Child Development

What is Child Development?

We learn about all aspects of children’s development through pregnancy, birth and up to five years old.
There are aspects of biology, sociology and psychology as well as practical advice and knowledge.
We will learn how to interact with babies and young children on a variety of levels through both theoretical and practical study.
We will learn to problem solve and make decisions which will affect caring for children.
Assessment is 20% research task, 40% Child Study and 50% exam. It is an expectation of the course that the work experience is spent working in a nursery or primary school.
There will be three lessons per week and coursework is completed by May of Year 11.

If you:
•are interested in working in a team and communicating well with others
•want to shape the society of tomorrow, taking charge and leading by example
•are keen to work with children of 0- 5 years
•like coursework, can action plan and manage your time
•are determined and mature, but can also handle uncertainty
•can work on your own initiative, weighing up rewards and risks of decisions
•are trustworthy and reliable
•are calm and patient
•full of bright ideas to play and can think up new ways of doing things
•a keen reader, artist, sculptor, cook or singer
•enjoy biology

This is the course for you!

Career Options include: Nursery nursing, midwifery, Child Psychologist, teacher, Learning Support Assistant, paediatric nursing, after school play schemes, youth worker and many more.
There are NVQs at Carlisle College and The Lakes College, as well as specialist courses in other parts of the country.
Even if you decide not to pursue Child Development to higher study, it is a life skill which will never be wasted and will help you to balance your work and home life successfully, when you have a family of your own.


The GCSE Child Development Course is run by two staff, Mrs Graham and Ms White, both have extensive experience in both secondary and post 16 institutions and bring a wide expertise to the department.

A lot of what we do might make you… click here

Exam Board Information

The full title of this course is AQA Home Economics Child Development. It is a stand alone course which is very vocationally orientated.

AQA is the exam board and here is the link for further information for both Parents and Students 

Work Experience

Work Experience is essential for giving valuable practical experience in preparation for the Child Study. It is held in Year 10 and involves one week working in an early years setting. We have a close connection with all our Work Experience providers locally, but can also arrange settings further afield if necessary.

We offer experience in Nureseries, Day Care settings, Infant and Primary Schools. The candidates are able to have a very hands on practical experience, in a safe, caring environment which is particularly useful if the candidate has little prior experience of working with very young babies and children.

Currently we are unable to offer placements in maternity or paediatric wards; however we have two local midwives who can offer a suitable experience for those candidates who are seeking a medical career rather than an educational career.

The AQA Chief Examiner noted that the Work Experience is a valuable tool in improving attainment in GCSE grades and that the experience leads to improved quality Child Studies.

Just for a giggle!

This has just got to make you laugh… Click here

Career Options

Nursery Nurse

There are a multitude of courses for becoming a Nursery Nurse: The Lakes College, Workington Sixth Form are the ones we recommend. Once qualified you can then work in a range of settings from the Sultan of Brunei’s Palace to your own business! You can travel the world as a private Nanny or work in your own community, with a team of committed colleagues. This qualification shows the working world that you are dedicated to improving the lives of youngsters.


What’s next after GCSE?

You’ll need a minimum of five A-C GCSE grades (or the equivalent), preferably including a science subject, and be all set to take three A levels (or the equivalent) at college.

What’s next after A level and beyond?

You’ll need to apply for a GMC-recognised degree in medicine at university. Getting three good A/AS level grades (or the equivalent) is a good idea, as medicine is a very competitive area. It’s important to check different university entry requirements as these vary between institutions.


Whether you want to be a Learning Support Assistant, an Early Years Teacher, A Primary Teacher or a Secondary Teacher, the Child Development Course gives you the grounding you will need to understand how children’s cognitive development, linguistic development and intellectual development is established in the time between conception and five years. It gives you an insight that will support the further study you do beyond ‘A’ Levels and a degree.

Course Content

Research Task – Unit 45802 The Research Task

The Research Task is completed in Year 10 and is seven hours long and represents 20% of the total exam. The Task is based on:
• Parenthood,


•diet and health of the child and

•support for Parents.

The Format of the task is
•Production of Outcome


Pupils have the opportunity to do both primary and secondary research, which they may bring into school. The work is then word processed under controlled conditions and submitted to the AQA exam board in the May of Year 10.

For further information and the AQA set tasks click here

Child Study – Unit 45803 The Child Study

The Child Study carries 40% of this specification and is carried out over 20 hours between July of Year 10 and March of Year 11.

The content of the Child Study covers the development of a child under five, over a period of six months, the final two months being the presentation of the Child Study under controlled conditions.

Using one of the AQA provided tasks pupils
•carry out observations of the child
•carry out and evaluate appropriate research
•select plan and carry out activities with the child which demonstrate physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.
•record observations
•analyse and evaluate observations, recognising change and progression in development and comparing against developmental milestones

The format of the Child Study is:
•introductory visit with child and parents
•research based on selected task
•four visits

For further information about the externally set tasks click here

Exam – Unit one (45801) the written paper.

There is one written exam over one and a half hours held in June of Year 11. There are 100 marks which represents 40% of the total marks.

There are 6 – 8 compulsory questions, comprised of short answer, structured and free response questions. Some questions may include stimulus materials.

Candidates have a practice exam at the end of Year 10, in December of Year 11 and then the final exam. Before each exam there is a revision programme and there is an expectation that further revision will be done at home.

At the end of each unit, throughout the course, there will be a test which will inform the reports which are sent home to Parents.

Deadlines for Year 11

The deadlines for your Child Study

Make sure you don’t miss them! Remember the dates in bold are the days on which you must email me each of the visits.