Working with childrens

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In this assignment I decided to plan two individual activities, one with a group of three to four children and the other for a child to work on their own, demonstrating and evaluating the lesson. In order to do this assignment I have to provide an ethic statement see appendix 7 for ethical statement. The group learning activity is an art lesson demonstrated for the whole class by myself, during Planning Preparation and Assessment (PPA) cover with three other learning support staff assisting me, with the other groups of children in the classroom, See appendix 2for Art Plan and evaluation. The duration time for the art activity will be for 60 minutes, starting from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. After the art session we will meet back on the carpet to share the feedback of the lesson. The children with whom I felt it was necessary to carry out this learning activity with are children with special educational needs (SEN) with severe learning difficulties, behavioural problems, and speech and language difficulties. See appendix 1for Case study on each child

For my individual activity I am going to work with Child B on a one to one Numeracy activity supporting him with having an understanding of numbers odds and evens, taking a simple one step at a time counting on in Two's up to Fifty. See appendix 3for Numeracy Plan and evaluation. The duration for this numeracy activity will be for 30 minutes, starting from 10.00am to 10.30am the activity will take place in the reading bay outside of the classroom. See appendix 5 for Numeracy Observation and appendix 4 for Hundred square worksheet. Dare and O'Donovan (2009 pg88) says "School Action is the first stage of intervention aimed at helping a child who is experiencing learning difficulties" Child B is on a school action plan (SA) for his Literacy and Numeracy, child B is 7years old, the main area of weakness shows in his handwriting not forming his letters clearly. Child B has adult support during literacy to help him to try and focus on improving his writing and spelling, in Numeracy child B can confidently work with numbers to 30. Recently child B has been placed on a school action plus (SA+) for behavioural issues losing his temper and not showing any progress in some areas with his set targets for Literacy and Numeracy. See appendix 9 for Child B IEP. Rose and Howley (2007pg29) states "School action plus come into play if a pupil continues to present concerns despite interventions or procedures implemented through school action." Child B will also be participating in the next art activity group with child A and child C. See appendix 6 for Art observation.

I have chosen to work with child A in a small art activity group. The art activity allows him to calm down and express himself through art in a comfortable environment. He is a 7years old who is on the school action plan for behavioural issues and areas of concern he finds it difficult to settle down and concentrate with any class activity given to him. See appendix 8 for Child A IEP. Child A is easily distracted by his peers when it comes to carpet time and sitting in a big group. Child A has targets set for his behaviour which are constantly reminding him to focus on his work task and to listen to adult instructions. Tassoni (2003pg69) highlights that "Setting targets allows us to focus on developing or improving children's particular skills". Child A has a learning mentor who works with him everyday after lunch time, for a calming down period in the art therapist room 20 minutes. According to Rose and Howley (2007pg79) "Learning mentors are often perceived by pupils as being distinctly different from teachers or other staff and are regarded as someone to whom they can speak with confidence more as a friend than a person in a position of authority".

Child C was included as part of the group art activity. Child C is also a 7year old with an Individual educational plan (IEP) he has support in all areas of the curriculum. There are areas of concern with his speech and learning child C finds it difficult to say certain sounds and words, the school has outside agencies that comes into the school. These are Speech and Language Therapist, Art Therapist and the Educational Psychologist. Through Child C doing this activity it will benefit him allowing him to interact with his peers through verbal communication whilst focusing on the task in front of him, allowing him to build confidence through conversation with out the aid of a therapist. Tassoni (2003pg101) States that "Communication is an essential part of most people's daily lives. It is used in a variety of ways, for example, to help people express their needs and to build and maintain relationships.

The curriculum (1988) states that some of the aims for children with mild or severe additional needs will help to enable the pupil to interact and communicate with a wide range of people within the school environment which includes all adults and their peers. 'Schools have a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils' (National Curriculum inclusion statement).

The children are given an opportunity to express and communicate their needs, make valued decisions when given the space to do so. They are also able to make life changing choices which will help them to function in later life example in their journey through the, classroom, adolescence and adulthood. Children with additional needs are encouraged to work towards reaching their full potential in order to achieve a positive outcome. Schools are also expected to promote the pupil's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in order to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences for life (National Curriculum inclusion statement).

An IEP includes information set up by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), class teacher, parents and teaching assistant working together for the needs of the individual child with specific educational, emotional or behavioural needs. Targets are used to pinpoint the issues and needs of the child, also their educational development. See appendix 10 for Child C IEP. Wall (2006, pg134) states "At this stage information will be collected from parents and any other professionals involved with the child and all parties, including the SENCO, will be in an informed position to suggest ways forward"

Rose and Howley (2007pg37) suggest that "It is important to identify individuals preferred learning styles, this should not limit the experiences and opportunities available to children". All children learn in different ways some children learn by taking information and processing it through their own knowledge and experience. You have children who are visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, and. tactile learners. The theorist Vygotsky (2005pg40) believed "Children solve practical tasks with the help of speech, as well as with their eyes and hands". Children have to be active listeners and have a natural desire to explore and undertake new things. Teachers need to create an interesting challenging and active learning environment to encourage the active involvement of each individual child. Children should be active listeners and not being passive listeners for long periods of time. They should be encouraged to participate in class discussions and other collaborative activities. Children should be allowed to take some control over their own learning by allowing them to make some decisions about what to learn and how. Piaget's (2005pg38) theories suggest "Children need to have control over their learning -learning how to find out constructing knowledge for themselves. This requires open-ended activities." Teachers are the enablers of a child's learning by doing several things to make it interesting and organising various types of learning environments as follows:-

* Working in groups or individually

* Group work spaces with shared resources

* Getting groups to work co-operatively

* Using self evaluation and discussion, and also to monitor their own learning.

Planning is one of the essential skills of a competent teacher. A lesson plan is a framework for a lesson and a map which shows the teacher where to start, finish and how to get there. Aims and objectives needs to be identified for each lesson. A teacher needs to know what he or she wants their class to achieve at the end of each lesson. It allows you to use differentiation for all abilities including special educational needs children (SEN). It gives the teacher the opportunity to assess and evaluate the children's learning experience, and plan the next step to help escalate their learning. See appendix 2 for Art Plan. When a teacher plans, it needs to have, some flexibility especially for the children with SEN and any other child who finds it difficult to access the whole curriculum. Support staff will be included on the curriculum planning sheet to work alongside groups or individual children with IEP's Tassoni (2003pg29) says "Planning should reflect how you differentiate the curriculum to meet all children's needs. Plans should be evaluated so that you can consider if they are meeting children's needs. Some children will need IEPs where their needs are additional or different to what is being provided".

When using inclusive strategies, the teacher has to plan carefully about where things are placed in the classroom in order for children to access the resources efficiently and effectively. Children in both class and group work needs to be seated in places due to their specific needs. Children with SEN need to be seated near to the learning support assistant to enable them to access the curriculum. Mahoney and Wheeden (1999pg51-68) argue that "Children with additional needs benefit from adult direction to engage in meaningful learning activities".

Different groupings should be used to help pupils draw on each others strengths and skills. They should be made aware about the objective of each lesson; any new and difficult vocabulary should be written up, displayed and reviewed. The children idea for new words should be written up and display.

Every Child Matters is a Government Legislation which was published in 2003. The main aim was to give all children the support they needed to:-

* Be healthy

* Stay safe

* Enjoy and achieve

* Make a positive contribution

* Achieve economic well-being.

All of this means that any organisation involved with providing service to children e.g hospitals, schools, police and voluntary groups, will be collaborating and sharing of information working together to protect children and young people from harm and help them achieve what they want in life. We as practitioners use these five aims in our place of work.

The Code of Practice for SEN's set out guidance on policies and procedure for schools to implement with their staff and Governing Bodies to enable pupils with Special Educational Needs to reach their full potential and to be fully integrated in the school community. The Code of Practice also gives guidance to enable schools to record steps taken to meet the needs of individual children once they have been identified. The SEN Code of Practice (2001,pg17) states that "Parents should be fully involved in the school-based response for their child, understand the purpose of any intervention or program of action, and be told about the parent partnership service when SEN are identified".

In my evaluation for my personal development, I showed I was capable of listening to the children and giving support when I thought they needed assistance from me. Through completing the task I have also learnt to plan and deliver a lesson to a large group of children and share my time amongst them equally. However I found that by doing the art activity with multiple children there were several draw backs to the task. One being that it was harder to do a wide and in depth analysis of each child due to my time having to be divided up for each child rather than my full attention and a full session for one child, this is why the numeracy activity with Child B allowed me to gain an in depth understanding as there was more one to one time allowing him to benefit more from the attention he gained. For more children task evaluation see appendix 5 and 6

If I did this task again I would have a more manageable group or either construct the task on an individual bases. Another possible change which would occur would be the use of fewer resources. Instead of having the resources on five separate tables, I could have a larger table and a smaller table for the SEN group. I would also simplify the tasks as of having a smaller group or just an individual will allow the task to be more suited to individual needs making it easier for all to complete.