Animal Care Curriculum

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Due to the current situation, departmental curriculum plans are not currently available.

Here is the Cowley COVID resuming plan as an interim guide.

Curriculum aim

The aim of Animal Care is provide a coherent introduction to study of the Animal Care sector.  By studying Animal Care, students will broaden their experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them.

The Animal Care courses require applied learning that brings together knowledge and understanding with practical and technical skills.  This is achieved through students performing vocational tasks that encourage the development of appropriate vocational behaviours and transferable skills as students progress to a wide range of higher education courses and ultimately to employment in the Animal Care sector.  The mandatory and optional content of both Level 1/2 and Level 3 courses provides a balance of breadth and depth, while retaining a degree of choice for individual students to tailor content relevant to their own interests and progression choices.  As the Animal Care sector and employment is dynamic, content will remain current.

The staff’s commitment and enthusiasm for the subject ensures that high standards are set which fuel students’ aspirations through their own conduct, support of the Cowleian values and the expectations of all students.  Ultimately students will enter the employment market and therefore the final role of the department and the available courses is to provide students with a real understanding of the employment options available to them both in the present and the future and the importance of developing employability skills.

Curriculum structure

Students are able to access the subject at Level 1/2 and Level 3. As an option subject available in Y9 students compete the new Pearson BTEC Level 1/2 in Animal Care.  As a three year course students will develop a foundation understanding of key topics essential to the second and third year of the course.   The formally assessed aspects will take place as the course proceeds. Internally assessed coursework contributes 75% of the grade; the remainder is through a 1 hour formally assessed examination.  This assessment method allows students of all abilities to access the course.  At Level 2 students have the opportunity to achieve at four different levels: Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction* equivalent to grade 4-9.

As a Level 3 option students complete Pearson BTEC National subsidiary Diploma in Animal Management. This course comprises a range of units all of which are internally assessed. The course is accessible for all students with 5 good L2 Passes and is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*. The BTEC National course attracts UCAS points.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies/activities are used in order to provide pace and challenge within the subject to engage students to achieve their potential whilst enjoying the subject and their experiences.  There are clear teaching and assessment phases during the Level 1/2 and Level 3 courses.  Both courses provide students with the opportunity to develop high level literacy skills as research, analysis and evaluation tasks will be completed.

Students will cultivate report writing and planning skills alongside a strong level of computer literacy. Creativity will be encouraged through the chance to students gain to develop their own feeding and cleaning plans and Pet Store design. Communication skills will be fostered as students are involved in activities such as presenting and practical activities.  Time management will also be essential as students will have regular deadlines to meet as well controlled timed assessments.  These transferable skills are ones which are highly valued both in higher education and the workplace.  Students will also be encouraged to keep up-to-date with the latest developments within Animal Care and share their knowledge in lesson.

Throughout both courses students will be expected to complete work outside of lesson, through designated homework tasks in order to meet stringent deadlines.  Using the remote log on system will allow this to take place.

Curriculum in action

Curriculum Beyond the Classroom
Students are always welcome to use the specialist rooms and resources for independent study.

Local experts are used at Level 1/2 and these relationships are in the early stages of being fostered.  This is also the case with the new BTEC National course at Level 3 as it lends itself to experts in dog grooming and animal training and behaviour, speakers, trips, work experience and further support from local businesses.

Currently links have been established with Acorn Farm, Jollyes, Splendid Pets and Exotics and with experts in dog grooming and animal training and behaviour

Subject Expertise
The department comprises highly experienced, Animal Care specialists. The members of the team have experience of teaching the subject across several different types of courses such as GCSE, Applied BTEC, BTEC First, BTEC National and A Level. We maintain and monitor a range of animals on site within our dedicated Animal Care room.

The department maintains links with the Animal Care department at Haydock High School across the established Soft Federation.

Students are made aware of the progression routes available including working with animals in animal welfare centres, catteries and kennels, police, veterinary nursing, animal grooming, retail. As the department are also experienced or key members of the Sixth Form pastoral team, the subject, as a higher education choice, is regularly flagged up with students. Also staff regularly receive the latest information about new courses and work experience and employment opportunities which are passed on to students as potential progression routes.  Help will be offered to students with the inquiry/application process as required.