Curriculum Intent

“It is through others that we develop into ourselves.”

— Lev Vygotsky

Child development at Newark Academy encompasses the importance of an adult role model in supporting the healthy development of babies and young children. It seeks to encourage students to understand fundamental aspects of the holistic development of a child and the significant role that childcare practitioners have in promoting this development. This course defies misconceptions around vocational subject options as it challenges students to combine a heavy theoretical element of the course with its practical application. The course also aims to dispel the myth that child development is only relevant for students wishing to look after babies in the future. There are strong links to the KS3 PSHE, RS and Science curriculums and students can draw on this prior learning and use it as a platform for embedding new knowledge and linking theory to the practical elements of the course. The vast array of transferable skills that a child development student develops throughout the course makes the course relevant not only for students wishing to work with children in the future, but for all students as they progress into adulthood; embarking on careers, developing personal relationships and perhaps consider having children of their own in the future.

Our students will begin a journey in Child development that will culminate in them becoming skilled childcare practitioners equipped in delivering high quality care to babies and young children aged 0-5 years. An amazing child development student is inquisitive, reflective and determined to strive for excellence in this subject academically, practically and personally. Our intention is for students to become caring, respectful and creative individuals who have a deep understanding of the needs of young children and the emotional intelligence to recognise the implications that poor care can have on the development of the child.

Care has been taken to develop a varied and enriched curriculum which introduces both theoretical and practical elements of child development. Students will engage in a range of units that will broaden their understanding of the sector and develop their awareness of the individual needs of younger children. Main considerations during the course include:

  • The reproductive system
  • Stage of pregnancy and labour
  • Antenatal and postnatal care
  • Factors influencing growth and development from the embryonic state to a child aged five years
  • Developmental norms of the child
  • The importance of play
  • Planning, implementing and evaluating activities for children
  • Equipment and nutritional needs of babies and young children

Work placement opportunities within the sector provide invaluable opportunities to cement learning and model behaviour from effective childcare practitioners. All students are encouraged to challenge practice that they view as inappropriate within the sector and to make links between theory, legislation and practice. Keeping up to date with changes in the law, issues surrounding the sector and high profile cases where care has not been delivered at the correct standard will contribute to the cultural capital of our students as they become reflective practitioners.

An ambitious and varied curriculum ensures students will remain engaged, challenged and inspired throughout their course. They will leave Child Development at Newark Academy fully equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be reflective, resilient and compassionate practitioners, ready to embark on further study, or a successful career within the childcare sector.

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June 2024


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