Creating an Accidental Sense of Belonging in a Foundation Flock
This reflection on the experience of designing, launching and teaching on an Arts and Humanities foundation year in its first year is intended to provide an honest and enquiring account of how the students were served, rather than arising from a formal research project. It will explore what went well but also consider areas for improvement in the coming years. Some plans for how this development might work are shared, with a recognition that more exploration, research and student discussions will need to take place in order to promote and support the best possible learning and development environment. The primary focus here is on the sense of identity that can come from being a foundation year student, and how our role as educators might support a positive learning identity within a supportive set of learning and social groups. Thought is given to the factors which affect both learning and a social sense of belonging, and how these two aspects of the foundation year journey are interdependent and intrinsically linked.