Health and Social Care
Health and Social Care is a small and successful department that teaches students in Key Stage 4 and 5. We regularly see our students achieving above average progress, in terms of their final course grades, and many of our Sixth Formers go on to university to study related careers such as nursing and teaching.
Students are often attracted to our subject because they wish to pursue a career in health or social care, such as nursing, midwifery, paramedicine, primary teaching or social work. Some bring personal experience, such as having a family member who has experienced illness or a long-term chronic condition, and find studying the subject allows them to apply this knowledge and understanding to the course requirements. Our teaching staff have vocational sector experience, in health as a nurse and midwife and in Psychology and mental health, which gives us a knowledge pool on which to draw and add depth to the students’ learning experience.
We are developing closer links with Plymouth University and are seeking to organise trips for both key stages, as well as already having close ties with the William Clift Academy. Outside speakers are also invited in, on occasion, to enable our students to have the opportunity of meeting professionals and volunteers who are practising in the care sector.
Our Sixth Formers are expected to organise themselves work experience, either paid or voluntary, in care settings. Many volunteer in the Greenfield unit, others will go out with care assistants who are working in the community and others will volunteer in local primary schools. All of this supports their personal statements when applying to university and some students have found full-time employment arising out of this experience.
Our students enjoy their studies and make every effort to achieve top grades, while developing both academically and personally throughout the duration of the course.
BTEC Level 1/2 Health and Social Care
At KS4, we teach Edexcel BTEC at Level 1 and Level 2., equal to one GCSE and having three 100 minute lessons per fortnight. In September 2017, we will be beginning the latest Tech Award from BTEC, which replaces our current First Award. The course is essentially about how humans grow, change and develop from birth to old age and considers the many factors that can affect that process.
We also study the health and social care services and the values that underpin care, enabling all those who use the services to receive individualised are that’s tailored to their needs.
In Year 9, we spend the year exploring many of the topics to which we return later in the course. This enables students to lay the foundations and knowledge of the subject principles, without the pressure of having to produce final pieces of coursework.
We study human lifespan development, principles of care and how services are supplied, equality and rights, health and safety and anatomy and physiology. Each topic will be followed by a short BTEC style assessment, so that students have an opportunity to become accustomed to writing their coursework and will also have a measurement of their progress in the subject.
In Y10 we begin by re-visiting Human Lifespan Development, this time in more depth and culminating in two coursework assignments, both of which will contribute towards the final grade.
The Learning Aims are to:
- Understand human growth and development across life stages and the factors that affect it.
- Investigate how individuals deal with life events.
Later in the year, we re-visit Health and Social Care Services and Values, again in more depth than in Year 9 and culminating in two assignments towards the final grade.
The Learning Aims for this module are to:
- Understand the different types of health and social care services and barriers to accessing them.
- Demonstrate care values and review own practice.
Both of these units are set and assessed internally, although a sample of students’ work and our assessment processes will be requested to be sent away for external moderation.
In Year 11, we begin studying the final module Health and Wellbeing. This unit covers how health and wellbeing can be assessed and then students are asked to design a health and wellbeing improvement plan.
The final assessment for this module is set as an external assessment by BTEC. The assessment will be sent out about four weeks beforehand and students will have that time to prepare notes and case studies, using techniques and skills studied throughout the year, ready for the actual assessment itself. Students are expected to take all their information into the assessment, which will be conducted under exam conditions and sent away for marking externally.
- The Learning Aims for this module are to learn about:
- Factors that affect health and wellbeing.
- Interpreting health indicators.
- Person-centred health and wellbeing improvement plans.
BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Health and Social Care
In KS5, students will study a BTEC Level 3 Nationals Diploma in Health and Social Care, equivalent to two ‘A’ Levels. This takes up six 100 minute teaching sessions per week, although students will also be expected to study in their own time. This course is entirely coursework, set and marked internally, although, as usual, a sample of students’ work will be requested and sent away to our external moderator.
This course covers 12 units, studying topics such as Effective Communication; Equality, Diversity and Rights and Caring for Children and Young People. We divide our classroom time between teaching and discussing the various topics, followed by a short assignment, so good time management is an essential skill. The best way to keep up with all the coursework is to meet all the deadlines first time!
One mandatory unit is ‘Personal and Professional Development,’ which runs throughout the length of the course. We re-visit this unit regularly, with students assessing their own progress and discussing what they’ve learnt and experienced and where they see themselves going next. To complete this unit, students must have 100 hours of work experience by the time they complete Year 13. This is up to the student to organise, although staff are on hand to make suggestions and give advice about possible placements. Many find placements in Greenfield, within the College, or work in local care homes or volunteering in a local primary school and this experience forms an invaluable and essential source for the coursework, writing C.V.s and Personal Statements and also possible future employment.
In Y12 we start with the first visit to Unit 6 Personal and Professional Development. We re-visit the unit at least once a term, building a portfolio and log of experience and aspiration.
Then we study:
Unit 1 Developing Effective Communication in Health and Social Care – exploring different ways of communicating and their effects on the people providing and receiving care of any sort.
Unit 2 Equality, Diversity and Rights in Health and Social Care – discussing individuals’ rights and how discrimination and abuse can both arise and be prevented.
Unit 3 Health, Safety and Security in Health and Social Care – here we study the environments in which care is given and received and how the staff and the services users may be kept safe, healthy and secure from any form of abuse.
Unit 4 Human Lifestage Development – in this unit we look at how humans grow, change and develop from birth to old age and explore the various factors that influence that process.
Unit 5 Anatomy and Physiology for Health and Social Care – here students study the human body from cell to complete body systems. Then they learn about how the body produces energy and maintains its internal environment through homeostasis.
Unit 7 Sociological Perspectives in Health and Social Care – learning about different sociological theories, such as Feminism and Marxism, and how these can be used to explain the patterns and trends in health and illness in different groups within the population.
In Y13, we continue our progress through the remaining course units.
We’ll start with a re-visit of Unit 6, discussing progress, plans and aspirations for this final year. Many students will have already started their UCAS application process and the questions of which course or future career path become very important and relevant. As in Y12, we’ll continue to re-visit this unit at least once a term.
Unit 8 Psychological Perspectives – in this unit we study a range of psychological theories, such as behaviourism (Skinner) and cognitive (Piaget). We go on to look at psychological disorders, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder and how the individual can be treated using different psychological techniques, such as medication or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Unit 10 Caring for Children and Young People – here students learn about the care system for vulnerable children and young people, along with recognising and acting on signs of abuse and how it may be prevented.
Unit 12 Public Health- in this unit, we study how the whole population can be kept healthy from communicable diseases, such as meningitis, and also non-communicable disease such as coronary heart disease.
Unit 20 Promoting Good Health – this unit build on Unit 12 because students look in more detail at a range of health promotion methods and examples, before carrying out their own min health promotion campaign.
Unit 14 Physiological Disorders – here students study two disorders of the body, such as Diabetes Type 1 and Parkinson's, learning about their causes, diagnosis and investigations and treatments, including their care pathways.
Unit 6 Personal and Professional Development – the course closes as it began, with a final visit to the work experience unit. Students complete three short assignments assessing, reviewing and evaluating their personal and professional growth over the duration of the course. These assignments are often very, very interesting and enjoyable to read, as they cover the individual growth of each student. Many end up in very different places to where they started, with career plans they never thought to aspire to at the beginning.