Where can I found out more about the coursework components?
As well as information in the syllabus there is also a Coursework Handbook that you can download from School Support Hub, under the Teaching Materials tab.
What is the difference between the Child Development Study and the Practical Investigation?
The Child Development Study involves actually working with one child, or a group of children, up to the age of five. Students should record what has happened to the child, or children, and what this experience tells them about child development.
The Practical Investigation involves finding out about a topic/area of the syllabus or a study of child-orientated consumer items. It is much more general and involves the students conducting research, doing their own reading and writing a report. Students should have a product, such as a booklet or an information sheet for parents, as the focus of the investigation.
What should students consider when choosing a child/children for the Child Development Study?
The child/children must be between 0 and 5 years old as the syllabus looks only at development in children up to 5 years of age. Students will need to consider which child/children would be easily accessible. Difficult or lengthy travelling to observe the child/children could limit the number of observations possible.
The child/children could be relatives of the student, although it is easier to notice progress in a particular area of development if they are not seen daily. Perhaps the child/children could be a relative of a school friend, a friend of the family or the child of a neighbour. Students should ensure that they have the permission of the child’s/children’s parents or guardian to study them, and that the parents will know exactly what this will involve.
It is often easier to study one child in detail rather than several children at the same time. If the study is to be in a nursery/school then the study of one child is preferable, otherwise the observations should be limited to only two or three children, but they must be of the same age. The student may have a particular interest in one area of development and this could influence their choice of a suitable child to study. Students also need to be aware that they may need to choose another child of the same age for the comparison section. You will need to give guidance to students on choosing a suitable child to study.
Can photographs of children be included in the Child Development Study?
It is not necessary to include photographs. If photographs are included in the Study then there should be a small number and should only be used if they are relevant to the child/area being studied and clearly add support to part of the text. They should not be included to simply make the coursework more attractive.
Care must be taken to ensure anonymity for the child and their family by not including names or any personal details. The parents or guardian of the child must always give permission for the use of photographs in the Study.
For more information and materials on this syllabus, please visit our School Support Hub here.
Should candidates include work produced by the child?
It is possible to include work produced by the child but this is not essential. If it is included, only a small number of pieces should be presented in the work and only if they are relevant to the chosen area of study. The work should be clearly labelled explaining why it has been included and it should be referred to and interpreted within the text.
Awareness of Opportunities for Further Developments
Consideration could be given to other areas of development which may be interesting to study. Alternatively, further aspects of the development already studied in the Child Study or the product for the Investigation may be explored in more detail. Any suggestions made for further developments in the work should be supported with reasons for the ideas put forward.
How many areas of development should be studied by the candidates?
It is usually better to focus on only one area of development for the Study as this is more accessible for all-ability candidates rather than trying to study all areas. This would mean that the area can be researched fully and observed thoroughly in the chosen child. Too many areas for study may result in very superficial work.
How much needs to be written for the Child Study and for the Practical Investigation?
The recommendation is for a piece of work of approximately 3,000 words in length for each of the pieces of coursework to ensure that all the criteria are met. Shorter work may not include all the required information and longer work could contain a lot of unnecessary information.
How should the work be arranged in the folders?
Candidates should use the headings indicated on the different sections of the mark sheet and arrange their work in the same order. Each section should have a clear title. This makes it easier for the candidate and the examiner to check that all areas have been covered according to the requirements. It is also easier to mark each section of the work if it is well-ordered and not muddled up.
Is it necessary for the candidates to produce their work on a computer?
No. Coursework can be presented in hand-written or word-processed format. Both are acceptable but it is important that the work is presented in a neat, legible and orderly manner according to all the assessment areas.
Identification of Strengths and Weaknesses
Practical problems in arranging visits and collecting and assembling the work could be discussed in detail, explaining how the problems were overcome. Particularly good sections of work could be discussed, indicating the better areas and explaining how the good results came about. Practical suggestions could be made for improvements or alternative ways of approaching the study in the sections where the work is weaker.
How many marks should be awarded for final presentation of the Child Study or the product for the Practical Investigation?
The mark scheme in the syllabus indicates how many marks should be allocated to each section. For example, in the section on Planning of the Study for the Child Study, one of the three allocated marks should be for the final presentation of the information in an acceptable report format. There are six marks available in the Application section of the Practical Investigation for the final product.