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Animal Care

The Animal Care course is designed for students who want to study animal care within their broader Key Stage 4 curriculum. It provides an introduction to some of the key themes within the industry, enabling students to develop their knowledge and practical technical skills. Students will develop broad knowledge and skills relating to the animal care industry, as outlined above. This will enhance their knowledge of biology and enable them to apply that knowledge in the context of animal health. 

This course has been introduced to cater for the needs and interests of many of our students.  Situated in a rural environment, many students are involved within the agricultural industry with many post 16 providers offering subjects such as veterinary science, and equine studies.

The animal care sector is developing rapidly from a low-grade, largely manual sector into a service industry meeting the broad demands of the animal-owning and interested public. In 2019 the animal care sector is worth approximately £1 billion to the UK economy. This sector has 20,000 businesses, 78,000 employees and many volunteers. There are many different career paths and opportunities for those wishing to work in animal care. The animals involved can be small or large, domesticated or exotic, and the work can be in sub-sector areas such as animal welfare, business, science and wildlife conservation. 

Study of this sector at Key Stage 4 will complement GCSE study through providing an opportunity for practical application alongside conceptual study. There are also strong opportunities for post-16 progression in this vital sector. 

Cultural Capital

In order to make Animal Care memorable, students are invited to attend visits to local attractions, such as Exmoor zoo.  Other students are able to undertake work experience within other attractions, such as Combe Martin Dinosaur park, where a whole host of animals are looked after.  Visiting zoo keepers also bring other exotic animals for the group to study.  We also have our own small animals room so that students can actively learn how to handle and care for animals.

Curriculum Documents

Year 10 Animal Care Curriculum Plan

Year 11 Animal Care Curriculum Plan (legacy)

Click here to view the Animal Care department's SEND learner experience...


We use pupil passports and IEP documents to ensure our pupils individuals needs are known about and correct strategies & resources are used.  

The curriculum is planned to allow for best completion of assignments and external examinations. This includes opportunities for re-sit of all assignments and external examinations.  

Use of practical work & relevant trips provide links to enhance the classroom learning.  

Assessment material is supported by help sheets and extra time if required. Staff are aware of students that have exam arrangements.  

We share teaching strategies with colleagues and refer to CPD sessions.  

We link to mentoring work to support in and out of class progress  

We plan work for pupil who are in short term isolation/inclusion to maintain links to the classroom.  

Greater use of data is required to track SEND pupil progress. 

Before Each Lesson 

We produce differentiated materials and plan for 1:1 work if required.  

We plan for use of our TA if appropriate.  

Seating plans are updated based on recent changes to pupil passports or email notifications. 

We check SIMS for expected absence, regularly mark books and use to plan next lesson(s). 

Entry Routine 

All pupils are greeted outside the classroom or at the door, where possible SEND pupils are interacted with.  

Prior to entry a brief explanation of the lesson is given. Strict routines are followed each lesson start eg students books and worksheets are ready for them to individually collect as the walk in. Equipment is readily available to borrow.  

DIN is completed whilst register is taken.  

Where pupils are struggling to start the do it now task, this is noticed swiftly and we quickly support them in a positive way. 

During Teaching  

Pace is vital to support all student’s progress. Resources are provided to ensure all students are able to participate in the lesson. For some extra/extension work is available.  

Questioning and class discussion form a large part of each lesson. SEND students are encouraged to take part through the use of strategies such as turn and talk and no opt out.  

We use learning at Pilton techniques to engage all pupils; including, 100%, radar, and circulation to ensure all pupils understand the task.  

During independent tasks we circulate consistently, looking to identify misconceptions or opportunities to give 1-2-1 support.  

When unknown or new individual needs show themselves during a lesson we communicate this to SENDCo via the graduated response form.  

The end of the lesson is as structured and all work is safely collected and stored. Work completed in the class is rarely sent home. 

After Each Lesson  

Note of progress is taken to inform planning for the next lesson.  

We mark the work of SEND pupils with clear comments tailored to them.  

Discussions with colleagues about aspects of each lesson takes place to assist with the effectiveness of next lesson.  

Areas of concern are passed on appropriately: HOY/mentor, LM (leadership), SENDCO, (learning support).