East Coast College launches CACHE accredited Reggio Emilia qualification

East Coast College in Norfolk is the first national organisation to offer a Level 4 Diploma in the Reggio Emilia Approach, a qualification accredited by CACHE. Throughout the past two years, CACHE has supported East Coast College during the development of this qualification, which was launched this week.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy may be familiar to many Early Years practitioners, however the practical application of this approach and grasping its core beliefs may not be straightforward for those accustomed to British settings. Originating from the city of Reggio Emilia in northern Italy, the approach encourages children to explore their ideas through a variety of ‘languages’, including art, music, written and spoken language, and sculpture. Practitioners regularly visit the city for study tours, to take back ideas and inspiration to use in their own practice.

Colleagues at East Coast College were inspired by their visits to the area to look at different educational approaches, and during their time there they discovered that children are at the heart of the community and have the freedom to explore, create, design and learn through ‘the hundred languages’.

Holly Chase, Assistant Principal at East Coast College, said: “Our Childcare team returned from a fantastic CPD opportunity trip in Reggio Emilia, where they explored different educational approaches, and wanted to develop a qualification in this particular philosophy. 

“They wanted to develop a qualification that would inspire qualified Early Years Practitioners to consider alternative approaches to learning and development. We contacted CACHE for guidance, and their team supported us through the different ways in which, if approved, the qualification could be accredited.

“Our Childcare team spent a year writing the qualification, during which time two members took part in a week long study group in Reggio Emilia, and the qualification was then submitted to CACHE for review.

“The Level 4 Diploma in the Reggio Emilia Approach is an inspirational qualification aimed at level 3 practitioners, covering how they can develop their practice and look at the learning environment that children experience, both inside and outside. Over the course of a year, Early Years Practitioners will have the opportunity to explore early years education from an international, pedagogical perspective.

 “CACHE has been extremely supportive throughout the development and accreditation of the qualification, and we have greatly appreciated the guidance from subject specialists. We would recommend their Accreditation Services to other centres considering this approach.”

Development of the qualification has gone hand in hand with the highly-anticipated launch of the International Centre of Excellence at East Coast College, which is custom-built to host exciting new training courses aimed at school and nursery teachers. The grand opening took place on 4th September, with local practitioners invited to attend the celebration and free CPD event.

The Level 4 Diploma in the Reggio Emilia Approach can be completed via distance learning, however the centre’s onsite atelier will be available for use during optional weekend workshops, to demonstrate how they can work with children and explore resources in a different way.

Janet Scott, Subject Specialist at CACHE, commented: “CACHE is delighted to have supported East Coast College in the development of their programme and it’s been accredited to reflect the inspiration and quality it represents. This qualification will enhance Early Years Practitioners’ knowledge and therefore improve outcomes for children in their care. We wish East Coast College and their learners every success.”

To find out more about this qualification, please visit the East Coast College website or contact them via email.