Sample Paper on Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child


Children aged between 5 and 12 years old are often introduced into the social world through events such as schooling. In essence, the larger social world allows a child to establish friendships to address their physical, social, and mental needs. The children between the age of 5 and 12 are at a critical time in which they develop self-confidence and participate in myriad activities essential for their development.

Physical Assessments

The physical assessments considerably vary between school-age children. These children have different smooth and strong motor skills in addition to varying coordination, endurance, balance, and physical attributes like height and weight.  Per Durlak et al. (2011), at the age of 6 years, a child begins to show a sense of body image and secondary sexual characteristics. In essence, between the age of 5 and 12 girls start developing breast, under arm, and pubic hair while the boys contend with growth of pubic hair and the development testicles and penis.

Since different children depict different characteristics during assessment, it is imperative to modify the assessment criteria to evaluate a child’s development. The new approaches can encompass the assessment of motor skills in which fine motor skills relate to ability of a child to writer neatly, dress appropriately, and accomplish different chores like washing dishes vary greatly. In addition, the assessment can be customized to examine how a child uses his or her special senses of vision and hearing. Moreover, the new assessment criteria can examine social skills and behavior responsible for relationship building at different ages or development stages.

Development Stages of Child (5-12 Years)

The child under examination is a 6-year old girl that depicts different development milestones divided into physical, cognitive, emotional, social, language, sensory, and motor development. Regarding physical development, the child has started developing first molars and tends to lose baby teeth. Per Zembar & Blume (2009), at 6 years old, children often add more weight and increase in height. Hence, the child under assessment has added weight by more than 3 kg and a height of 6 cm since her last birthday. As part of the cognitive development, the child is capable of telling her age, expresses herself using words, and is learning to write. Further, the emotional development of the child involves playing using imaginations and fantasies, expects parents to play with her, prefers playing with girls, and demonstrates a sense of humor. With regard to language development, the child is capable of describing her favorite shows and cartoons on TV, spells her name, and reads some simple world learnt at school. As part of sensory and motor development, the child is able to play by controlling major muscles and can catch a ball thrown at her.

Application of Developmental Theory

The Piaget theory can be utilized to assess the development of a 6-year old girl. The theory affirms that children go through specific developmental stages based on their intellectual abilities and established relationships (Saghir et al., 2016). Therefore, the explanation is offered based on the cognitive capabilities of the specific child and relationships she has already established. In the case of a 6-year old girl, schooling activities that bring significant social changes to the child is used to gain cooperation and to enhance the assessment process. The potential findings are anchored on the Piaget theory focusing on social relationships. Foremost, the child freely relates with other people, including parents, teachers, and peers. Second, the intellectual ability at the age of 6 years only allows the child to express herself using vocabularies. Perhaps, the single use of vocabulary makes it difficult for the child to understand the logic behind events and experience difficulties trying to express them. Piaget theory emphasizes on the intellectual ability of children as the foundation for learning. Hence, the child demonstrates personification in which she tends to learn by giving human characteristics to objects around her.


The children aged between 5 and 12 often demonstrate conspicuous developmental milestones. The middle childhood stage is known to exert myriad changes in a child’s life. By the time a child reaches the ages between 5 and 12 years, the child can confidently dress him or herself, the child can catch a ball thrown competently using his or her hands. Consequently, a child demonstrates independence between the ages of 5 and 12 due to a cognitive and social development supported by Piaget’s theory.



Durlak, J., Weisberg, R., Dymnicki, A., Taylor, R. & Schellinger, K. (2011). The Impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405–432.

Saghir, A., Hussain, A., Ayesha, B., Khadija, S. & Misbah, M. (2016). Play and cognitive development: Formal operational perspective of Piaget’s theory. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(28), 72-79.

Zembar, M. & Blume, L. (2009). Middle childhood development: A contextual approach. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Merrill/Pearson.