GCSE Year 10

Students begin their studies of GSCE Health & Social Care by completing 'Unit 1 - Understanding Personal Development and Relationships'. This unit provides an overview of the key topics covered by the examination. Students learn about the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development that occurs in each of the six life stages. They consider the nature/nurture debate and the impact of expected and unexpected events on growth and development.

As part of their studies students focus on self concept and the factors that can impact on an individual's self image and self esteem. Students also consider the support offered by health and social care professionals to ensure that individuals have their needs met and are able to realise their potential. The examination component of the course is sat at the end of Year 11 and is 40% their final GCSE grade.

GCSE Year 11

Students continue their studies by completing 'Unit 2 - Exploring Health, Social Care and Early Years Provision' in Year 11. This unit of work forms the basis of their controlled assessment which makes up 60% of their final GCSE grade. Controlled assessment tasks are set by Edexcel and focus on the care needs of service user groups and the types of services that exist to meet service users' needs. Students have to explain how services are organised and consider the ways that service users access them. They must pay particular attention to barriers that can prevent access.

As part of their assessment, students must also consider the roles and skills of the people who provide these services and explore the care values that care workers use every day as part of their job.

BTEC Year 10

BTEC Health & Social Care students begin their studies with 'Unit 1 - Human Life Span and Development' - This unit explores human growth and development across the six life stages. It also centres around the factors that can prevent individuals' from having their needs met and the impact this has on their physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Unit 1 is externally assessed via examination. Students currently have 2 opportunities to sit this examination in Year 10 - in both the spring and summer assessment windows. Students who fail to obtain their target grade or higher can re-sit the examination again in Year 11.

In addition to Unit 1, students also complete 'Unit 6 - The Impact of Nutrition on Health & Well being'. This unit is assessed by a series of internally assessed tasks in which students must demonstrate an understanding of nutrition across the six life stages. Students consider the components of a balanced diet, the effects on the body of an unbalanced diet, nutritional needs across the life stages and specific dietary needs. They must also be able to complete nutritional plans for two individuals.

BTEC Year 11

In Year 11 BTEC Health & Social Care students focus on completing the two remaining units of study - 'Unit 2 Health and Social Care Values' and 'Unit 3 - Effective Communication in Health & Social Care' both of which are internally assessed. Whilst completing Unit 2, students explore the care values that underpin current practice in Health & Social Care and investigates ways of empowering individuals who use health & social care services.

During their study of Unit 3 students are expected to show an understanding of the necessary communication skills in the context of the health and social care sectors. Students must demonstrate the skills through a planned one to one and a group interaction. Following this they must identify, describe and explain the effectiveness of the different forms of communication used and consider possible barriers service users face. Students must evaluate methods of overcoming communication barriers and be able to offer suggestions for improvements.

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