Animal Care

KS4 BTEC First Award

Why should I study this subject?

This BTEC First Award is a very hands-on, practically based, vocational course designed to give an introductory overview to some of the key principles, knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the animal care sector. Any student who has a passion for animal care and is aware that caring for an animal of any species requires knowledge and dedication, will enjoy this subject.

What will I study?

Students will study animal health and develop safe animal handling skills, which is vital in order to effectively care for animals. Students will develop their knowledge as well as practical skills. The course will include regular handling and taking care of animals such as cats, chickens, hamsters, rabbits and reptiles.

How will I be assessed? (outgoing course for current students)

Four units to complete overall. Animal Health (Externally assessed) and Animal Handling (Internally assessed) are core units. The two remaining units are both internally assessed.

These are chosen from Animal Welfare, Animal Housing and Accommodation and Principles of Animal Behaviour. Students have to complete all four units to gain their qualification.

How will I be assessed? (incoming course for students September 2022 onwards)

There are three units to complete overall:

Animal Health and Welfare (Externally assessed exam worth 40%): develop biological understanding, as well as how looking after animal well-being helps maintain their strength and vigour.

Animal Handling (Internally assessed practical worth 30%): develop handling skills and understand animal behavior.

Animal Housing and Accommodation (Internally assessed practical 30%): develop understanding of housing accommodation by preparing, checking and cleaning.

What skills will I learn?

Team working, self management, independent enquiry, reflection, creative thinking and being an effective participator. How to care for, clean and handle animals, as well as what factors to consider when choosing suitable animal housing. Also what laws apply to animal welfare.

What equipment will I need?

Students will need suitable outdoor footwear (e.g. walking boots, wellingtons) and waterproof clothing for visits to animal care establishments like local farms, zoos and wildlife parks, as well as working with outdoor, onsite animals. There will be an expectation that students clean out animal housing and contribute financially towards the cost of trips, visits and guest speakers.

How will this subject develop my sense of character and culture?

Studying Animal Care will help students make informed choices when it comes to career decisions within this industry.

Animal Care will develop students’ understanding of ethical and environmental factors in relation to the animal care sector.

Where can this subject take me?

Students studying this qualification may progress on to a BTEC National (Level 3) in Animal Management, or undertake further study as an apprentice in the animal care industry. It may lead to career pathways in the veterinary industry, pet care, retail or with other animal care providers such as the RSPCA or RSPB. The course also benefits anyone that currently keeps animals, is likely to be involved in farming or keep pets in the future.

Where can I find out more?

What other subjects would compliment my learning in this qualification?

The Curriculum Team

Mrs H Linley
Subject Leader of Child Development
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