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I have just started my Foundation degree in Early Years and have been given my first assignment. I have to write a report on an Early Years aspect that interests me, trouble is there are so many I'm having difficulty decide what to choose !


I'm not very confident and not sure if I'm academically up to doing it but want to try my best, its something I've always wanted to achieve but have never had the courage to try until now.


I did think about writing a report on Special Educational Needs but I don't seem to be able to get started, I'm not sure what to put in the report and where to find the relevant information I need for referencing.


I know once I get into the habit of studying again and learn the correct study skills I need,[i'm hoping] I will become more confident. Its one of my biggest downfalls and I wish I had more self belief.


So if any of you knowledgeable people out there would be kind enough give me some starting points I would be very, very, grateful.




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I know it might seem a bit backwards but I get on better if I look what I can find lots of written evidence about. It just makes it easier to get relevant quotes.


Have a look through some books and pick out something that grabs you which you can put forward an argument about. I can never pick these things out of thin air. Like you said there is so much to choose from.


You're right. You'll be fine once you get into it. x

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I agree with Upsy Daisy - narrow down your list and do a bit of preliminary research to see how much information there is out there at the moment. A good topical subject would be good because you can draw on stuff that is not too difficult to find. The trick is to find the evidence to back up your arguments, so the easier it is for you to find that evidence the easier it will be to write the assignment.


If you pick a broad subject like SEN perhaps you could narrow it a bit so that you don't have to cover too wide an area? Don't make life difficult for yourself!


Good luck MC - I'm sure that once you get into the swing you'll be fine. As you say, this is something you've wanted to do so you're well motivated and that counts for a lot.


We'll all be here to give you support and encouragement from the sidelines!



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If your degree is anything like the one I am doing, once you get your assignment then support is available from your tutor.


I think we got lots of support with report writing/ essay writing when we first started.


Hold fire.

Don't panic.


I am sure support for the task is at hand x

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Hi there,


As an ex English teacher now a writer, I'm used to getting unconfident students to write essays, so I hope the following helps.


First, what I'd do is write a list of all the areas that interest me. Then for each one, try to think of about 8-10 areas that I could cover within that area (these will form the paragraphs of my essay).


Say I wanted to write about outdoor play, I might come up with ideas for each para like: why it interests me, what children get from it, the idea of free flow, how settings are managing to achieve free flow, planning for the outdoors to cover the EYFS, issues that mitigate against outdoor play, forest schools, and so on.


Then I would order those ideas in a way that makes most sense for an essay, adding an introductory para and a closing one. At this point I'd probably come up with a specific question to answer, e.g. 'How does outdoor play contribute to children's early development? - this will help you to focus your essay.


Now, in order to write your essay follow these steps for each paragraph:


- Statement - a sentence about something I believe to be true.

- Evidence - something to back up my statement (quote, reference).

- Explain - how does my evidence support my original statement.

- Develop - can I find links to the wider world, to other ideas, to examples of good practice, etc.


Your evidence is not necessarily just about quoting from books, you might also take quotes from the EYFS, from websites, give evidence from research, or even quote some of the wonderful people on this forum. You can also use your own research from things you've observed at your setting.


So, a paragraph might look roughly like this:


Children can learn a great deal from playing outdoors, and it contributes lots to their early development (that's your statement). Many of the areas in the EYFS Knowledge and Understanding of the World lend themselves to outdoor play and learning, for instance that children should "understand about the seasons of the year and their regularity" (evidence). This is best done by making observations in the natural world - crops growing, seeds being sown, weather changing - and this is where the garden area in our setting comes into its own (explain). When it snowed last year, our own setting used this as a fantastic opportunity for our children to experience the sensations of touching snow, and to talk about the weather (development).


Hope that helps!


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Wow, SuzieC8...what a fantastic piece of guidance. Assignments/reports etc aren't my strongest point but this will help so much, Thanks for sharing :o


Goodluck Motherclanger - you have my admiration for taking the first step. Use your tutors for support and the fantastic people on here will be invaluable for advice, im sure

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Thank you all for your wonderful guidance and help.

I must admit I've just had my first class tonight as I missed last weeks as I have had the flu. I've come back in a bigger panic than when I arrived after being given another major assignment on child development (which I have had one lecture on) it all seems as clear as mud !

Oh well onwards and forwards as they say. Perhaps a good nights sleep will make things clearer in the morning.



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I think we have all felt the same.... honest!!


I have just begun my second year of my degree and I still have panics!!!!!!!!!!!


I would say its good to start looking at the set texts but am sure as the lessons go on you will have more support re writing the assignments.


The tutors know for many it is a new ball game and they do support you through it!!

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Suzie, thank you so much for sharing the steps to writing an essay. It is so hard for me as a mature student who have never learnt these skills at school. You have put it so clearly. My son who is doing GCSE english at the moment told me this steps last summer when I was writing my ECA for E124, he really did try to help me but you have just made it so much clearer in my mind on how to do it so thanks. :oxD

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