The Childcare department at Irlam and Cadishead Academy aims to develop confident students who excel in vocational subjects.

This qualification provides the opportunity to gain a vocational qualification that introduces the sector. It has been designed to meet the needs of learners from the age of 14 years. It includes the knowledge and understanding of child development and well-being necessary for working with children in a variety of settings. It is aimed at a range of learners who wish to be introduced to childcare and development of children aged 0-5 years. This qualification will enable Key Stage 4 students to develop significant transferable knowledge and study skills that will support progression to further learning, including:   

      • understand the purpose of planning in early years childcare  
      • provide an understanding of holistic child development  
      • identify factors that influence child development  
      • understand legislation in the early years  
      • promote care routines and activities to support the child  
      • provide an understanding of the expectations of an early years practitioner and their roles and responsibilities in a childcare setting  
      • provide an understanding of the importance of observations in early years childcare  

This qualification consists of 3 units:   

  • Unit 1 graded L2D*-L1P, assessed by an externally set and externally marked synoptic Scenario Based Short Answer Examination. Students will receive example questions to prepare for the exam as part of their homework.   
    • Units 2  graded L2D* to L1P, assessed by an externally set, internally marked assessment task.
    • Mandatory assessments for each unit will be subject to internal and external quality assurance. 


      Students study Childcare for 5 60-minute lessons per fortnight only at Key Stage 4.  The course is delivered in line with our long-term plans. Alongside learning key topic areas, such as child development, legislation, observations, settings and responsibilities of a key worker.  

      At the end of each topic, students will undertake and an assessment, based on exam questions for that topic, to showcase their understanding and progress. Feedback will be provided on their assessments and pupils will be given opportunities to re-do the test and eradicate any misconceptions before moving onto the next topic. 

      Students will complete one 1.5hr exam and part take in 14 hours non-exam assessment with 2 hours of planning time. Both of these are completed in Year 11. 

      All students will study the content outlined in the scheme of learning which has been constructed based on the following principles. 

      Entitlement: The planned curriculum at Irlam and Cadishead Academy includes a breadth of knowledge relating to child development, settings, observations and responsitbilies of a key worker. Declarative knowledge (‘knowing that’) and procedural knowledge (‘knowing how’) are identified, sequenced, and connected in the curriculum. Students will be taught 9 topics specified by the exam board to ensure full knowledge in preparation for their exam board set assessments. 

      Coherence: Taking the exam board specification into consideration students are taught all 9 topic areas in year 10 with assessments and feedback given to support and underpin their foundation knowledge. Students will then apply their knowledge in year 11 to an exam assessment and non exam assessment (14 hours). 

      Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupil’s revisit prior learning during each topic and apply their understanding in new contexts using retrieval practice tasks. Homework is linked to current and prior learning to build retrieval practice. Our aim is that students understand a key foundation of knowledge thoroughly before exploring more complex ideas. 

      Adaptability: Teachers adapt the curriculum for their individual classes and students. This includes adaptations for SEND and appropriate challenge. This ensures a positive learning environment where students are confident to try, make suggestions and develop buoyancy in their subject area. The curriculum allows the core elements, child development, settings, observations, and responsibilities of a key worker to be confidently understood. For example, all students are taught the same content from each topic, but scaffolding allows them to be accessible for all. 

      Representation: All our students should see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all our students beyond their immediate experience. Many students value the course to underpin their foundation understanding ready for a college or university or to apply for apprenticeships at the end of year 11 in a childcare setting. 

      Education with character: We often provide opportunities for students to apply for work experience at one of our local nursery settings and primary schools. Students are able to visualise and apply their knowledge and skills learnt in lessons to their work experience and will feedback their pleasure that having these opportunities. 

KS4 Childcare

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