Child Development

The Child Development curriculum is designed to develop a passion for working with children

Subject Area Curriculum Intent


Section 1: Principles at Key Stage 3

Child Development is taught at KS4 only


Section 2: Connectedness (linking and co-ordinating)

As Child Development is not taught at KS3 there is no subject specific knowledge that can be retained. There are a number of subjects that students study at KS3 that would help to prepare them for Child Development and these skills will be built upon during the course. These include English, Maths, Science, ICT, Technology and PDC.

All students are provided with opportunities to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills (including practical skills) required for working in the area of child development. The course also prepares them for progression to further study of child development or other related qualifications. Students will also acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that will be valuable in adult life. The core principles underpinning the KS4 Child Development curriculum (as outlined in the specification) aim to:

    • Provide learners with an overview of the roles and responsibilities of parenthood alongside an understanding of reproduction and pre-conceptual, antenatal and postnatal care.
    • Develop an appreciation of the importance of creating the best conditions for a child to thrive. This includes creating a child-friendly home environment, including social safety and the care, management and prevention of childhood illnesses
    • Allow learners to investigate the different equipment and nutritional requirements of children from birth to five years.
    • Develop and 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.
    • Allow learners to investigate the developmental norms of children from birth to five years.
    • Develop an understanding of the impact of play on the developmental norms.
    • Enable students to apply their knowledge and understanding, through practical activities, to show how play affects the development of individual children


Section 3: five year impact

The Child Development curriculum is designed to develop a passion for working with children. It is a knowledge rich curriculum which will support learners’ understanding of the developmental norms of children from birth to five years, as well as the stages and benefits of play. Students will gain a real insight into all of the challenges, excitement, considerations and responsibility surrounding children’s development.

The intent of Child Development (OCR National) is to give students an opportunity to develop applied knowledge and practical skills in child development. It is designed with both practical and theoretical elements, which benefits many students who are better able to show their knowledge and understanding in coursework, rather than in exam situations. The delivery of the course allows many opportunities for students to use their own cross-curriculum knowledge and personal experience to contribute to the learning. Students are encouraged and supported to develop their independent learning through planning and research opportunities.

The course is made up with three mandatory topics.

Health and well-being for child development: This is the exam topic and underpins all of the learning in this qualification and will develop students’ essential knowledge and understanding in child development. Covering reproduction, parental responsibility, antenatal care, birth, postnatal checks, postnatal provision, conditions for development, childhood illnesses and child safety. This unit gives students lots of opportunity to apply cross-curriculum knowledge to their studies and use their own life experiences to understand concepts.

Understand the equipment and nutritional needs of children from birth to five years: This is the first of two coursework topics. In this topic students are given real-life scenarios in order to gain knowledge of the equipment needs of babies and young children and an understanding of the factors to be considered when choosing appropriate equipment to meet all of these needs. This topic also covers nutrition and hygiene practices, students will investigate the different nutritional requirement for different age groups. They will also look at government initiatives and evaluate the impact of these. Students will be given the opportunity to investigate feeding solutions, comparing these to nutritional requirements then carry out a practical and evaluate the outcomes. This unit also give opportunities for students to apply cross-curriculum knowledge and allows them to put their learning into practice. Students’ independent learning and evaluation skills are developed.

Understanding the development of a child from birth to five years: In the third topic of study, students will cover the physical, intellectual and emotional development of children. They will gain an understanding of the development norms from birth to five years, and investigate reasons why these may not be met. Students will study the stages and benefits of play and use the knowledge gained to acquire skills in developing activities to observe development norms in children up to the age of five. This topic includes researching, planning and carrying out activities with a child and observing and evaluating these activities, as well as comparing the child to the expected development norms. Researching, planning, observing and evaluating skills are further developed in this topic.


Section 4: Teaching and Learning

The Child Development curriculum is knowledge rich with a combination of internally assessed and externally assessed units. Strategies that are used to support the students are:

    • Glossaries of key terms for all units to allow students to build up their vocabulary and express themselves and their opinions more easily.
    • Questioning and oracy in lessons plays an important role allowing teachers to encourage students to further develop their understanding.
    • For the exam unit, knowledge organisers summarising key sections of the content with the students set regular work (both practice and flipped learning) to help them engage with this information.
    • For the exam unit, writing frameworks which gradually reduce the amount of support the student receives allow students to develop their written style

The teaching and learning principles of the Learning Scientists (Interleaving, Elaboration, Retrieval Practice, Dual Coding, Spaced Practice and Concrete Examples) are at the forefront of helping students to make progress and be successful under exam conditions.

Interleaving – Weekly retrieval practice tasks interleave questions from prior learning and a range of our homework tasks also do the same.

Elaboration – students are regularly encouraged to extend/develop their understanding through both written work and in discussions

Retrieval Practice – starter tasks in lessons use a variety of different retrieval practice activities and these are also used alongside flipped learning to encourage students to bring some knowledge into the lesson.

Dual Coding – a range of ways to present information to make it more accessible to the students is currently being developed.

Concrete Examples – modelling using writing frames and model answers are embedded throughout the schemes of work.