08 Dec 2017
All Children are individual, having different interests and learning in different ways. As practitioners, we must recognise this and adapt so that children become happy and confident individuals who are willing to learn.
Just as we all have our own unique fingerprint; we also have our own unique personality and needs. The ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage Document’ shows that although there is an expected development range, because all children are unique, expected development ages often overlap. The sequence of development shows that children will develop skills in a particular order - learns to walk before they can jump, but because the rate of development is different in every child, some children will learn skills earlier than others. It’s impossible to say that by a certain age all children will meet certain criteria. We need to assess and understand each individual child.
Factors affecting development may include:-
The ‘Phillipines Multigrade Teachers Handbook’ found on the Unicef.org website defines the need of children
•‘Children are unique – no two are the same. They must be understood by their parents and teachers in their uniqueness and their individuality must be respected.’ From the planning we do, each child will benefit in their own way from these activities.
Planning an activity where all children must take part at the same level will only deter children from learning – it may be too difficult for some or too easy for others and neither child will enjoy taking part. A three year old who doesn’t sit still will not learn if the game or activity is too long and they are expected to sit and listen for long periods of time. Instead, by getting to know the children and planning activities which are relevant, it will keep them engaged and help them to achieve their next steps.
As well as planning activities, we need to think about how we communicate and guide them through the activity. By asking questions dependent upon their learning needs, the outcome is they have all participated in the game and made steps towards their learning journey.
e.g a number activity – recognising and naming number 1-5
Some children will be able to name some numbers. Others may be able to match a number. Children in the same group who already have this knowledge could be asked “can you find the number 1 more than/less than?”
The outcome is they are all taking part and have a sense of achievement, but at their own level. Activities become meaningful to each child and in turn they become successful and willing learners.
Within Early Years, children learn through play. A variety of activities must be on offer. Some children are very confident holding a pencil and drawing detailed pictures. Others may draw a picture resembling a scribble in a small tray of sand using their finger but will be able to tell you what it is. Both activities are important to that particular child. These children have had their needs met by being able to scribe their imagination in different ways and will have a sense of achievement so they can move onto the next stage.
Although practitioners can plan most of the activities within the environment, it is important to listen to the children. What are they interested in? Can this be the next topic for the Nursery or something to make that day? Whichever it is, by listening to their interests they will feel valued and will learn from both your interaction and by other children joining in the play.
Treating children as unique individuals and building up positive, caring relationships not only helps them to become willing learners, but also confident people throughout their lives. They will feel that they are being listened to and will be willing to have a go at tasks that are initially challenging. They will become sociable and have positive relationships with their peers.
Describe How the Principles of Anti-Discriminatory Practice can be Applied in Practice
Before we can practice an anti-discriminatory environment, we must understand what ‘discrimination’ means.
The Oxford Dictionary states:-
Discrimination - make or see a distinction as a basis for unfair treatment.
Whatever our personal points of view are, we must ensure they are not practiced within the Nursery environment and we work towards all children feeling safe and secure .
Article 31 of the ‘United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ says
All children have a right to relax, play and to join in a wide range of activities
We must give all children the opportunity to be included in all activities whatever their race, religion, ability and gender. They should receive the support needed to reach their full potential, whether this is providing special equipment or receiving support to work towards the activity objective.
In practice making all children feel welcome and valued can be done in a number of ways:-
By carrying out all these practices, children and families from all walks of life will feel welcome, valued and respected, both inside the Nursery and within the school community. Children will build positive relationships. It will help to stamp out discrimination as children will learn to value and understand each other.
Describe Why It Is Important to Plan Activities that meet the Individual Needs of Children
As all children are unique, we must support each child to reach their learning goal. To do this we need to follow the ‘Observation, Planning, Assessment’ cycle.
The first thing to do is plan activities to help us to assess the children. Having a general theme within the environment, with lots of activities around this theme helps us to understand where each child is now, in the different areas of development.
Eg. The theme is ‘Humpty Dumpty’. The activities and their assessment outcomes might include:-
As well as having a planned theme to assess key areas, lots of play areas must be on offer eg. Water, sand, story and tinker table
This helps us to observe the children in ‘free play.’ Which area do they spend a lot of time in? Do they move around Nursery independently or stay in one area? Do they play on their own or initiate play with others? How do they play with the toys? Because children are observed during free play, they do not know the assessment is taking place and do not worry about the outcome.
By making observations in different ways we can assess their current knowledge, abilities and how they play. We can understand their stage of development in the different ‘Early Years areas.’
Their ‘individual next steps’ can then be formed to help them develop new skills and achievements.
As the cycle starts again, so does the planning. Activities can be planned, which can be adapted so they are relevant to each individual. Planning also ensures the right equipment is available so that all the children can take part. By playing with or leading an activity, we are helping the child to learn and meet their next stage of development. Continual observations and assessments are made, making sure they develop their learning and skills.
Explain how the Practitioner can Promote Children’s Physical and Emotional Wellbeing within the Early Years Setting
Within the early years setting, children need to feel safe and secure. For some, they may have not been away from Mum or Dad before and the initial experience can be traumatic. Parents also need to know that their child’s physical and emotional wellbeing is paramount to the practitioners.
A number of strategies should be put in place:-
If we can take these things on board, each child will grow to feel safe and happy.
‘Supporting Every Child’ section of the ‘Every Child Matters’ Document states:-
All children have the right to:-
By treating each child as an individual, they not only become successful learners who want to work hard and achieve, but they will also be confident in their relationships, with adults and their own peers. Whatever role they take, they will feel valued and their full potential will have been reached.
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