Certificate of Higher Education in Supporting Learning in Primary Schools

The Open University

Program Description

Certificate of Higher Education in Supporting Learning in Primary Schools

The Open University

Certificate of Higher Education in Supporting Learning in Primary Schools

If you’re a classroom or teaching assistant (or in an equivalent school support role) this certificate will extend your skills in the classroom, develop your professional knowledge and expertise and boost your career opportunities. It combines work-based learning with academic study to develop the knowledge and skills needed to support primary-aged children in their school learning.

Key features of the course

  • Helps increase your effectiveness in your current role and prepare for new challenges
  • Designed for classroom or teaching assistants, volunteers or equivalent
  • Focuses on supporting primary age children (4 to 11 years, or up to 12 years in Scotland)
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study.

Educational aims

This Certificate of Higher Education in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Primary Schools will:

  • develop and enhance the intellectual and practical skills required by those working as teaching assistants and classroom assistants in primary schools
  • prepare you for further study, enquiry and practice where primary curricular, pedagogical and/or subject knowledge and skills are required

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The teaching material is offered through supported open learning modules and includes study guides and readers, audio-visual material and directed reading. Knowledge and understanding are developed through these teaching materials and in-text and interactive online questions, tasks, activities and enquiries. Assessment, which contributes to your overall result, is by written tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and by end-of-module assessments (EMAs). Tutors support development through online and telephone support, letters, tutorials and written feedback on assignments.

Cognitive skills are assessed by module assignments. These will allow you to demonstrate your ability to structure a clear and reasoned argument and critically analyse module issues. The transition from more assignments that are tightly structured in the first module to less structured assignments in the second one will enable you to develop this ability as you progress through the qualification. The focus on planning and carrying out enquiries within the second module will allow you to demonstrate independent thinking skills, to demonstrate your understanding of theoretical concepts and the underpinning principles for practice as they apply to children’s learning in a work-based context. They will also give an opportunity to show evidence of reflective practice.

Key skills are promoted within study materials and as part of continuous assessment. Assessment criteria of assignments require you to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a variety of formats. Learning skills focusing on information literacy, setting priorities and targets, and self-assessment are featured throughout both modules and highlighted in study topics on professional development at the end of each module.

Professional skills are developed as part of an increased awareness and understanding of good practice and through understanding and undertaking a reflective practice approach. The assessment of professional skills is by TMAs requiring you to apply relevant theory to aspects of your practice and by EMAs. In the second module the assessment of professional skills is supported by the required completion of a mentor comment form.


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £5,264 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 2 years
  • Full time – 1 year
  • Time limit – 4 years

Career relevance

The Certificate of Higher Education in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Primary Schools is designed for teaching assistants, higher level teaching assistants and other kinds of classroom support staff. If you’re seeking higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) status – in England and Wales only – it will prepare you to gather the necessary practice-related evidence to apply for this status.

Entry requirements

To study this qualification you need to be working directly with children in a primary school for a minimum of five hours a week from the outset. This is essential in order to be able to complete the assignments. You may be in paid employment or working as a volunteer.

For the work-based learning module, your school will be required to provide confirmation of the number of hours you work; verify your role in the school; and agree to provide appropriate support for your studies.

Note: anyone working in a school needs to meet the ‘fit person’ criteria, which includes criminal record clearance for the country in which you’re working. It’s your responsibility and that of your employer to ensure you meet these requirements.

If you’re working in a primary school in Western Europe, you’re eligible to study this certificate providing you meet the entry requirements outlined, and that you’re working in a school that follows a UK National Curriculum and uses English as the language of tuition.

There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
1 - 4 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school