Every child has different rate and aspect of development. Hence, it is of utmost importance to understand a childs development. It helps us to understand the social, physical, intellectual, communication and language and emotional development that an individual grows through from birth to 19years. We can divide the sequence of child's development for each age range into 5 different aspects. They are social, physical, intellectual, communication and language and emotional.
AGE 0 - 6 MONTHS:
An infant from birth cries when hungry. Gradually, he/she can recognise adults especially a mother's face and voice. He/she likes to watch their mums face or an adult's face during feeding time. He/she smiles at familiar faces and voices.
A baby just after birth sleeps most of the time and grows fast. A child by 6 months turns its head towards sound and movements. A child by this age starts to kick legs with movements gradually becoming smoother. Also, a baby starts to develop their hand - eye co-ordination. He/she learns to roll from side on to back. A child enjoys finger play.
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A baby starts to recognise its parents by the age of 2 months. An infant reacts to familiar voice rather than unfamiliar voices. A baby observes the moving objects and stares at bright colours. Baby tries to explore by putting things into mouth.
Communication and language development:
By 3 months an infant makes a variety of happy sounds. A baby starts to respond to variety of music and other sounds. A baby tries to imitate the movement of the lips of an adult.
A baby at this age, usually very attached to its mother. If handled by unfamiliar methods and care, a baby may get upset. In this age, a child requires a familiar routine and also requires the security and the reassurance.
AGE 6 - 12 MONTHS:
Baby of this age tries to communicate and respond to familiar people. By 9 months, a child is very wary of strangers. Child at this age starts to see self as separate from others.
A baby starts to sit without support. By this age a baby may begin to crawl, stand and cruise while holding on to furniture. Baby learns o hold objects and transfer objects from one hand to other. It develops pincer grasps using thumb and index finger from about 6 months. At this age a baby drops things deliberately and looks for it. A baby enjoys water play.
A baby recognises certain sound and objects. At this age, a baby shows interest to toys and picture books. He/she can enjoy various games especially water play. He/she observes people closely and tries to imitate their actions. He/she processes information through images.
Communication and language development:
A baby enjoys looking at picture. He/she also enjoys music. A baby responds with a smile and starts babbling and sometimes speaks to their mums.
By this age, a baby can differentiate between individuals and shows clear preferences and familiar adults. He/she can show clear likes and dislikes.
AGE 1 - 2 YEARS:
A baby can respond to simple instructions. He/she wants to help adults and enjoy imitating their activities. It helps develop a sense of own identity. He/she plays alongside other children of own age for some time. He/she shows egocentric behaviour.
A child becomes very mobile at this age. Between 12 to 15 months most children will start to walk and some can even go upstairs (with supervision). He/she can feed themselves. He/she has matured pincer grasps and can scribble with crayons. He/she can make a small tower by putting bricks/ blocks. He/she can wave good-bye, point or make noises to indicate their wants.
A baby can recognise objects from pictures and books. He/she matches basic colours and start to match shapes. He/she can follow one step instructions. He/she show their preferences and start to make choices. He/she shows lots of curiosity and can concentrate for longer. He/she can do very simple puzzles.
Communication and language development:
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By the age of 2, a child could be using 150-200 words. He/she can participate in songs and rhymes; enjoy listening to stories. He/she repeats words said by adults. He/she begins to ask questions like what and why.
A child is emotionally dependent on familiar adults. He/she likes to explore environment and is less frightened now when placed in new situations. The child reacts very strongly when he/she is not allowed to do a particular activity. Sometimes, He/she has mood swings and can be very clinging while some other time could be very independent.
AGE 2 - 3 YEARS:
Children's first friends are their parents and carer. He/she learns from them how to play and communicate with others. Babies and toddlers notice others and become fascinated by them. At around 2 years he/she is likely to play alongside with each other. By the age of 2years, most children have a feeling of identity and interestingly this coincides with their becoming more assertive. By the age of 3years, a child learns to play more of co-operative play.
A child uses a potty and stays dry more reliably. He/she can come down stairs in upright position one stair at a time. He/she can climb well on play apparatus. He/she learns to paddle a tricycle. He/she can undress self but need some help to dress self. He/she has more control on holding crayons and paint brush. He/she can kick a ball and learns to jump. A child of this age can travel around, under, over, and through balancing and climbing equipment.
A child can identify facial features and main body parts. He/she can follow two step instructions and can understand what is big and small. He/she starts to understand basic concepts of time and can match the colours and shapes. He/she becomes aware of what is right and wrong. He/she gathers information through language rather than image. He/she enjoys imaginative play and can concentrate long on creative activities.
Communication and language development:
He/she tries to communicate more with adult form of speech. A child's vocabulary increases to about 300 words and can deliver simple messages.
A child begins to understand the feelings of others. He/she is very curious about their environment but have no sense of danger. He/she could not understand about people's pain at this age.
AGE 3 - 5 YEARS:
A child starts socialising with people, learns to play with other children. He/she can show some friendship preferences but these are mainly based on play interests. He/she can use language more and more effectively with others. He/she can be confident in doing their own things as they develop their self help skills. He/she observes closely adults and tries to imitate them. He/she learns to share group possessions at play group or nursery but basically he/she is still egocentric.
In this period a child's movements become more co-ordinated and smoother. A child by now starts to make various complex movements as the bones in the body starts to harden or have now formed. A child at this age remains clean and dry most of the time but could have some accidents. Child improves gross motor skills. He/she is more confident while jumping, riding a tricycle. Child at this age can throw a bowl but still unsure and inaccurate while catching the ball. By the age of 5years, a child is able to use variety of large equipments. A child improves his/her fine motor skills. A child's drawings are more detailed and representative.
By the age of 3 years, a child imitates adult's speech which can be understood by the strangers. A child becomes very inquisitive and asks lots of question. He/she knows parts of body. A child learns many things through play, tries to experiment with colours, shapes and texture. He/she can follow two or three step instructions. He/she has a better attention span at this age and hence, enjoys more complex activities. He/she learns to share and accepts ideas in group activities. He/she expresses strong opinions of likes and dislikes.
Communication and language development:
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A child's vocabulary improves a lot. By this age, speech is fluent and the child is grammatically correct in using descriptive language. He/she can confidently form short sentences and uses language to communicate his/her own ideas. He/she enjoys constantly with people whom they know well.
A child is aware of the feelings and needs of others. He/she learns to comfort others who are upset, hurt or unwell. He/she can show occasional outburst when tired, stressed or frustrated. He/she can use language to express feelings and wishes and sometimes argues with other children.
AGE 5 - 7 YEARS:
A child of this age likes to play mainly with child of same sex. A child is now aware of his/her own qualities. He/she tends to be fairly positive about him/her own skills.
By this age, brain has developed further and is able to process information quickly. A child of this age is faster at dressing. As a result of improved co-ordination a child is more confident. By the age of 6 - 7 years, a child is able to sew simple stitches and ties or unties laces. All these prove that he/she has improved pincer grasp.
A child of this age can differentiate between various shapes and sizes. He/she can match symbols, letters and numbers. By the age of 6 years, ability to write develops. He/she can read simple books, able to count up to 100. By this age, he/she understands the concept of conversation.
Communication and language development:
By this age, a child can communicate well with strangers. He/she is very fluent by now and can use correct and descriptive language. He/she has a wide range of vocabulary and can make up his/her own story.
A child becomes more independent and self-motivated. By this age, he/she is more sociable and friendly with others. He/she likes to play with same sex children and able to share. But, he /she need help in resolving issues. A child enjoys taking responsibility and helping others.
AGE 7 - 12 YEARS:
At this age, a child starts enjoying company of other children and loves to be in a group. They are often same sex although some play activities will encourage boys and girls to play together. Now he/she is less dependent on close adults for support.
A child's physical skill develops a lot and sometimes depends on his/her interests. He/she has more fine motor skills. Puberty starts for many girls from the age of 10 years and finishes by the age of 15 years and during this period their body undergoes various physical changes. For boys, this usually starts at around 13/14 years and finishes at around 16 years. A child develops hand eye co-ordination which leads to proficiency in climbing, running, balancing and skipping.
7 years onwards, most children are fluent speakers, readers and writers of their language. At this age, a child can read more complex texts and develops writing skills. At the age of 7 - 12 years, a child has great reasoning ability and can apply logic to solve problems. He/she has longer attention span so he/she enjoys various board games and computer games. His/her preferences for subject increase. He/she starts dealing with abstract ideas.
Communication and language development:
A child becomes highly verbal and enjoys making up and telling jokes. He/she has a wide range of vocabulary and can use more complex sentence structures. He/she can share ideas and feelings in more depth. He/she can share a very detailed account of past events and anticipate the future. He/she can listen to follow and execute more complex instructions.
A child is now aware of wider environment. He/she becomes very proud of his/her won achievements and sometimes can be very competitive. Usually, boys friendships are likely to be of group based while girls prefer closer but fewer friends.
AGE 12 - 19 YEARS:
Young people want to spend more time with each other than with their family. Individual friendship is important for them and along with they enjoy being into a group. Sometimes, it can be seen young people can be strongly motivated by role models in media. They participate in teen games and enjoy group activities including clubs.
By the age of 14/15 years, most girls have completed the process of puberty. Most girls have already started their menstrual cycle and become regular by the age of 16 years. For boys, the process of puberty has already started and for most finishes at around the age of 16 years. The body of a young people undergoes change in appearance because of many physical developments during this period.
Young people are able to understand more complicated things in mathematical and scientific process. They extend their writing skills and can develop more creative skills and can understand other people's point of view. They have a very high level of concentration. They develop logical thinking ability and may enjoy practising their new intellectual and verbal skills through debating either formally of informally.
Communication and language development:
Young people have extensive and varied vocabulary. They can use appropriate language styles, vocalises their ideas and feelings in greater depth. They can justify their own views and ideas. They enjoy more complex texts including fiction, poetry and factual books.
At this age, young people are very sensitive to their own feelings. Emotional maturity is constantly switching on between childish needs and adult desires. They are confident in their own skills and ideas. They have a good understanding of complex issues. Young people can find themselves caught between their desire to remain in a group but reluctant to adopt group's values and behaviour.
1.b Explain the difference between sequence of development and rate of development and why the difference is important
Difference between sequence of development and rate of development
To find the difference between sequence of development and rate of development we need to understand the basic meaning of 'sequence' and 'rate'. The sequence of development is a process where an event is followed one after another and achieves a level of succession with a series of changes or growth that a process undertakes normally to improve on that process leading to a matured state. It is related to the previous events and normally improves on the process. For example: A baby goes through different phases before he starts walking. First he just kick legs with movements, learns to roll on and then he tries to sit that may take 6-7 months. After that he learns to crawl and stand and gradually learns walking holding parent's hands and finally they reach the ultimate goal i.e, they can walk independently.
Rate of Development is a quantity of something inÂ comparisonÂ with a unit of another thing. It is related to the development that occurs at a definite age and at a definite time. Each and every child has a different rate of development although they ultimately follow more or less the same pattern of rate of development.Â For example: Some babies start walking at the age of 9 months while others may start a little late. Some babies can start making sentences at the age of 1.5 years while others can speak only a few words. But by the age of 3years, most of the children can walk independently and can speak using small simple sentences.
Importance of Differences
Children develop at different rates. This helps to monitor and expect what children can and can't do at a particular phase in their lives. In the sequence of development one must finish with one of area of development before a move on to the next one. The rate of development is the rapidity with which a child develops. These can be the speed within each phase of development or cover all the set areas in the phase. These principles run through all the areas of development from physical, social, intellectual and language no matter what the age of the child. If at all one is skipped or slow it can be a cause for concern. It will also help to plan effectively to ensure they get the attention they need, in the areas in which they find challenging.Â
PhysicalÂ developmentÂ follows a definite sequence an example of this would be that a baby would have to first learn how to hold his/her own head up before they would be able to sit with just its lower back supported.Â While the sequences are common amongst most children what often changes is theÂ rateÂ in which they develop the skills.Â It is important to recognise the difference so you can identify whereÂ childrenÂ need help or may be at risk of having a special recommendation or having a special need in or outside school.
1.c Explain how theories of development and frameworks to support development influence current practice.
Child development means the biological and psychological and emotional changes that take place within an individual since birth to the end of adolescence. It would be clear to us if we discuss the theories of development presented by Montessori, Piaget and Vyogotsky.
Montessori Method of education was developed in Italy in the early 1900 by Dr Maria Montessori. The core philosophy behind the method is that every child is unique in comparison to adults and also to other children and that their individuality must be respected throughout the educational process. Montessori was of the opinion that a child's mind is always eager to learn, explore and wants to try new things. Keeping these in mind the activities for Montessori education was designed. It involves the education of individual senses and individual muscle movements.
Jean Piaget's view of how children's minds work and develop has been enormously influential, particularly in educational theory. His particular insight was the role of maturation in children's increasing capacity to understand their world. His theory is that a child cannot undertake certain tasks until they are psychologically mature enough to do so. He proposed that children's thinking does not develop entirely smoothly. Instead, there are certain points at which it "takes off" and moves into completely new areas and capabilities. He proposed that children's thinking doesn't develop entirely smoothly; instead He saw these transitions as taking place at about 18 months, 7 years and 11 or 12 years. This has been taken to mean that before these ages children are not capable (no matter how bright) of understanding things in certain ways, and has been used as the basis for scheduling the school curriculum.
Lev Vygotsky's theory is intellectual development. His theory is that children learn new skills by being guided by cares and parents. An example of this is when a parent sings to their child and helps them clap their hands until the child can clap their hands themselves. He believes that every new scene or interaction is a learning experience to a child that he/she must be guided through until they know how to react correctly. We also give praise when children handle social interactions with good behaviour to prove that we are pleased and they have behaved appropriately.
He expressed that "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals." - Cole Michael; Vygotsky, Mind in Society : the development of higher psychological processes.
"Vygotsky felt that development was a process and saw periods of crisis in child development during which there was a qualitative transformation in the child's mental functioning. " - Carton, Aarons; Vygotsky, Collected works of L S Vygotsky 5, Child Psycholgy.
The EYFS (Early Year Foundation Stage) is a framework for all registered providers of services for children under 5, which became statutory in September 2008. It marks the first time that practitioners from all sectors of the early childhood workforce, from the head teachers of primary schools to registered childminders and after-school play-workers, have been required to observe the same guidelines relating to the education and care of young children. The framework provides statutory guidance, not only on the ways in which development and learning are to be supported within schools and settings, but on the ways in which relationships with families are to be established in support of these goals. EYFS ensures:
Children learn through play
Providers work closely through parents
Parents are kept up to date on their child's progress
The welfare learning and all round development of children with different backgrounds and levels of ability, including those with special educational needs and disabilities
The National Curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used byÂ primary and secondary schoolsÂ to ensure that every child receives a broad and balanced education. It covers type of subjects that are taught and the standards each child should achieve in each subject. The National Curriculum had a positive impact in improving practices to teach reading, writing and maths. It also ensures lifting of the level of average achievement and updating practices to improve the efficacy. The use of the curriculum also enables schools to prevent racism, reduce discrimination and promote cultural diversity.
1.d Explain how different types of intervention can promote positive outcomes for children and young people where development is not following the expected pattern.
Every child is unique and individual in nature. However, the growth and development of a child depends on a step by step progress that a child makes during a definite period. A developmental delay is defined when a child doesn't reach an expected developmental milestone. When a child has been detected by any kind of developmental delays, he or she can be promoted by different sorts of intervention to achieve the developmental goal. A child can be given support to develop his social, physical, intellectual, language and emotional development.
We can always encourage a child with socially acceptable behaviour. We could appreciate a child when he is taking turns while playing with others. Children should be encouraged to join in a team game/sports. Sometimes a child takes time to do things independently. Being an adult, we must be patient with them. Sharing books, stories, puppets with children helps them to understand ideas of different situations and also how to deal with them.
Children need opportunities for both indoor and outdoor activities to develop their physical skills. A child enjoys exploring and experiment, so that they should be encouraged to be explored and helping them to play with or without their play apparatus. We can help a child to become independent. A child can be encouraged for doing his/her everyday routines like using a spoon, getting dressed, dealing with fastening the shoe laces. While dealing with a child in indoors or outdoors we keep in our mind about a child's safety by checking the equipment the child is playing with and supervising the child whether he is using the equipment in a proper way.
Cognitive and intellectual development plays important roles in a child's development. It is an adult's responsibility to increase the child's curiosity by promoting the different sorts of books, games, posters, play equipments and toys.
Children enjoy going for an outing. They learn a lot from the environment. We can encourage them by answering the questions. A little unsure or unconfident child can gain confidence from verbal prompts or encouragement. Too much complex activities sometimes put a child off due to the frustration of not being able to do the activities. So it is always helpful for the children to do with the activities which they enjoy. Sometimes, repetition of games/activities helps them to discover different aspects of the activities. Child's intellectual skills can be developed by playing memory games with them. We can increase their concentration by presenting activities, games and stories in an interesting way. A child can always be encouraged to use their senses to experiment with different materials.
A child learns or develops his language by listening to an adult. When a child listens or whenever he is being talked he improves his language skills. A child can be talked about anything and everything. It is always advisable to use a simple sentence while talking to an infant. Sometimes, repetition is required to reinforce unknown or new vocabulary. Sharing books, stories and exchanging ideas also help to develop language skills.
Praise and encouragement always help to build self-confidence and to focus a child into which he/she is good at. Sharing resources, helping others and contributing ideas increase an interest in the pupil's efforts and achievements.
1.e Analyse the importance of early identification of speech, language and communication delays and disorders and the potential risks of late recognition.
Importance of early identification:
Speech, language and communication play a vital role in all our lives. We begin our communication development skills from birth. Speech, language and communication allow us to be social. Some children may have some speech, language and communication delays and disorders which can affect their personal, social and academic life. Sometimes some children overcome their speech and language problem by the time they enter school and some will not be able to do so. Hence, it is important to identify those children who will find it difficult to overcome language or speech problem. An adult acts as a facilitator by providing appropriate activities and experiences to enable children to develop their speech ,language and communication skills in meaningful situation Â A child can quickly fall behind if speech and language learning is delayed. Sometime, the problem can be very severe, when an individual cannot communicate at all without alternative or augmentative communication such as signs or communication aids. Early identification of speech, language and communication delay is extremely important as the chances to alleviate these problems and improving these skills are greater. Early identification helps children to conquer their communication difficulty, language and speech delays with the assistance.
The potential risk for late recognition of speech, language and communication is child's learning and development will suffer, which may affect their behaviour when they are not understood. If these delays are not identified the delay will continue and the child may suffer from lack of confidence, less able to manage their thoughts and will more than likely experience emotional problems. Other aspects of development will also be affected, e.g. cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural.Â They may struggle to keep up their views and ideas and will have trouble getting others to understand what they are trying to communicate. Many children with communication problems will go on to develop mental illness if untreated. Often underlying health and medical conditions go unnoticed and undiagnosed in children with communication problems. They would also struggle to understand what they are being told or asked them in a learning environment which may lead the child to a negative effect on their self esteem and confidence. A child will also find it difficult to form a relationship with other children and will then feel angry and could lead to behavioural problems and isolation.
1.f Explain how play and activities are used to support the development of speech, language and communication.
Play and activities are important throughout our life. These help a child to develop speech, language and communication skills.Â Play and activity encourages children to communicate and thus to practice and develop their language and communication skills. They will need to communicate with their playmates and others, so that creates a situation where they can practice and develop their language skills. In the end, it is practice that allows for the development of language skills and activity is a good way to encourage that practice.
Speech language and communication play a crucial role in children's development. Language helps an individual to express thoughts, ideas feelings emotions and information. Children can communicate through actions and gestures as well as through language. Children through their play and structured activities can communicate through verbal and nonverbal interactions. Play and activity contributes and supports child's learning .It helps them to learn discipline. Play activities enable child to impose some structure or organisation on a task, make sense of their experiences.
During play children combine many skills such as movement, thinking, attention, seeing, listening and, of course, communicating. It follows that children with a difficulty in one or more of these skills can be helped to progress through play.
Children are always using toys in different ways than we would expect - boxes can become cars to drive in to distant lands, the sand tray becomes a desert and absolutely anything can be used as a gun or a cricket bat apparently!! It would be helpful for the children if we do not try to limit the toys uses as children can learn so much during role-play - working and playing with others, different language, turn taking, problem solving, and feelings for others, decision making, knowledge exchange between their friends or grownups.
When a child is encouraged with different kinds of activities it helps them to express themselves, and feels confident enough using different materials, such as paint brush or a pencil and helps them to experiment with different playing equipments which may also help to bloom up their personality. For instance using of paint brush encourages the child to use fingers, thumbs, hands and feet to do paint printing and brings in them some innovative ideas. When a child is participating in a musical activity by singing, dancing, clapping and playing instruments he or she is developing a sense of music along with that they are coordinating their hands, feet. It promotes a positive attitude and response, developing their confidence and can be able to experiment with their own ideas and feelings. Once again the child can feel in control. Thus activity, play and games encourage the child's development, mentally and physically, so is a good thing.
1.g Evaluate the effect on children and young people of having positive relationships during period of transition.
Transition is defined as any significant period in the life or experience of a child or young person that can affect their behaviour and development. Transitions can occur different times and any time throughout an individual's life. Transition starts at a very young age of a child and passes through various forms of transitions. These can be as follows:
Emotional - affected by personal experiences like happiness, bereavement.
Physical - affected due to moving into new home, new place (town, country) and/or new school.
Intellectual - affected due to progress from nursery to infant schools or infant to junior schools.
Physiological - affected due to adolescence or puberty.
Transitions can bring a positive and also negative experience in the lives of children and young people. We do need to support a child or young people to manage transitions in their lives by sharing a good positive relationship with them.
Positive relationships are very important for our well being. Human beings are social animals, so to develop a good relationship is an extremely important step on the path to get the best out of his/her life. Being a social animal we have a natural urge to connect with other people and to belong to a social group.
The sense of getting into or belong to a group, leads one to form a good relationship with the people around them in their families, at work or school and also with their friends. The quality of relationships that one has with children and young people plays a huge effect on the way in which one works with them. Positive relationship with children and young people are important because a child can participate in a play activity or learning when he is emotionally secured and can be a very confident person in future.
When a child has a strong positive relationship, they are less likely to show unwanted disruptive behaviour. Children's developmental needs and interests become easier to plan accurately if we have a positive relationship with a child. Each child or individual is different and so, there is a need to adopt a unique way in which we could approach and communicate with them according to their age, needs and personality.
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2.a Identify the current legislation and codes of practice relevant to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity.
Every school or institute produce a range of policies which formally set out the guidelines and procedures for ensuring equality. These take account of the rights of all individuals and groups within the school. When considering the way policies work to ensure equality and inclusion, we often just think of the teaching and learning that is happening in the classroom. Policies do pay regard to the values and practice which are part of all aspects of school life. Before exploring the policies of a school, it is helpful to gain an understanding of relevant legislation and its purpose. It is important to understand the legal duties of the school. This will help one to understand their own role and responsibility to adhere to legislation and policy.
The rights of all children and young people are stated in the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The UK government ratified the treaty in 1991 and must ensure that the rights of children in the UK are protected through law. These rights are extensive and include the right to education for children and respect of their views. The following lists of relevant legislation, which forms a basis for government statutory codes of practice and frameworks and school policies and procedures relating to equal opportunity and inclusive practice.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Protects the rights of all those with disabilities. It also places a duty on schools (and other organisations) to eliminate barriers to ensure that individuals can gain equal access to services.
Disability Discrimination Act 2005
Places a duty for schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme (DES) and an Access Plan. Schools must encourage participation in all aspects of school life and eliminate harassment and unlawful discrimination
Special Educational Needs and Disability ActÂ 2001
Makes it unlawful for educational providers to discriminate against pupils with a special educational need or a disability
Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
Outlines the duty of organisations to promote good relationships between people from different races.
Human Rights Act 1998
Sets out rights of all individuals and allows them to take action against authorities when their rights have been affected
Children Act 1989
Sets out the duty of local authorities (including schools) to provide services according to the needs of children and to ensure their safety and welfare
Children Act 2004
Sets out the duty to provide effective and accessible services for all children so that every child can achieve the five outcomes set out in the ' Every Child Matters' green paper:
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economic well-being
Education Act 1996
Sets out the school's responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. The Act also requires schools to provide additional resources, equipment and / or additional support to meet their needs.
Equality Act 2010
Sets out the legal responsibilities of public bodies, including schools, to provide equality of opportunity for all citizens. This brings together nine equality laws.
To support schools in their duty to implement this legislation there are a number of statutory frameworks, codes of practice and guidelines, some of which are listed as follows.
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001
This outlines the statutory guidance for policy and the procedures and responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. It includes the levels of support which should be provided to children, depending upon their individual need.
Removing Barriers to Achievement: The government's strategy for SEN (2004)
This provides a framework for schools to remove barriers and raise achievement of children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Code of Practice on the duty to promote race equality (2002)
This is a statutory code which supports public authorities (including schools) to meet their duty set out in the Race Relations (amendment) Act. It requires all schools to produce a written race equality policy which includes information on practical ways in which schools will work to promote race equality. School policies must demonstrate that they are working towards the following outcomes of:
reducing the gap of educational achievement between different ethnicÂ groups
improving relationships between different racial groups
improving the behaviour of pupils
promoting greater involvement of parents and the community
ensuring that staff working in the school reflect cultural diversity of society
an admissions policy which does not discriminate.
The policy must also include the strategies that will be used to monitor the difference that policy makers to individuals and the school.
Removing barriers to achievement: the government's strategy for SEN (2004)
This document sets out the government's vision for the education of children with special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities. The principles included are the need for:
removal of barriers
delivery of improvements through partnerships across services.
Disability Equality Scheme and Access Plan
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 builds on the 1995 Act by requiring all schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme (DES). The DES must set out ways that schools promote equality of opportunity and promote positive attitudes towards pupils, staff and others with disabilities. In addition there must also be an Access Plan. This plan must identify how discriminatory barriers are removed. For example:
an improvement to the physical environment, such as ramps, lifts, room layout, lighting
providing information in different ways for children with a disability, such as audio, pictorial, larger print.
Many schools have a mission statement which sets out the commitment of the school toward inclusion and equality of opportunity. You may have read this on your school's website or in correspondence. There must also be written policies, designed to reflect the rights and responsibilities of those within the school environment. Policies should also provide guidance for staff and visitors to the school on ways to ensure inclusiveÂ practice. There may be a number of separate policies or they may be combined. Policies must include ways that schools work in relation to:
equality of opportunity/inclusive practice
gifted and talented pupils
special educational needs
disability and access.
Policies are developed in response to legislation, codes of practice and statutory frameworks. The policies must include the different ways in which schools promote the rights and equality of opportunity for children and young people. There is now a greater focus on the difference that legislation has made to individuals and groups within the school. Schools must monitor the strengths and any weaknesses in policy.
Legislation is frequently amended in response to outcomes, so it is important that the practitioners are familiar with up-to-date policies and procedures within their own work environment. Hence, the development of legislation, policies and practice should be considered as a cycle and a dynamic process.
2.b Explain the importance of promoting the rights of all children and young people to participation and equality of access
All children have the right to access a broad and balanced curriculum irrespective of their background, race, culture, gender, additional need or disability.
Participation of all children and young people always help in raising achievement and promote good relationships. Hence, it is always useful to promote the policies on inclusion and equality of opportunity.
Promoting equality of access to the curriculum will maximise the personal achievement of children and young people. Equal opportunity not only means treating pupils the same, but also ensuring that the curriculum meets the individual needs of all pupils. This involves understanding the obstacle such that intervention strategies, such as additional support, can be put into place at an early stage before any children fall too far behind. Hence, high expectations from all children are fundamental to raise their levels of achievement.
Participation involves everyone within the school and should provide opportunities to talk to children and their parents about all aspects of the school and the curriculum. This may include the development and the review of school policies. Participation can be achieved formally through student councils and parents' meetings. Also, children and young people can be asked to express about their ideas on how they learn best, what works for them and what could be improved.
Developing a sense of identity
Schools must recognise and support all pupils' access to everything that is happening in the school. This will promote a sense of belonging and self-esteem. Children and young people feel valued for who they are and their contributions, when they are able to participate fully. Children and young people must also have the opportunity to become independent learners. Children feel to be more motivated and achieve their full potential when they are able to make own choices and have control of their own learning. This gives children a feeling of self-worth and well-being.
2.c Explain the importance and benefits of valuing and promoting cultural diversity in work with children and young people
Culture refers to a shared way of life of a particular group of people or community or nation. It includes shared customs, beliefs, thoughts, arts, language, music and social activity or ritual. Culture gives groups of people in our society their identity. Recognising and promoting the cultural diversity of individuals and groups within the school will enrich learning and promote the knowledge and understanding of all pupils. Learning about other culture also allows kids to derive a deeper interest in their own culture. Having people belonging to diverse backgrounds, nations and races is always advantageous to organisations belonging to different sectors of the economy. Talking from the educational point of view, diversity in terms of nationality of students and subjects taught can improve the educational system.
Where cultural diversity is only recognised through posters, or at only particular times of the year through festivals, it could be viewed only as a symbolic effort. Promoting an understanding of cultural diversity will help to prevent stereotyping and reduce prejudice and discrimination.
It is important to understand the cultural diversity of the pupils within the school. One will then be able to help pupils to make sense of their learning by making connections to their own lives. The role may include providing pastoral support to individual children. Understanding and taking account of their background and culture is essential for one to build effective relationships and provide support.
One may work with children whose home language is not English, particularly if the person him/herself is bilingual. It is important to celebrate the bilingual or multilingual skills of pupils. Schools do have a policy in place which states how to ensure inclusive practice, including the additional support for pupils who need to improve their English.
The diverse cultures in society should be recognised and reflected throughout the curriculum. For example, incorporating music, foods, stories and drama from a range of cultures will contribute to a rich curriculum. Children welcome experiencing food, music or dance forms that reflect their own family and neighbourhood experiences. Early childhood is a good time to offer opportunities that enable children to stretch beyond the familiar. But again it is important that experiences help children understand that there are different ways to meet basic needs like food and drink. Every culture has some kind of traditional cuisine. Children can learn to appreciate cultural diversity in styles of art, craft, music and dance. All opportunities need to be well grounded in positive pride for the stylesÂ common in every child's own background. This proves that we are not only valuing the culture of groups but also supporting all pupils to explore and understand cultures which are different from their own.
2.d Analyse the impact of prejudice and discrimination on children and young people
Prejudice and discrimination can only have negative effects on children and young people. People working in schools should be aware that children can experience prejudice and discrimination. Lack of knowledge and understanding of diversity is the reason behind prejudice and discrimination. It is widely accepted that discrimination is the action, while prejudice is the thought.Â
Prejudice is learned at a very young age from parents, other children and people. By about 4 years of age, children are aware of differences among people, primarily in characteristics like appearance, language and names, but later they are aware of religious and cultural distinctions also. Children begin to define and identify themselves through their understanding of these personal differences. Sometimes with their little understanding they try to label about others. This sort of things results into twisted views of the youngsters, and they may startÂ to deny and overlook the common, universal human elements and traits that would bring people together. As a result, intolerance may develop in place of friendship.
When people demonstrate prejudice, they can even go on to label children. A label may be given to an individual or group. It happens when a particular characteristic or label is given as a result of prejudices. For example, a group of children who receive additional support with numeracy or reading may be labelled as the 'slow' group. Boys may be expected to be active and girls are calm and quiet. Prejudice and labelling can often lead to discrimination.
Discrimination means when children do not receive equality of opportunity. Some individuals or groups are more likely to experience discrimination. This may happen because of their race, culture, social background, sexual orientation, special educational needs or disability.
Apart from affecting academic progress of children, discrimination can negatively impact their overall health and well-being. When children or young people feel they are being discriminated against they may experience:
loss of self-esteem, self value and confidence
lack of motivation
fear of rejection
isolated and withdrawn
feel stressed to cope
Discrimination among children has a profound negative impact on their self-esteem and self-worth. They tend to suffer from inferiority complex and keep themselves aloof of the people around them. Prejudice and discrimination can undermine the self-esteem and self-confidence of those being ridiculed and make them feel terrible, unaccepted and unworthy.Â They often spend their time alone afraid of being discriminated and insulted. They tend to opt from participating to class discussions afraid to commit mistakes or think that their ideas are wrong and again, will be another ground for insult and discrimination.
2.e Evaluate how own attitudes, values and behaviour could impact on work with children and young people
People working in the school have a legal duty to protect the rights of children and young people. Hence, it is important that one examines his/her own attitudes and values critically and to consider how these may impact on the way one work with children.
An individual's background, upbringing and experiences can have an effect on attitudes towards individuals and groups, so it is important to recognise these. Personal prejudices may lead to discriminatory practice. However, this can be overcome through developing an understanding of diverse groups in society and children and young people attending the school from different groups. One can overcome these by finding out about the different religious beliefs and cultures of the children they are working with and by knowing about any special educational needs or disabilities. It is important that one shouldn't make assumptions about children and young people. It is then important to find out about their backgrounds, interests, abilities and individual needs. This will help to provide more effective, appropriate and personalised support to the children and young people.
Hence, the following attitudes and behaviour of all individuals dealing with children and young people in the school should have a positive impact:
Avoiding prejudices and fixed expectations and promoting positive values and attitudes;
Learning about the different groups represented in the school community and use knowledge of diversity to facilitate the services provided;
Understanding how difference influence learning and behaviour of students, families, teachers, and oneself;
Engage in critical reflection to identify one's own biases and ensure that these biases do not negatively affect students and families;
Consulting with families, community members, teachers, and staff to understand more clearly student and population needs;
Working to establish positive, productive relationships with students, families, and colleagues from all backgrounds;
One should constantly evaluate and monitor one's own practice.
2.f Explain how to promote anti-discriminatory practice in work with children and young.
Discrimination is defined as the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different types of people on the grounds of caste, creed, race, age or gender. Discrimination always have negative effects on children and young people and often lead to low self esteem, disempowerment, confusion, anger, lack of motivation. It is essential to promote anti-discriminatory practice since it is not always so straight forward to prove discrimination.
Best practice checklists for promoting anti-discriminatory practice are as follows:
Be a good role model and be positive in demonstrating activities and behaviour to support anti-discriminatory practice.
Appreciate and promote diversity and individuality of children and young people by acknowledging their positive attributes and abilities.
Listen to and involve children and young people in the delivery of services, and respond to their concerns.
Recognise that the child or young person is at the centre of the learning by treating each one as an individual.
Have realistic but the highest expectations of all children and young people.
Support a positive ethos within the school.
Give pupils the confidence and skills to challenge prejudice or racist behaviour of others and also to give support and encouragement when they experience discrimination.
Recognise and question anti-discriminatory practice.
Children should be talked about prejudice and discrimination and let them to think the impact of it when it is applied on to others.
It is also about creating a secure, accepting, collaborating, stimulating school community in which everyone is valued and all pupils can achieve at their best. Inclusion should pass through all school policies so that they increase learning and participation for pupils, and every member of school staff, through their practice, behaviour should reflect the inclusive culture and policy of the school. The promotion of anti-discriminatory practice should emphasise all work in schools. It is not sufficient to have policies in place which make statements about anti-discriminatory practice or just to pay lip service to it. One must demonstrate anti-discriminatory practice. While working with children and young people, one must implement the ways that has positive practice and impacts on the education and well-being of the children and young people. As a member of the school team, one shall share responsibility to ensure that anti-discriminatory practice is promoted. One must also recognise when discrimination is happening.
Anti-discriminatory practice can be developed by promoting the following:
Diversity and the valuing of difference - One need to promote and value differences in identities, cultures, faiths, abilities and social practices
Self-esteem and positive identity - One will recognise the effect of discrimination and inequality on pupils and staff. One will identify and remove practices and procedures that discriminate
Fulfilment of individual potential - One need to value pupils, staff and other adults for their individuality and ensure a sense of belonging that promotes self-esteem. It will respect where pupils come from, what they bring to learning and what they achieve
Full participation of all groups - One would adopt practices that lay the foundations of a more just and equitable society.