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- Identify the current legal requirements covering those working with children.
Kindegartens, childminders, preschools, schools must be guided after Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which is required by OFSTED.
The EYFS requirements includes:
- the seven areas of learning and development;
- the early learning goals which must be achieved by the end of Reception school;
- the assessment requirements for assessing young children to ascertain their achievements and how and when practitioners have to discuss children's progress with their parents.
In the EYFS there are outcomes for each Area of Learning (ELG) which children have to achieve according to their age. I'll write few goals for each area:
1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development – children must be support and encourage to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others, to understand their feelings, to have confidence in their own abilities.
Early Learning goals are:
- to be confident and enjoying playing in group;
- to form a good relationship with teachers and children;
- to work as a part of a class: take turns, sharing, nice behaviuor...
- to be interested and motivate to learn.
2. Communication and Language – involves giving children opportunities to express themselves, to listen and speak in different situations. Early Learning goals are:
- interact with others, taking turns in conversation;
- use talk to express their feelings;
- listen and repeat words, phrases.
3. Literacy- this goal aims to provide children with a large range of poems books and other reading materials and we have to encourage them to look in the books, to read and to write. The Early goals are:
- to hold book in right way and to turn pages;
- to explore sounds, words and phrases;
- to retell what they have read;
- to link sounds to letters of the alphabet.
4. Mathematics – children must be provided with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in describing shapes, spaces, measures, counting, using numbers, to understand the concept between “big” and “small” , “short” , “long” , “heavy” , “light”...
- to notice shapes and patterns in pictures
- to represent numbers using fingers, sticks or other objects;
- to show an interest in representing numbers, shapes.
5. Understanding the World – this area involves to guide children to understand the world and community they live in through opportunities to explore, observe the environment, places, people, technology. The Early Learnings gols are:
- to ask questions about why things happen and how to work;
- to notice detailed features of objects in their environment;
- to match parts of objects that fit together;
- to understand and to know how things are used in different ways.
6. Expressive arts and design – involves providing children with a wide rage of media and materials to explore and play with it, as well to share their ideas, thoughts and feelings through a variety of art, dance, music movement, design and technology. For this area few goals are:
- to sing songs, to make music and dance and then to experiment with ways of changing them;
- being imaginative using what they have learned about media and materials in original ways;
- to express their feelings, thoughts through music, paint, craft.
7. Physical development – involves helping and encouraging children to be active and interactive and to improve their skills of coordination, manipulation and movement. As well we have to encourage children for healthy food choice. Children's goals must be:
- move with control and safety in large or small movements;
- handle tools, objects, build towers from blocks;
- walk around, under, over, climbing equipment;
- children have to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs such as: dressing/undressing, washing hands/face, going to the toilet independently.
- Understand the need for valuing individuality and how this can be supported in the child care setting.
Usually in the setting there are children from different cultural backgrounds and all settings requires Children act 1989 which take account of children's religion, cultural background, racial origin and linguistic background. All children have the right to a cultural identity and settings should recognise, respect and value the cultural identity of that child.
Children learn quickly though playing, images, stories, songs that why practitioners should promote in the setting with positive images of all people, reflecting the wider society. Also, we have to ensure that people are shown in a positive light.
For children, to understand diversity of society, one of the activity is to collect baby dolls from different ethnicities or to add to the doll house a ramp or a dollwith a wheelchair or crutches.
Another way to support children to understand diversity is to ensure the dressing corner with clothes from different ethnicities. As well we can use images that can encourage positive discussion and perception of the world.
I'm working in Jewish setting and we have a topic “Festivals of light” which we discuss about different celebrations around the world and we have different activities according to these festivals. Below I will write a weekly planning for this topic for three areas of development.
Personal, social, emotional development
Expressive and design
Introducing the topic, circle time, talking about different celebrations around the world (Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali)
Climbing steps to decorate the classroom with decorations.
To make globes=liquid glue+glitter
Talking about different people celebrating different festivals. Who is celebrating from our class Chanukah, Christmas?
Holding hands each other and dancing in the circle.
Painting big candles= candle shape+yellow paint
How do we celebrate this festival in our own family?
Dressing up and undressing with festivals clothes.
Making Christmas tree=print circles on tree shape
Talking about giving presents to our friends, be nice, kind with each other.
Wrap presents with colourful paper.
Decorating gift boxes with stickers
We make a summary of the topic.
Party! Moving whole body: stamp feet, claps hands, twist, turn around, jump.
fireworks=on black paper=paint=cotton sticks
But respecting and valuing individuality is not just respecting children's culture, also including children with special needs. All children have a right to a high quality childcare provision that meets their individual needs. And as a practitioner, we have to identify and remove the environmental barriers, for example: in consultation with child's parents, practitioners need to find out what lightings is good for a child with visual impairment. Or if a child uses crutches to move, the furniture in the setting should be altered to a better position to be more space and to put fewer activities in the same time but to be changed more frequently. Or if a child, or even a parent who uses wheelchair cannot get in the setting, a ramp need be built from concrete.
3.3 Identify the benefits of consistency with regard to positive and negative behaviour.
Disciplining children take dedications and effort. Children's character and their behaviour are forming from a very early age and consistency is the key to managing positive and negative behaviour. If we are offering positive consequences for good behaviours will encourager them to continue to have that behavior. But if we will provide negative consequences for misbehaviours will discourage the child to do that again. Also, consequences work best when applied immediately. Children understand better when they receive immediate feedback for their negative or positive behaviors.
There are few points to encourage children's good behavior:
- To be a good role model- children usually copies adult's actions;
to show and say how we feel- we have to tell honestly how his behaviour affect us;
- to listen and communicate with children to understand their needs, to explain to them our expectations;
- to make the child feeling important- to ask him for help (“Please, can you help me to tidy up the toys”) and then to praise him.
Another strategies to promote a positive behaviour are:
- Rewards systems-works well for young children, to help them manage their behaviors. We can use sticker charts which it should be displayed prominently in the classroom. For older children, sticker chart can work in another way: for example, if they earned three stickers they can have their favorite activity.
- Praise-is effective strategy which increase positive behaviors. Children love to get attention from adults and is good to let them know that we noticed how they are playing independently, waiting patiently, getting along with others or other positive behaviors.
- Positive reinforcement- is a technique of behavior modification that is used to encourage good behavior. Positive reinforcement doesn't need to be a clear item, can be:
giving a hug;
giving a high five;
or telling to another adult while the child is listening how proud you are of child's behavior.
- One of the best ways to provide a positive behavior is to allow children to help build the consequences if the rules are broken.
Children are adept at pushing boundaries and it's teacher responsibility to set the boundaries and to say “no” when children exhibit negative behaviors. It's very important to explain with a normal tone of voice to a child why they shouldn't repeat the behavior and teaching them how to behave. If they are pushing too much the boundaries, as adult, we have to apply immediately a negative consequence to deter them from repeating mishbehaviour.
As I said, consistency is a key of addressing negative behaviour. As long we remind to the child of the consequences all the time they behave negatively, they soon will learn what is acceptable and what is not?
- Time-out is a good strategy for children's disciplines and should be used as a consequence and not a punishment. The time out is effective because removes the child from all reinforcements that may encourage mishbehaviors and we need to have a specific place for time-out free of distractions and can provide to child with opportunity to calm down and to think at his behavior. We can use a timer and usually oneminute per oneyear of age.
3.4 Discuss ways in which conflict can be managed between children, and children and adults.
Many children have difficulty with sharing, taking turns or finding appropriate ways to get their unmet needs. In this situation, teacher's issue is how to manage a child's behaviour and to resolve a conflict. Is important in the nursery to be set few rules for children's mishbehaviors and to ensure that are clear. Is good to involve children in making the rules and we have to explain why the rules are important.
Usually children in nurseries have misbehavior such as bite or kick other children because of frustration or curiosity, but it can be it can be painful for children and adults involved. In this situation we have to:
- hug the child who was hurt and to give the minimal attention to the child who the aggressor;
- explain in simple words/sentences that biting/kicking is not good;
- and reminds to the child that he has to use words to ask for what he wants, rather than using aggression.
There are few simple steps that adults can use immediately to assist children and learning them how to resolve a conflict:
- Help children to calm down- children when are faced with conflict, they can be full of emotions and not ready to cooperate with adult that why adult first need to speak with child using a calm voice;
- Discuss wants and needs- all children who are implicated in a conflict need to have a chance to say what they want or what they need. We have to listen the child and to approve nodding, to say short phrases or repeating what he said: “You really wanted that toy, but Jack had it in his hands?”
- Define the problem- after the child had a chance to say what he wants or what he needs, you will have to make this “want” or “need” into one neutral statement saying: “Hmmm, I see that both off you want to play with the same toy”
- Help the child to find a solution- in many cases it can be more ease just to tell children what they should do, but it's not an opportunity to learn them how to solve their own problems. Children can learn this skill just from trial and error. That why we have to support and encourage children to find solutions to solve a conflict and both parties should be involved coming with solutions.
- Take a look at the solution- not all solutions that children suggest can work, and if a problem will continue adult need to begin the process over. Adult need to stay nearby to support the solution and praise the children when problem was solved: “Well done children, I see you found a way to take turns with the toy”.
- Department for Education. (2012). The Learning And Development Requirements. Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. 1 (2), 3-10.
- Department of education. (2012). Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. The learning and development requirements. 1 (1), 6-31.
- Innis, G. (2013). Young children can learn how to resolve conflicts with adult guidance and support. Available: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/young_children_can_learn_how_to_resolve_conflicts_with_adult_guidance_and_s. Last accessed 30.10.2014.
- Morin, A (2014). Discipline Kids with Positive and Negative Consequences. Available: http://discipline.about.com/od/disciplinebasics/a/Discipline-Kids-With-Positive-And-Negative-Consequences.htm. Last accessed 29.10.2014.
- Raising Children Network. (2006). Encouraging good behaviour. Available: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/encouraging_good_behaviour.html. Last accessed 29.10.2014.
- Road, A. (2004). OBSERVING CHILD BEHAVIOUR. Available: http://www.newchildcare.co.uk/page6.html. Last accessed 01.11.2014.
- Smith,M. (2010). Valuing and respecting individuality. Develop positive relationships with children, young people and others involved in their care. 3.5 (3), 154-157.
- Thornes, N.. (2012). Basic Behaviour Theory and Techniques. Analysing the Antecedents and Consequences of a Behaviour. 5 (1), 50-64.
- Walker, M(2011). Children&young people's workforce. 3rd ed. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd.. 52-63.
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