they have since offered me the position of EYPS, a position that I was aspiring for.
"I have recommended the Foundation degree to my colleagues and three of them started in September. I have had a good experience studying at UCS and will continue my studies there. I appreciate and thank all my tutors for their support."