Curriculum Vision


This curriculum is designed to encourage and inspire learners into following a worthwhile qualification that provides an insight into Children’s Development as Early Year’s Practitioners.  The award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment.  The qualification is designed to include contemporary issues in relation to children and policy and its impact on the variety of children’s early years settings across the UK. We are developing learners to foster an awareness and appreciation of the unique qualities, circumstances and characteristics within each child as well as in the patterns of which they develop.

Within this course we will seek to develop learners that recognise the support that adults can offer in promoting learning. We will address the scope and complexity of a child needs as we learn to accept that there are a range of factors which influence how a child grows and develops. The curriculum seeks to nurture the policies and actions implemented by the British early years workforce, alongside the distinct christian values and ethos of St Michael’s School and how this should positively shape the thought process when working with children.

Throughout the course learners will investigate how children grow and develop from birth to five years old  and the characteristics of their development and the factors affecting their growth and development. Learners will develop an understanding of how play activities can influence children’s learning between the ages of birth and five years old. They will consider the different types of play in which children engage, and how activities can support children’s learning and progress across the five areas of development. Learners will also investigate how a child learns and develops and how to adapt activities to support the inclusion of all children in play.

Inclusive practices will always be at the forefront of this curriculum as we aim to encourage students to celebrate and embrace differences within children including their cultures and traditions by noticing that this contributes towards creating a welcoming environment, an environment where every child is entitled to support. Developing empathy is also a crucial value as we seek to ensure that learners act justly towards one of the most vulnerable groups of society.


Learning is embedding through the sharing of knowledge and development skills over time and through the concepts laid out in the curriculum intent statement.  Assessments range from mini bite sized summative tasks which will assess topics covered as we progress through the course.  Formative assessments cover the subject knowledge and provide the scope for wider areas of improvement and where we should embed specific targets and capture a true picture of progression.  Progression is mapped through the academic year based on individual and school targets.  Learners will have access to the vocabulary and subject terminology to enable them to develop their written work and develop how they apply the language.  Learners are encouraged to have well developed answers in order to prepare for assessments as this will provide them with the opportunity to be able to express themselves more coherently within both a verbal and written context a valuable and transferable key skill within the school environment and when undertaking work experience, leaving for college and eventually in the world of work.


By the end of this course pupils will have understood the patterns of growth and development within children aged 0-8 and typical characteristics of their development. They will know that adults have an important role to play in each area of a child’s development.  As we progress through the course students will recognise that play is an integral part of a child’s growth and development, as through play the child will practice skills and movement and this should be encouraged through a wide range of play opportunities.   Inclusive practice is an important principle in early years practice and as the course progresses learners will have seen the benefits of inclusive practice to children as we seek to explore barriers that can make it challenging for children to develop and learn and how these can be overcome.  At this stage our students will ultimately understand that although there are many different types of early years settings they should all work from the same basic principles that are fundamentally about making sure that each child benefits from the opportunities on offer within the setting and that they are fully supported in growing up to become citizens who can participate in wider society with more life chances.

Curriculum Journey

Options Video

Options Information

Qualification Name  BTEC First Children’s Play, Learning And Development
Exam Board Pearson
Type (e.g. GCSE/BTEC Certificate) BTEC First
Level (1,2 or both) 1 and 2
GLH (Guided Learning Hours) 120
Course Content Outline (What Will I study?)

Who is this qualification for?


This qualification is for students aged 14–16 who wish to develop applied knowledge and practical skills in child development. It is designed with both practical and theoretical elements, which will prepare students for further education. It would be beneficial for students to have easy & regular access to a child that will be under the age of 8 by the time the student is in year 11. The child can be a brother/sister or any other family member.


What will the student study as part of this qualification?


All students will study three mandatory topics as follows: Unit 1—Patterns of Child Development

Unit 2– Promoting Children’s Development Through Play

Unit 3– The Principles of Early Years Practice

Typical Lesson/Homework Activities.

(How will I study?)

The first topic underpins all of the other learning in this qualification. Students will develop the essential knowledge and understanding in child development and the patterns that can be seen in the way children grow and develop. It will help students to understand why children at particular ages and stages tend to do similar things. All adults need this knowledge of the patterns of child development so that they can know how they can support children at differ- ent ages. Unit 1 is an essential unit if you want to work with children and this is why it is the first taught unit.

In the second unit you will explore the concept of play. Play is seen as a vital way to support children’s development. Early years settings plan a range of play opportunities and activities that help children to learn and in this unit students will learn about how play can promote

children’s development. And what play opportunities early years settings can provide for babies and young children.

In the third unit students will learn that there are many different types of early years settings. They include childminders, nurseries and schools. Although they are all different, they all work to the same basic principles. The principles of early years practice are about making sure each child benefits from the opportunities on offer within the setting and they are properly support- ed. Students will explore several principles in depth to be able to explain why they are important for children’s development.

Homework activities generally focus on research, completing activity booklets and exam questions.

Success Criteria


(How will I be assessed?)

The BTEC First Children’s Play, Learning and Development is the same size as a GCSE and will take 120 guided learning hours (GLH) to deliver.

The course is assessed in three sections:


Unit 1 Patterns of Child Development – 25% of final grade (Externally set exam)


Unit 2 Promoting Children’s Development Through Play—25% of final grade (internally set controlled assessment)

Unit 3 The Principles of Early Years Practice— 50% of final grade (internally set controlled assessment )

Succession Paths Post-16


(What can I do with this qualification.)

This subject will be an obvious choice to any wanting to study child care or health and social

care at college, or do apprenticeships of many kinds. The course will prepare students for further qualifications in Child Care, Health and Social Care, Psychology, Sociology and Biology.

Exam Specification