Child Development - Child Study

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I have been asked to produce a piece of coursework for Child Development.

The coursework is to do a Child Study on a child of my choice looking at different areas of Child Development.

The study will last approximately 11 months. There will be deadlines for completing the various stages of the study and I will have to make a plan to keep within the time scale.

At the end of the study there will be an evaluation and conclusion and then the coursework will handed in for marking.

The aim of this coursework is to study a child in their early stages of development. I will hope to understand the physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of my study child. I will be observing one child for this study.


For physical development I will be observing the child during play and other learning activities and see how he develops throughout the study. I’ll be measuring his growth by doing checks on the child’s height and weight during the study. Also I will be observing the child’s diet as this is important in the child’s growth.

One of the ways I’ll measure the child’s growth is to have a height and measuring chart on the wall and four times throughout the study I will take the height and weight measurements and mark them on the chart. The child will also be able to follow their progress which will give him an interest in the process.

Intellectual development is about the child having the ability to be able to think and understand during play and learning activities. Some examples are the child being able to remember facts, do puzzles, name objects and be curious during activities. I will set an activity to do and I will ask the parents to keep on doing the activity with the child and on my next visit I will see how he has progressed.

Social development is about how the child socialises with other children and adults during play and learning activities. I will observe how he reacts to things like losing in games, taking turns and communicating with others. Social development also includes personal skills for example, washing, using toilet-flushing and wiping. Also the use of good manners by saying please, thank you and excuse me.

In this part of my study I will be observing how he communicates and gets involved with children and adults and also how he joins in with the activities.

Emotional development is about the feelings of the child here are some examples. He might feel happy, in pain, excited, confident, good self esteem, frustrated or angry. For this part of my study I am going to be observing how the child’s emotions change in different circumstances and with different people.

Breakdowns of the different developments are included after this.

During the course of my study I will be making at least 8 visits.

Each visit will be logged. Each log will show the type of development being looked at and show the norms for that development. The visit log will show the aims for the visit also what happened at the visit. I will also give my interpretation of the visit.

As the child I am studying is my cousin’s son I will see him more often than 8 visits. I will be able to observe him during visits to his house, at my house and outdoors in the garden or park. Each visit will be a minimum of 2 hours.

This study will last for approximately 11 months. I will be visiting my study child once every 3 weeks.

I will refer to various books and publications on the subject to find further information as I need it. I will also use the internet though I know that this is not always a reliable source of information. Therefore I will use websites recommended in trusted publications. All sources of information will be acknowledged at the end of the study report.

I will compare various aspects of development with the ‘norms’ for the age group of the child.

Later in the study after I have identified any specific needs of the child I will carry out an activity to help the child in this area of development.

Jack lives in a happy, safe and pleasant environment. The family is well structured and has good discipline and morals. Jacks early childhood from birth has been healthy and well cared for. All these things point to a good start in his early development and it would be expected that his development would be of the ‘norm’ or above ‘norm’ for his age group.



As my study is over a course of 11 months I will need to consider some of the difficulties that may arise.

As both parents work I will have to organise times that I am able to visit.

I need to catch two buses to make my visits therefore I have to consider travel arrangements and the cost.

The family will be going on holiday sometime this year so I will have to arrange my visits around this.

If I take the child out I will have to look at the safety aspects and make sure I have the full agreement of the parents.

When I visit I will have to make sure that I have the correct equipment for the activities I want to observe.

The child’s mother is pregnant and the baby is due in July which could cause problems.

The family has just moved house so this is another thing to take into consideration.

The child I am studying has two older brothers which may affect how he behaves compared to the norm.

I will also have to consider other coursework that I will have when arranging my visits.

I will be able to overcome any of these problems by preparing well in advance and also with the help of the parents for instance help with travel as they have a car. I will also have to be able to change any plans due to any unforeseen circumstances.

Name: Jack

Date of birth: 2/10/02

Age:  4 years 4 months

Sex: male

Jack was born at the Heath hospital by caesarean birth. Jack’s mum had to have a caesarean because her two previous births had been caesarean. He weighed 6 pound 15oz and was 48cm long. He was in good health as a baby and was breast fed because his mother wanted him to have antibodies to help fight infections. He has had all the necessary vaccinations which will protect him from infections. He suffers from no allergies.

Jack is a happy outgoing boy who can play well on his own or with others. He can be shy when first meeting new people but quickly overcomes this. Jack has two brothers aged 5 and 6 and as the baby of the family he can be more attached to his mum and could be spoilt or less independent.

Jacks mum and dad are called Francesca and Jonathan. Fran is 24 and Jon is 23 and they are married. Fran attends college on a daily basis and Jon works as a car mechanic. Both are in good health. Fran at present is 4 months pregnant. Jon smokes but Fran doesn’t. Jack could be more at risk of bronchitis and asthma because his father smokes. All children are at risk of cancer from passive smoking. The structure of the family is nuclear which means they do not have other family members living with them.

The family live in a 3 bedroom, semi-detached home. The house has a good front and back garden which are secure therefore Jack can play safely with his brothers and practice his gross motor skills by running round and playing football. As the family has just moved Jack shares a bedroom with his two brothers as the third bedroom is still being decorated. Jack is well clothed and able to take part in all types of play without worrying about getting dirty. Jack has plenty of toys most of these learning activities.

The parents believe in firm but fair discipline without smacking, this is evident in how well all three boys behave themselves. Jack lives in a happy, safe and pleasant house with good morals and attitudes. He will learn how to treat other people and how to respect their differences, by following the examples set him.

Jack’s family are Welsh so he will grow up to learn about the welsh culture because he will eat traditional foods and take part in traditional celebrations like St David’s day, Christmas and bonfire night.

His family’s religion is Roman Catholic so Jack will learn about this by going to church and taking part in religious festivals and occasions like Holy Communion, Christmas and Easter.

My overall plan of action for the child study is as follows:

January: Select child to study. Visit parents and write a letter asking for permission to do the study. Make a questionnaire to gain information about the child’s background from the parents.

February: Write the Introduction. This will include the Aims of the study, Considerations that I will need to observe and the Background of the study child.

March: Research in detail the four areas of child development. Physical, Intellectual, Social and Emotional. Also I will research the norms for my study child within the areas of these developments.

April: I will write a Plan of Action for the study. I will detail the visits I will be making and the areas of development I will be looking at for the individual visit. I will make a flow chart to go with the plan of action showing a time scale for the study.

May: I will begin the visits. I will make two visits during this period. The first visit will be looking at Physical Development in particular growth, diet and teeth. I will do a study on the child’s eating habits and nutrient intake. The second visit will also look at Physical Development. This time the topic I will concentrate on is Gross Motor Skills. How the child uses his muscles.

June: I will do visits three and four. Visit three will look at Physical Development concentrating on Fine Manipulative skills. The fourth visit will be looking at Social Development and the Interacting with Others.

July: I will be continuing with the visits and visit five will look at Social Development with Personal Social skills as the main topic.

August: Visits six and seven will be together as this was done over two separate visits. I will be looking at Intellectual (Cognitive) Development. I will be using the matching of coloured shapes as the focus for this visit. I will also make the final visit (eight) and this will concentrate On Emotional Development. The emotion I want to study here is jealously.

September: I will write up the results, analysis and interpretation of the visits.

October: I will organise a Play Activity for a final observation of the child’s development when playing. I will record the results.

November: I will write an evaluation and review of the whole child study which will include Planning, Resources, Methods, Analysing and Interpreting Results and finally a Conclusion.

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The visits reports will give a more detailed plan of that particular visit starting with the following:

Type of development –

Topics –


Location –


Safety Issues –


There will also be a detailed Interpretation given at the end of each visit.


Type of Development – Physical Development

Topics – Growth / Diet /Teeth.

Aims – I’m going to learn about the growth of Jack and his balanced ...

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


This is an excellent piece of work. It has numerous strengths such as a high level of knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the task, and a high level of knowledge of the child being studied. To gain higher marks more research should be included, and referencing should be evident either within the text itself or through a bibliography at the end. ****