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Children in School

Child Development

“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society”


Maria Montessori


Subject Intent:


The early years sector focuses on the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years. In the UK, there are approximately 2 million childcare places for children under the age of five: and many different types of early years settings, ranging from childminders and nannies to nurseries, crèches and preschools. This qualification has a broad focus on the application of child development principles in various occupational settings, for example, teaching special educational needs, occupational or speech and language therapy.


The intention of BTEC Child Development is to ensure that each learner has the opportunity to understand the wide range of vocational opportunities and entry routes within this field, and to challenge stereotypes such as entry routes and gender roles. Child Development equips our learners to discover the impact of positive and negative human development and how to critically analyse the impact these factors have on our day to day lives. The vocational pathway enables learners to be immersed in multiple approaches to learning, such as practical opportunities and real-life scenarios, which will support students to develop their applied knowledge and practical skills.



We built the curriculum with the intent that students will:


  • experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum of which Child Development promotes opportunities for learners to draw from real life experiences, case studies and opportunities to undertake research to compliment learning and create skills that will be used throughout their lives. Our curriculum is fully inclusive, enabling all students to access the knowledge and skills regardless of their starting points and barriers to learning. Specific groups such as SEND, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps and to allow students to meet their targets.

  • be literate and numerate, through class discussions they will show their in-depth understanding of knowledge and share their opinions. Providing time to communicate we are promoting having a voice, dedicating time for powerful knowledge and cultural capital to be explored and teenage mind-sets to be broadened.

  • have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement through engaging experiences within the subject. By taking part in different types of activities, it gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge, skills and the techniques you learn in practical ways, such as selecting suitable play and development opportunities for children of different ages.

  • develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development through gaining a real insight into all of the challenges, excitement, considerations and responsibility surrounding children’s development and the number of agencies and people involved in caring for that development.

  • be prepared for life beyond the school by fostering enthusiasm for the discipline which subsequently encourages making more informed choices, leading to the preparation for careers in related fields in Child Care, Health and Social Care, Psychology, Sociology and Biology. By creating a depth of knowledge and understanding of the factors that affect development and the theorists who have shaped the early years curriculum as we know it today, they will be able to understand key legislation for early years and plan, carry out and evaluate play activities with children which are relevant to a range of sectors.


Subject Implementation:


  • The curriculum is synoptic and designed so that the internal and externally assessed components build on each other as learners grow in confidence. This allows learners to embed their knowledge whilst giving opportunities to put into practice what they learn. This vocational subject explores the key characteristics of early childhood, growth and development and play of children from birth to five years across all developmental areas in a variety of environments.

  • This conceptual study alongside practical application leads to the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and technical skills through vocational contexts. Learners develop skills to encourage learners to think outside of stereotypical understanding and begins to challenge the way they perceive the world we live in. Furthermore, highlighting how

  • Assignment tasks are tailored so that learners apply their knowledge to a real-life scenarios in the local community context. This will develop skills in preparation for the synoptic external assessment in Component 3 as well as developing research, application, evaluation and synthesis skills for their future.

  • Components 1 and 2 (assessed internally and externally verified) are designed to achieve application of the conceptual underpinning needed for the sector through realistic tasks and activities. This style of assessment promotes deep learning through ensuring the connection between knowledge and practice. Content includes understanding and demonstrating how we plan for and support all children to learn and develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially, and adapt activities to support children. Applying the course to real life settings and visits from professionals who work with children demonstrates the real-life element to the course.

  • Component 3 (externally assessed) provides synoptic assessment for the qualification. It builds directly on Components 1 and 2 and enables learning to be brought about societal influences, which enables students to gain a real insight into all of the challenges, excitement, considerations and responsibility surrounding children’s development. This component requires learners to draw upon and use effectively a range of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole qualification in an integrated way.

  • It is imperative learners are aware of how the experience on a range of topics that are important to the early years, such as the importance of play and how child-friendly environments help to support this families and care givers are transferable skills that they will adhere to throughout their working lives and when working alongside others and within their families.

  • Have the opportunity to develop applied knowledge and understanding of child development and growth up to the age of five, develop their understanding of the importance of physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of children aged 0-5. Investigate the equipment needed for babies, toddlers, preschool children up to five and understand the developmental norms from birth to five years and the stages and benefits of play.

  • A blended learning approach is used to promote and develop students’ independent learning through the medium of Microsoft TEAMS.  Tasks are set in lessons and at home and supported by knowledge organisers, which are linked to schemes of learning.  Lesson PowerPoints and resources are available to support learning. Teachers will engage with students through feedback on progress which will enable them to improve and extend their learning.



Subject Enrichment:


  • Visitors from relevant healthcare professions such as midwife, health visitor, early years workers, nursery key workers and child minders.

  • When partaking in work experience, pupils could attend a childcare setting.

  • Visits to childcare setting such as nursery, sure start centre or early years provision such as pre-school.


Subject Impact:


  • Sequences of learning begin with growth and development and importance of play of children aged 0-5 and the course builds on these throughout. The structure of the course and tailored lessons meet the needs of all pupils; enabling them to develop knowledge and practical applications.

  • Meet the needs of all pupils; enabling them to develop the knowledge, skills and fundamental British Values that will allow them to be active citizens in modern day Britain.

  • Child Development allows pupils to fulfil their potential; academically, personally, physically, socially and morally, and be successful.

  • Child Development prepares pupils to make informed choices at the end of each component of learning and beyond. Pupils can go on to study further courses on child development; health and social care or similar vocational subjects. It will prepare pupils for the next stage of their education, employment or training providing fundamental British Values that will allow them to be active citizens in modern day Britain.

  • The qualification will broaden the learners experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them.

Knowledge and Skills


Year 9


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Adults who work with children- what the role entails and how they aid the development of children aged 0-5.  

  • Development milestones- what are development milestones, the importance of measuring milestones, professionals that use development milestones.

  • The importance of play in settings for children at various ages. What are the different settings that children can attend between 0-5, what are the benefits of each one and how would a parent choose the right one for their child.

  • Introduction of PIES- the importance of each type of development at each age bracket- 0-18 months, 18 months-3yrs. 3-5years.


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Command words necessary for the course- focus on identify and outline but stretch more able with describe, discuss and evaluate.  

  • Projects and pieces of work which will prepare them for assignments over the course.

  • Understanding of the PIES acronym when learning about different stages of development.



Year 10


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Understand measurement of growth and professionals that are concerned with growth of children at various ages.

  • Understand the characteristics of children’s development from birth to five years old. Focusing on PIES including language and communication.

  • Explore factors that affect growth and development- including factors which can have a positive impact on development and factors which can have a negative impact on development

  • Understand how children play- explain the stages of play and link to the appropriate ages. Describe the three types of initiated play- adult, child and adult led play.


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • How to measure growth in children.

  • Interpretation of growth graphs including centile graph. Analysis of growth patterns.

  • Extended pieces of work for internal components using command words identify, outline, describe, discuss and evaluate.

  • Projects and specific cases with the ability to discuss and evaluate.

  • Understanding of professionals who work with children aged 0-5 and how they facilitate play


Year 11


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Demonstrate how children’s learning can be supported through play- synoptic link to the importance of play on development (PIES).

  • Understanding of how to plan play opportunities for each age group and each PIES.

  • How a child learns and develops through play with children and adults when faced with certain circumstances linked to PIES.

  • How activities are adapted to support the inclusion of all children in play for learning and development.


Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • Case studies and preparation for external examination- focus on analysis, discussion and evaluate of individual cases.

  • How to plan and support children with individual needs- analysis, discussion and evaluation.

  • Synoptic skill of combining knowledge from across the course-linking to PIES, play, impact on development


Contact Head of Department:

Miss Johnson -

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