Animal Care

Department Staffing & Roles:

Mr T Finnigan – Head of Faculty

Mr R Laughton – Class Teacher

Key Stage 4

Animal Care is a Pearson BTEC Level 2 tech award taught in year 10 and 11 at Ormiston Chadwick Academy. It has been developed to provide an engaging introduction to the animal care sector for learners aged 14 years

and above. It is designed to be taken as part of a broad curriculum, alongside GCSEs and/or other vocational subjects. Animal care is a vital sub-sector within the land-based industry and is important to the UK economy. Due to huge demand from the sector, Pearson created this qualification with the Department for Education.

This BTEC is designed to give an introductory overview to some of the key principles, knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the animal care sector. Learners will study animal health, which is externally assessed via a written paper-based exam, as this knowledge and understanding is essential when caring for animals. Learners will also develop their safe animal handling skills, which is vital in order to effectively care for animals.

There are four units taught in animal care. One is externally assessed by a 50 mark written exam. The other three units are all internally assessed through coursework.

Year 10:

  • Unit 1 – Animal Health (externally assessed)
  • Unit 2 – Animal Handling (internally assessed)

Year 11:

  • Unit 3 – Animal Welfare (internally assessed)
  • Unit 4 – Animal Accommodation (internally assessed)

Our curriculum ensures that we meet all of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks to provide our pupils with the skills and insight to develop their aspirations and explore careers they might be interested in. Animal care is a vocational subject which incorporates insight into healthy safety practices in the workplace and legislation that must be followed by all staff. The aims of the course are to inspire and enthuse learners to consider a career in the animal care sector as well as:

  • Give learners the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of, and develop skills in, the animal care sector.
  • Support progression into specialised Level 3 qualifications in animal management, or progression into an Apprenticeship. (Cronton College has excellent facilities for level 3)
  • Give learners the potential opportunity, in due course, to enter employment within a wide range of job roles.

Pupils will also work with local animal shelters to understand the local animal care sector in their community. The school has very close links with The Shetland Animal Rescue, on Ramsbrook Lane and students will spend several mornings/afternoons working there as well part of the course.

At Ormiston Chadwick Academy our year 11 follow a whole school intervention programme. This includes revision sessions 3pm to 4pm for pupils to catch up with missing work or revise with their teacher. We also have several Saturday Academies which run for 2 hours on a Saturday morning. This means that pupils who have no IT access at home will not be disadvantaged and can complete any work in school with the support of their teacher. Slots after school are also available for all pupils in our faculty’s computer club. Pupils can complete revision and homework with the support of our staff.

Currently there aren’t many external revision guides and resources for this course as it is new. However, Mr Finnigan has created booklets for each unit and a knowledge organiser for unit 1 which is assessed by an exam to serve as a revision guide. He has also created a retrieval roulette with over 100 questions from the topics to help revise. Students will be given access to them in lesson.

Our school offers pupils the chance to work closely with Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Chickens, Tortoises and Bearded Dragons. We have an outdoor learning area where some of the animals are housed safely. Pupils complete a lot of practical lessons in this area. In addition to working in The Shetland Animal Rescue centre, we are keen to expand the pupils knowledge of the animal care sector with further learning outside the classroom. A company called zoo lab bring in more exotic animals to school when working on unit 2. We are continuing to expand our connections with local animal care sectors and if anyone would like to help us, please contact the school and ask to speak to Mr Finnigan.