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KS4 Child Development

Child Development is a subject about life. It provides students with the knowledge to become informed adults to help them make their life choices. Students gain an understanding of how children develop which they can relate to their own life and gain an insight into the lives of others.

Child Development will help students to develop valuable skills of planning, organisation, research and presentation whilst gaining knowledge about how children develop and learn. It provides skills for parenthood and many future careers. Child Development is ideal for anyone who is considering a career working with children and young people. This course could also suit a student who wants to design products for young children or new and expectant parents. Typical careers may be within a care setting as a nurse, social worker, family support worker, nursery nurse, midwife or in education as a nursery educator, teacher or teaching assistant.

Child Development encompasses and complements other curriculum subjects, such as Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Food Technology, Health and Social Care.


Child Development covers a wide collection of topics including the analysis of reproduction, pregnancy, birth and the development of children from birth to the age of five years. It is a popular GCSE ideal for students wishing to enter the medical, educational or social care professions. Students will gain the knowledge of how children develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Key classical theorists of Child Development will be introduced, as well as the nature verses nurture debate.

The course is assessed through four pieces of controlled assessment work, weighted as 60% of the GCSE and one external examination at the end of the course, weighted 40%.

The exam is singled tiered which covers the range of grades A*- G. This exam consists of short answer questions and one longer analysis type question.

The three short assessment tasks will be completed in Year 10; these each hold a value of 10% of the GCSE. The short tasks are independent research based. Topics are set annually by the exam board. Typical topics include: Healthy eating for children; Breast and bottle feeding; Child care provision. The final assessment of a Child Study is completed in Year 11. This is a larger piece of work that accounts for 30% of the GCSE. Students will observe the development of a child under the age of 5 years on a set area of development, externally set by the exam board. Students will be required to research the area of development and visit the child six times over a set period to assess development.

Topics covered at GCSE:

  • The Family
  • Planning a Family
  • Reproduction
  • Pre-conceptual Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Preparations for the Birth and the Birth
  • New-born Baby
  • Post-Natal Care of the Mother and Baby
  • Feeding and Nutrition
  • Hygiene
  • Child Care Provision
  • Medical Needs and Childhood Illness
  • Development of the Child
  • Play and Toys
  • Special Children