Childcare offers students a wonderful opportunity to achieve within a subject they thoroughly enjoy.  This subject is extremely popular and the clear progression routes to further and higher education or employment support all abilities to develop and attain high grades.  The teachers are passionate about their subject and through caring and supportive programmes they meet the needs of the students which makes this a very successful department.

Mrs Kaitell
Head of Childcare

Intent, Implementation and Impact

At Weatherhead High School, Child care is an option our students can select at KS4 and KS5. Our intention is to provide an aspirational, engaging and relevant curriculum that provides students with knowledge and skills that can be applied to industry, real-life and fictional scenarios. The knowledge and skills gained by learners will allow them to progress to KS5 and beyond. The courses are coherently planned and sequenced towards developing a robust subject knowledge at both KS4 & KS5. The opportunity to develop practical skills to work with and support children aged 0 to 5 years are developed at KS5.

Students will study NCFE CACHE Level 2 Technical Award in Child Development and Care at KS4 which is assessed through a combination of external assessment and internally assessed coursework. Through this, students develop an understanding of child development and prepare for working in an early years setting. The research and extended writing skills developed and applied at KS4 develop learners for further study into KS5 and beyond. Students who choose to study the subject in KS5 will undertake the NCFE CACHE Technical Diploma in Child care and Education (EYE) which is the equivalent to three A-levels and gives the students a licence to practice.  The course promotes high levels of independence and engagement as learners complete a number of practically assessed placements and run the in-house toddler sessions – Weathertots. These invaluable experiences prepare students for careers in the Early years sectors and further study in university.

The purpose of the curriculum is to empower students and equip them with the skills and confidence they need to progress at both KS4 and KS5. Students leave us with a self belief and confidence to enter employment or further study and progress as lifelong learners.

We work hard to ensure our curriculum is inclusive for all learners and investigate options available to students who may need additional support in completing the course. At KS5 we have a number of options for students to complete their course, whether that is claiming at certificate level or claiming Diploma.

Core values within the subject are respect, care, resilience and collaboration. These are demonstrated by staff and fostered by students.

We use technology to support students, google classroom is used to set and mark work and provide feedback. All lessons are shared with students along with high quality teaching resources, this enables students to access the curriculum remotely.

The department will support every student through their course, regardless of background and ability, to achieve success in both coursework and examination units. Students will be encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge and skills practically in role plays at KS4 and placement at KS5. Students will work collaboratively to develop their application of planning, assessment and support of children during the Weathertots sessions.

In each coursework unit, students will be internally assessed and graded from D*-P at level 2 and A* to D at level 3. Units are then internally and externally quality assured. In preparation for the examination at KS4, we aim to develop mastery of content by utilising past paper questions, regular assessments and revision of topics. All topics are taught and knowledge is scaffolded to ensure students at any level can access it. This helps to build a secure knowledge base from which students can apply their knowledge to given questions. At KS5, we prepare the students for the 20 hours externally-assessed assignment by developing their independent writing and research skills. We ensure students are fully aware of the meaning of command verbs and place a high value on developing literacy skills that students can then independently use to access set tasks. Scores from all internally and externally assessed units at KS4 & KS5 are combined to provide a student’s final grade. Some units and knowledge will flow and progress throughout the KS4 and KS5 courses including milestones of development, safeguarding, health and safety expectations and inclusive practice.

Students at all levels are encouraged to push themselves and attempt all assessment criteria tasks. This helps to build students’ confidence and resilience. Courses are taught unit by unit and the content is broken down in booklets through tasks. These allow students to work independently to complete tasks but have the support of teachers through notes and PowerPoints. Google classroom has been used as an effective tool to provide constructive feedback and support for students to enable them to generate coursework evidence and access instant marking and structured feedback. Teachers deliver knowledge and course content in a number of ways; students will work on projects and we try to promote learning beyond the classroom through real life examples and placements at KS5.

Staff provide a variety of clinics and clubs during lunch times and afterschool. The role of these sessions is to support learners with coursework and exam preparation, provide masterclasses and support. Google classroom is also used as a support tool for students who are working from home. They can share work and communicate with staff.

Students in KS5 attend a number of placements including private day nurseries and primary schools. They also have the opportunity to run and staff Weathertots, our playgroup for children and their families/carers from the local community.

The department assesses children during every lesson, this is done through coursework tasks, questioning or formal style assessment. Students are expected to make good or better progress, this individual progress is tracked and reported to parents and carers at parents’ evenings, phone calls and postcards home and end of year reports.

The success and outcomes of students is monitored and analysed every year by looking at results gained in Years 10, 11 12 & 13. The impact of the curriculum on students is reviewed through student voice activities and results data along with student destinations. We have good retention of students from the level 2 on to the level 3 course. We also have a large number of students progressing into employment in the early years sector. Other students have progressed on to higher education studying courses that will allow them to perhaps apply their childcare skills and experience in future careers.

Enjoyment of the curriculum and its format allows students to access all aspects which promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Students feel safe to try new things. This allows the department to contribute to the world class status of the school and offer a world class curriculum. 

Destinations: 1 student has gone to university to study child nursing with special needs, one student has gone into employment at a local nursery. Two students have progressed into FE, one to study animal management and the other life skills. A final student has gone into employment, they achieved a KNO in the course, they will be working remotely to complete the full EYE qualification.

Destinations: there have been a large increase in retention on to the level 3 course this year with approximately 8 students choosing to carry on with their childcare course. Other students have chosen health and social care.

Recruitment at KS4 is good and we have consistently maintained 2 groups at KS4 for a number of years.

Retention into KS5 is good, we have a small but committed cohort of students whose passions for the subject has led to them taking it in sixth form.

Over the last 3 years we have had 52% of students progress on to university and 48% of students progress in to work in the early years sector.


2 large classrooms designed for examination subjects with ICT access; specialist Weathertots room.

These facilities offer students the chance to develop their skills and achieve success. The specialist equipment allows for focused lessons in a bright and positive environment. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and these are used to enhance lessons through the use of visual materials.


Classrooms are available at lunchtimes and after school for support clinics. Teachers are there to offer advice and give support to enable students to achieve their best. The use of the clinics promotes student independence in their learning.


  • Placement and volunteer programme for post 16 students – linked to the post 16 course they are studying.
  • Pink Week in Sixth Form – raising funds for breast cancer awareness.
  • Regular fundraising and charity events including cake sales, discos and Race for Life.
  • Makaton course for Childcare students to enable them to gain vital skills in interacting with children.
  • First Aid course for Childcare students to give them a qualification in Paediatric First Aid.

T Level Technical Qualifcation in Education and Childcare (EYE)

This course is the equivalent to 3 A Levels. If you chose to study this T Level it takes up all of your options. 

Upon successful completion of this course, students can progress into employment in early years settings such as private day nurseries or teaching assistants in primary schools. Students may also wish to continue their studies in higher education.

Students will complete 750 hours of placement across a number of childcare settings.

Placements are provided for students by Weatherhead. Students will be at placement every Monday and Tuesday and on site at Weatherhead on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

This is an exciting opportunity to gain first hand experience in the early years sector along with increasing your academic skills and knowledge in school.