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Study Notes

Introduction to Growth & Development

BTEC National

Last updated 29 Sept 2019

Growth and development occur across the life stages and focuses on the physical, intellectual, emotional and social changes that humans go through.


Growth predominately concentrates on the physical changes that take place across different parts of the body. Growth is measured using a range of intervals such as height and weight. Centile charts are used to measure changes in growth. Different centile charts are used to measure the height and weight of boys and girls because of the difference in growth patterns, for example, boys tend to be heavier and taller.


Development refers to the orders of sequence that humans follow and mainly focuses on the attainment of skills and abilities.

The main developmental milestones are physical, social, intellectual and emotional.

Health and Social Care professionals use growth and developmental milestones in order to measure whether an individual is in line with the expectation of others at the same age. If an infant or child is not meeting a specific milestone, such as an infant still not being able to sit up by 12 months, this may indicate a developmental condition that requires further investigation.

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