Key Stage 4 Art and Design

Introduction / Ethos

GCSE Child Development focuses on the study of the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Social (PIES) development of young children, from conception to the age of five years. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • parenthood, pregnancy and childbirth;
  • the needs of young children;
  • the social and environmental influences that affect family life;
  • the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and
  • practical skills – e.g. cooking, first aid, etc.


Staff Member                                         Role

  • Mrs Katy Yeandle                    |     Curriculum and Progress Manager
  • Mrs Jennifer Edwards          |     Teacher of Child Development


KS4 Course Outline


Course structure:

Unit 1: Principles of Child Development (40%) – Written Paper: 1½ hours
Unit 2: Child Study (30%) – Controlled Assessment
Unit 3: Child Focused Task (30%) – Controlled Assessment

Year 10


  • Importance of pre-planned parenthood
  • Pre conceptual care
  • Male & Female reproductive organs
  • Menstruation
  • Planning to have a Family
  • Fertility / infertility
  • Multiple births
  • Chromosomes and the inheritance of sex
  • What happens in 40 weeks of pregnancy
  • What can go wrong in pregnancy
  • Factors which may affect the foetus
  • The role of health professional
    • Antenatal care
    • Birth
    • Postnatal care
    • Premature babies
    • Care of new-born babies
    • Immunisation
    • Safety, including treatment of simple accidents and their prevention
    • Introduction to PIES
    • Emotional and social development
    • Intellectual development
    • Factors which affect learning
    • Diet, including cultural variations
    • Food hygiene and safety
    • Family Life – functions of a family
    • Family structures
    • Changing structure of family life
    • Roles within family life today
    • Relationships in adolescence
    • Effect of parenthood on couples
    • Special Needs Children
    • Requirements of children with special needs
    • Exploration of different special needs
    • Effect of having a child with special needs on a family
    • Identification of support available
    • Identification of voluntary agencies which support children
    • Importance of Early Years Services
    • Consideration of Early Year Services
    • Child Care settings
    • Revision and examination technique

Year 11


KS4 Information

Assessment – How is work assessed?

Written Paper (40%)

  • Externally set and marked, targeted at the full range of GCSE grades.
  • The paper will contain short-answer, structured and free response questions drawn from all areas of the specification and will assess the quality of written communication.

Child Study (30%)

  • Controlled Assessment task focusing on a child’s development. The task should focus on a child 0–5 years.
  • 15 hours duration to commence in the first half of the course (year 10).
  • Internally assessed using WJEC set criteria and externally moderated.

Child Focused Task (30%)

  • Controlled Assessment task set by WJEC, to include researching, planning, making and evaluating. There is a choice of two tasks, one designed to be completed through the medium of food, the other through a medium chosen by the candidate, for example, art, fabric, wood.
  • 15 hours duration to commence in the second half of the course (year 11)
  • Internally assessed using WJEC set criteria and externally moderated.

Homework – Frequency and type of work

Approximately 60 minutes/week – Exam questions, research tasks, up to a maximum of 6 hours observing the child being studied for Unit 2.

How can you support your child?

  • Parents/carers will need to support their child to gather information for the Unit 2 Child Study. This is likely to include practical assistance in arranging visits to carry out observations.
  • Students will benefit from access to the internet where possible.
  • It would be helpful if parents/carers encouraged their child to be aware of current issues relating to the six compulsory core areas of study:
  1. Family and Child
  2. Food and Health
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Physical Development
  5. Intellectual Development
  6. Social and Emotional Development

Suggested Reading List

  • WJEC Child Development
  • Child Care and Development by Pamela Minnett
  • Child Development, an Illustrated Guide: Birth to 19 Years by Carolyn Meggitt
  • Collins GCSE Essentials – Child Development: Revision Guide and Workbook
  • Magazines: Nursery World, Practical Parenting, Mother and Baby

Equipment Required

  • pen, pencil, ruler, eraser, coloured pencils 

Link for WJEC Website – helpful information and course specifications 

KS4 Subjects