Child and Health & Social Care


The Child Development course in KS4 investigates the importance of a child’s first 5 years of life, exploring how children’s early experiences shape the rest of their lives and influence their physical and cognitive development, how they use language, how they deal with their emotions and how they interact with the people around them.  Students learn how children play and how adults support their play and learning within early years’ settings. They develop technical knowledge and skills through planning, developing and adapting play opportunities suitable for young children across five areas of development.

This course prepares students for more specialised study in Childcare and Health and Social Care in KS5, but also provides the students with the appropriate skills necessary for any sixth form course. The challenge for any vocational qualification is to ensure that it prepares learners for the sector in which they hope to work. The Children’s Play, Learning and Development (CPLD) course involves 750 hours of placement attendance in early years’ settings which is the ideal preparation for primary teaching, child nursing and social care degrees. For those students planning to work within the caring professions; social work, midwifery, adult nursing etc, the Health and Social Care (HSC) course provides students with the essential knowledge and skills required for the relevant university degree courses.

Curriculum Intent Statement

Facilitating our students to develop their understanding of how early years children develop is of the utmost importance and at the heart of our ethos. Studying children’s development is a fascinating and enlightening experience and is taught by staff with vocational expertise and passion for the subject. Every young child is unique, and every student is unique, and our own learning and development never ends. Therefore, to support our students on their own learning journey, we use up to date, exciting and innovative strategies to maximise their potential.

In KS4 we teach the Pearson BTEC Tech Award in Child Development. Students learn how children develop holistically and how their learning and developmental needs can be supported. The course provides opportunities for the students to discover how children learn through play and how their stages of play support the development of cooperative and sociable skills that are required for vital life skills. They focus on how to keep children safe which provides opportunities for self-reflection and evaluation, meaning that by the end of the course, the students have a clear understanding of the diverse circumstances that can affect children’s development and how to safeguard themselves as well as young children.

This is built on in KS5 where we teach the Pearson BTEC Nationals in Children’s Play, Learning and Development (CPLD) and Health and Social Care (HSC), enabling a natural progression into either childcare and education or the broader sectors of the caring professions. As an employer responsive department, students studying the CPLD attend early years settings placements two days every week, achieving in excess of 750 hours experience over the duration of the course, which ensures they are both work and university ready. During the summer term in Year 13, HSC students are supported in securing work experience in local sector specific settings. The majority of students progress from CPLD and HSC into Higher Education studying either Primary Education, Nursing or Social Work degrees. Students benefit from:

  • First-hand experiences of early years educational resources;
  • The use of subject specific language and terminology;
  • Learning the importance of following legislation to safeguard children, young people, adults and the elderly;
  • Applying knowledge of theory to real-life situations, promoting the importance of linking theory to practice;
  • Using hierarchical command verbs to become proficient in moving through the RAGB stages of tasks to be successful in controlled assessments allowing smooth progression from KS4 to KS5;
  • Developing a deep awareness, appreciation and respect of the diversity of individual needs, cultures and opinions.
PedagogyEnrichmentOther general Principles
Our pedagogy is underpinned by:
– Using vocationally relevant experiences to enable students to link theory to practice
– Using modelling to develop effective strategies to respond accurately to command verbs in assessments
– Using a range of innovative strategies to prepare students for internal and external assessments
– Encouraging students to reflect and self-evaluate to identify own strengths and areas for development
– The use of real case studies from the staff’s experiences to contextualise the learning and bring it to life
– Ensuring students are able to develop transferable skills and knowledge to develop their own independence and well-being
– Acknowledging the importance of the department being employer responsive and using this in lessons to prepare students for progression
– Robust intervention programmes appropriate for key stage and subjects whereby students feel welcome to attend through choice as well as when requested to attend
– A deep awareness of the diverse needs of SEND and PP students and discreet provision put in place to support their requirements
– Providing opportunities for students to work at their own pace whilst still addressing the learning outcome for the lesson through RAGB tasks, allowing staff to identify those that need to be challenged and those that need further support through intervention.
We will enrich our curriculum by:
– Using local early years and healthcare setting managers as guest speakers to share current best practice with students
– Providing considerable work experience in KS5
– Inviting KS4 students to join KS5 students to hear guest speakers from diverse Childcare and Health and Social Care careers share their roles and responsibilities to support progression choices and KS5 teaching
– Visiting a local residential care home specialising in Dementia care
– Providing an additional qualification in Paediatric and Vulnerable Adults First Aid for KS5 CPLD students, which is valid for three years
– Holding a ‘Baby Morning’ where parents of children under school age are invited to visit the department with their children for a morning where students can ask questions, observe the children’s play and development, and have hands-on experience where appropriate
– Visits to local universities for KS5 students to participate in taster days for subject related courses
Our curriculum will enable our students to:
– Develop a deep appreciation of the diversity of society, thus accepting the views, opinions and values of others
– Link their understanding of British Values, democracy, rule of law, tolerance and respect to childcare, acknowledging the importance of instilling these values at a young age
– Develop a rich and deep understanding of Childcare and Health and Social Care
– Learn from subject specialists who have many years of experience working in the sector and who stay up to date with best practice through updating professional practice in early years settings annually
– Learn in a supportive environment where students are encouraged, challenged and supported in staying up to date with legislative changes and current best practice
– Explore the many careers within Childcare and Health and Social Care
– Develop an understanding of what they are learning and linking it’s importance to the context of the course through the use of the ‘What and Why’ strategy. 
– Encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and reflect on how they can improve their work through ‘PINS’ marking and feedback.