Sarah Ash and Sarah Millington – Subject Advisors for Health and Social Care, and Child Development
In this blog we consider how to approach teaching and learning of life stages for R033 which is the mandatory NEA unit for Cambridge National Health and Social Care, J835. This addresses the teaching content of how we grow and develop in terms of milestones.
Milestones identify how we have grown and developed over time. Milestones can also be referred to as norms – expected changes. In childhood we can identify norms relatively easily as we change so much during this life stage, and often can pin an age to when a change could happen (within reason). In later life stages it is much more nuanced. We can identify what could happen generally at certain ages, but not always specifically when.
Being familiar with what we mean by PIES will help learners to grasp the concepts of growth and development. PIES are our physical, intellectual, emotional and social aspects of development. We can all expect to grow and develop over time in these areas. Many of us will reach significant milestones such as growth spurts at a similar age to each other.
Later in life there will be norms of growth and development that we can expect, but we can’t say that they will happen at the same age. An example of this could be that in adulthood we could have children. Some of us might have children early in the life stage, but others might choose to have their children later in the life stage. However, it is the norm to have children during this life stage and it is a milestone/norm of growth and development some of us will realise.
Other examples of features of PIES development that many of us will go through are that we will go through puberty and as we get into adulthood, we will reach our peak physical fitness, but also see a decline in our physical abilities as we progress through the life stage. We make friends when we are children, often through schools or clubs that we join, and for adults we usually have formed long lasting friendships, and some friendships could become intimate relationships.
You don’t want to over direct our students or provide them with a structure on which to build their work, so giving examples can make you nervous. However, you cannot teach without examples and without examples your students cannot apply their knowledge and understanding. Also, we must consider the need for you to show students’ progress. Teaching about milestones of development is best supported by giving examples. The Office for National Statistics provides data on milestones in adulthood. You could also give examples of your own growth and development patterns, and you could do this using a timeline. Or look into the future and the changes you think you might see over your own lifetime.
Students can then consider their own development and perhaps ask family members to explain the milestones they reached during their lives. This way they build up an understanding that growth and development norms happen to all of us but not necessarily at the same time. They’ll also see that some of us won’t every achieve certain norms. For example, I didn’t learn to swim until I was in my late twenties much later than most people.
If you share the assignment with your candidates early in the teaching of the content, students may find that they are using and applying examples from teaching in their work, rather than applying their own examples to their work. This could lead to similarities in the coursework and limit the range of examples used which might not be the best way to show their true knowledge and understanding of their chosen individual. Students need to be able to explore their chosen persons life, growth, and development to address the task.
For R033 Task 1 your students are exploring the growth and development of an individual in the adulthood life stage. Using the content from the specification and case studies from newly published textbooks will help students to apply their understanding of growth and development norms.
Our publishing partners Cambridge and Hodder have published student books and teacher resources to support you in the classroom. If you don’t have these already contact our Customer Development Team email@example.com. If you have taught OCR in the past you might find that you have some old GCSE text books in your resources. You could use these to support teaching on learning as they can provide some useful case studies. One suggestion is the book GCSE Health and Social Care for OCR, written by Mark Walsh, published by Collins 2009 (ISBN: 13 978 0 00 731115 6) which you can still get from the publisher and also second-hand. Using the suggested teaching resources steers the learning away from the live assessment material and away from any individual that learners might choose to use as their person for Task 1.
Once the teaching is finished and your students research and explore what their individuals have achieved/reached in terms of milestones/norms, if any of the examples you used in the classroom given in the specification or textbooks are examples that relate to their individual, it is doubtful that they will have achieved these at exactly the same time as any case study you use in the classroom, because we are unique.
A number of schools are choosing to breakdown the teaching and assessment of R033, but they are worried about over guidance or malpractice as it is so close to the lessons and the delivery of the content. If you choose to breakdown the content and go straight into the assignment, students find it difficult to detach from what they have just been taught and may use the material in their work. Teaching all the content for the unit first is a way around this. This is also the moment where encouraging students to choose different people is preferable to the whole class choosing the same person for Task 1. In summary, separating the teaching of the content from the assignment gives a distinction between teaching and learning, and the application of knowledge for the assignment.
Teach Cambridge is your secure area of our website where we keep the live assessment material, schemes of work, and curriculum planners. It is also where you can complete the online Essentials Training and optional subject specific training. In the Essentials Training guidance in the section on over direction it says that specific details on what to include in written work, such as instructions or examples are a concern. However, it comes back to using the content in the specification, case studies from textbooks, and teaching resources as the principal learning. Which can then be used for students to apply their own knowledge of how the person they have chosen to focus on who has grown and developed – it steers the examples away from any individual that they might choose to focus on for Task 1.
The Candidate Style Work is written to the Sample Assessment Material and the childhood life stage. In this life stage we might see a number of milestones/norms of growth and development reached by a particular age, but we wouldn’t expect to see this detail in other life stages. You may find it easier when teaching about growth and development for later life stages to focus more on the what than the when. What are the milestones/norms of growth a development that we would expect to see in early adulthood? When the student chooses their individual, they should be able to say what the norms are and be able to say when they happened for that person. They can also project forward to the end of the life stage and explain what norms could happen for their chosen person, but possibly wouldn’t be able to say when.
If students choose to write about a well-known person for Task 1 it does need to be someone who has written a biography or told a lot about themselves, their family, and their life experiences through television or social media, this all helps to build a detailed picture of this person. Some students may find it easier to write about different people for Task 1 and Task 2 as these are two separate tasks. There must be an interview for Task 2 but the person can be in any stage of life, they do not have to be in the young adulthood life stage as they would in Task 1.
Teaching a new course can come with challenges but taking time to teach the content before addressing the assignment can give you the confidence to know that your students are able to complete the assignment independently, knowing that they are not simply repeating what you have taught them.
If you have any questions or concerns do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @OCR_Health, we are here to answer your questions. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Sarah Ash and Sarah Millington are your Subject Advisors for Health and Social Care and Child Development. Both have previously been teachers of Health and Social Care and now work to support you in your delivery of Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals.