Child Development

  • Mr P Marklove
  • Miss L Scott

"What a child can do today with assistance, they will be able to do themselves by tomorrow."

Lev Vygotsky


At Hartford Church of England High School we are committed to provide a curriculum which encourages our Child Development students to be the future leaders of children’s early education, going on to lead others in learning.

Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society and, by studying Child Development, students at Hartford Church of England High School will be passionate about the early education of children.

Design Rationale

In Child Development, we explore the key characteristics of early childhood growth and development from birth to five years across the developmental areas. Students will be able to develop knowledge, understanding and technical skills by planning and adapting play opportunities suitable for young children across the five areas of development.

Students will gain experience of a range of topics that are important to the early years, such as the importance of play - and how child-friendly environments help to support this.

By studying Child Development, our students will be learning about societal influences. This enables students to gain a real insight into all of the challenges, excitement, considerations and responsibility surrounding children’s development.

Child Development is a vocational qualification. It is studied across two years; students complete two submissions of coursework and a controlled written exam.


Child Development is delivered through a range of teaching and learning methods. Lessons begin with do now retrieval activities to help students remember more. Once the retrieval activity is completed, the teacher explanation begins - chunking the information into manageable bits for students to digest prior to their main activity. Teacher delivery is supported by plenty of examples, images, modelling of outcomes, and short clips of children in different settings.

Understanding of the topics is thoroughly checked by relentless questioning throughout the lessons. Students develop a lot of independence by completing a portfolio of work and embracing the challenge of real life case studies, as students are required to adopt the role of a health care provider or nursery assistant.


The effectiveness of curriculum implementation is measured by student progress; progress means knowing, remembering and producing more and is the direct result of excellent learning.

To track progress, we follow a three layered assessment structure.

High Stake Testing

High quality summative assessments (twice or three times a year) interleave knowledge and skills to support students in developing long-term memory. Stand-alone lessons ensure that students reflect and respond to teacher feedback.

Mid Stake Testing

Typically purposeful practice tasks completed independently in lessons at least twice per half-term. These tasks are used to identify learning gaps prior to high stake testing. Students receive personalised written feedback to which they respond in lessons.

Low Stake Testing

To embed knowledge in long-term memory, every lesson starts with students quizzed on prior knowledge (Do Now Tasks). Student performance is then used effectively by teachers to identify misconceptions and plan accordingly to narrow knowledge gaps.

Download long term plan