Child Development

Mission Statement

Studying child development will enable students to gain knowledge, understanding and skills required to support the development of children in relation to play and learning in the early years by adapting activities to support all children to develop.  Students will explore the key characteristics of early childhood growth and development from birth to five years across the developmental areas. Students will be able to develop knowledge, understanding and technical skills by planning, developing and adapting play opportunities suitable for young children across the first five years of a child’s life. Knowledge of child development is also important in a variety of occupations outside of childcare, for example, in healthcare roles such as paediatricians, psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists.

Child Development focus on the knowledge and skills required to work in these sectors. This involves knowing how people develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially throughout their life, as well as the values and principles that underpin professional practice such the 6Cs: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. Issues such as safeguarding are considered as are the laws, policies and procedures that are put in place to protect both professionals and the individuals being cared for. Child Development is about developing pupils who care. They are about building respect and tolerance for uniqueness, and an understanding that some people in society are more vulnerable and require compassion and support. They are also about betterment. How can I be better at providing care? How can care make life better for others? Every child will experience completing a report tailored to an individual child, adolescent or adult. Pupils will experience conducting primary and secondary research, analysing their findings to draw conclusions and make recommendations.  Healthcare professionals and industry experts provide students with professional advice and guidance. There is a key focus on how knowledge can be applied in real life. Is this the best way to provide care for this person? Is this practical? Is it appropriate for their individual needs? It requires pupils to think about different people’s life experiences and to be able to empathise –to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.

Overview of Taught Content

The Child Development course aims to effectively pinpoint the fundamentals of child development and prepares students for the written exam based on the Health and Well-Being for Child Development. The first learning outcome covers aspects of pre conceptual care, methods of contraception and the structure and function of male and female reproductive systems.  The second learning outcome covers different health professionals, the importance of antenatal classes and stages of labour.  The third learning outcome covers postnatal checks of the new-born baby and the postnatal provision available for the mother and baby. The fourth learning outcome covers child immunisation, common childhood ailments and how to prepare a child for a stay in hospital.  The fifth learning outcome covers how to create a safe, child-friendly environment, safety labelling and social and internet safety.

  • Understand reproduction and the roles and responsibilities of parenthood
  • Understand antenatal care and preparation for birth
  • Understand postnatal checks, postnatal provision and conditions for development
  • Understand how to recognise, manage and prevent childhood illnesses
  • Know about child safety

Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.

Overview of Coursework Elements

As part of the coursework requirement of Child Development, students will cover the equipment and nutritional needs of children from birth to five years. This unit will allow students to investigate the different equipment and nutritional requirements of children from birth to five years. Students will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding, through a practical activity, to show how the needs are met to promote the well-being and development of the child.

Students will also cover the development of a child from birth to five years. This unit will allow students to investigate the developmental norms of children from birth to five years. Students will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding through practical activities, to show how play affects the development of individual children.

We follow the OCR Cambridge Nationals specification.  A comprehensive overview of the course curriculum can be accessed here:

In terms of a written examination, students will be assessed on the Health and Well-Being for Child Development. This is worth 50% of the final grade. This will be taken at the end of year 11. This exam is 1 hour and 15 minutes long.

Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

The food department aims to provide a variety of extra-curricular opportunities to students.  This has included in the past visits from obstetricians, midwifes and child psychologists.  Educational visits also consist of visiting University College Birmingham for taster days and John Lewis outlets to prepare for coursework units.