Child Development gives pupils the opportunity to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required for working in the area of Child Development. Child Development is a very popular GCSE choice at St Marys College. Students achieve great success and thoroughly enjoy their studies and all that the course has to offer. Many of our Child Development students further develop their studies and go onto have successful careers in this area.


  • Mrs C McGowan-Lees H.O.D.
  • Miss D Jamison
  • Mrs T McNamara
  • Mrs Janet Blair – Food Technician


What will I study?

GCSE Child Development is a two year course which focuses on the study of the physical, social, intellectual and emotional development of children from conception to the age of five years. It encourages knowledge and understanding of pregnancy, the role and responsibility of parents, the needs of young children and the social and environmental influences affecting family life.

Why study Child Development?

By studying Child Development, you will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • Family, pregnancy and responsibilities of being a parent
  • Birth and caring for a new-born baby
  • Diet and lifestyle choices and their impact
  • The dietary and developmental needs of young children
  • The health and well-being of young children
Unit 1: Parenthood, Pregnancy and the new born baby

  • You will learn about the responsibilities of parenting, the development of a healthy pregnancy, the stages of labour and the arrival and care of a new born baby.
  • External exam, 1 hour 15 minutes, includes multiple-choice, short structured questions, and extended writing questions - 30%.
Unit 2: The Development of the Child 0-5 Years

  • You will learn about the needs of a child and the importance of all aspects of a child’s health and development from 0-5 years.
  • External exam, 1 hour 15 minutes, includes multiple choice, short structured questions, and extended writing questions- 30%.

Unit 3: Investigation Task

  • You will carry out a written research task (Controlled Assessment Task)- 40%

Assessment: How will I be assessed?( CCEA Examination Board)

Unit Unit Name Assessment Unit Worth
Unit 1 Parenthood, Pregnancy and the New Born baby Exam 30%
Unit 2 The Development of the Child 0-5 Years Exam 30%
Unit 3 Investigation Task (Controlled Assessment) Exam 40%

What can I achieve?

  • You can achieve a Grade A*- E.
  • Develop skills and understanding required for working in the areas of Child Development.
  • Develop a critical and analytical approach to decision making and problem solving.
  • Build on skills and engage actively in studying Child Development to develop as an effective and independent student.
  • Continue to develop many of the skills developed in KS3 such as managing information, time management, communication, problem solving and ICT.
  • Have opportunity to work independently through the controlled assessment.
  • Develop the ability to manage deadlines, complete research individually and provide critical analysis and evaluate findings.

Career Implications

Many of you who may consider studying Child Development will be wondering what careers pathways are available to you by studying this subject? Child Development is an excellent subject to study as it is accepted by all universities as a ‘solid’ GCSE. It is particularly useful if you wish to follow a career in: Nursing, Midwifery, Paediatrician, Teaching, Primary and Nursery Teaching, Child Psychologist, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapist, Physiotherapy, Health Care Visitor, Social Worker, Childhood Studies and many other roles in the field of Medicine. As well as chosen careers Child Development is a subject that will be of benefit to you in later life. All past pupils have thoroughly enjoyed studying this subject and have felt that is a very rewarding, enjoyable and beneficial subject.

Examination Performance

The Department have continued their great success rate in CCEA, GCSE Child Development with 78.4 % of the students entered achieving Grades A*- ‘C in June 2019. At present, we have two classes of GCSE Child Development students in Year 12. We wish all our students every success.