TASK 9 REPORT ON BEHAVIOUR –policies and assessment explation Behaviour can often be linked to age and stage as well as environment. Other factors that can influence behaviour are overall development, self-image, changes in personal life, new school, media and peer groups. For instance , with a young baby you might get signs of ‘separation anxiety’ . With a two year old, their might be ‘toddler frustration’ and with school aged children , strong attitudes and opinions. As child minders we need to be aware of the types of abuse and what to look for
Sexual abuse, neglect, emotional/psyhchological,and physical. All of these subjects have had in depth discussions during class and I am well aware of the signs to look out for. Whilst dealing with the child – • take your cues from the child • keep a written record of any conversation you have had with a child if you suspect that they need protection • Make a note of any signs or symptoms • Be factual and precise – do not make assumptions. GROUND RULES Children are not born with an understanding of what is acceptable behaviour. Childminders play a vital part in promoting positive behaviour.
We actively promote positive behaviour, which stems from children being empowered, valued and respected. In my house my rules will be made around things that are important to parents, children and me. For example, keeping children safe. I have written a behaviour policy which will be given to parents to discuss at our first meeting. Developing and sharing your expectation and ground rules will help children feel secure, they are then more likely to confirm once they understand what the house rules are and why they are there. Behaviour Policy
All children and adults are treated with equal concern and are made to feel welcome in my home. I recognise the need to set out reasonable and appropriate limits to help manage the behaviour of children in my care. By providing a happy, safe environment, the children in my care will be encouraged to develop social skills to help them be accepted and welcome in society as they grow up. • I do not, and will not, administer physical punishment with the intention of causing pain or discomfort, nor any kind of humiliating or hurtful treatment to any child in my care. I endorse positive discipline as a more effective way of setting boundaries for children. • I agree methods to manage children’s behaviour with parents before the placement starts. I try to make sure there is consistency in the way the children are cared for. A consistent approach benefits the child’s welfare and helps ensure that the child is not confused. • Wherever possible I meet parents’ requests for the care of their children according to their values and practices. Records of these requirements are agreed and kept attached to the child record forms.
These records are revisited and updated during regular reviews with parents. • I expect parents to inform me of any changes in the child’s home circumstances, care arrangements or any other change which may affect the child’s behaviour such as a new baby, parents’ separation, divorce, new partner or any bereavement. All information shared will be kept confidential unless there appears to be a child protection issue. • I will only physically intervene, and possibly restrain, a child to prevent an accident, such as a child running into the road, or to prevent an injury or damage. From time to time children will have difficulty learning to deal with their emotions and feelings and this is a normal part of child development. I will acknowledge these feelings and try to help children to find constructive solutions in liaison with their parents. • Distracting and re-directing children’s activities are used as a way of discouraging unwanted behaviour. • I encourage responsibility by talking to children about choices and their possible consequences. • I aim to be firm and consistent so that children know and feel secure within the boundaries I set. I will respond positively to children who constantly seek attention or are disruptive. • I will help children maintain their self-esteem by showing I disapprove of their bad behaviour not the child themselves. If I have concerns about a child’s behaviour which are not being resolved, I will ask for permission from the parents to talk it through with another childcare professional. I may contact the National Childminding Association, the NSPCC, health visitor or the local early years team (or other relevant advice service) for confidential advice.
Concerns that could identify a particular child are kept confidential and only shared with people who need to know this information. I encourage appropriate behaviour by: • Setting a good example, I aim to be a positive role model as children copy what they see. Children learn values and behaviour from adults. • I readily praise, approve and reward wanted behaviour, such as sharing, to encourage it to be repeated. Using praise helps to show that I value the child and it helps to build their self-esteem. • I praise children to their parents and other people when they have behaved as expected. I try to be consistent when saying “no” and explain reasons why it is not appropriate and considered unwanted behaviour. • My expectations are flexible and realistic and are adjusted to the age, level of understanding, maturity and stage of development of the child. • I try to involving children in setting and agreeing house rules. Children are guided away from doing things which: • are dangerous or hurtful or offensive to someone else • are dangerous to the child • will make the child unwelcome or unacceptable to other people • will damage other people’s property. VICTORIA’S HOUSE RULES We eat and drink at the table pic] We treat the furniture with respect [pic] We take our shoes off indoors [pic] We play nicely with the toys, share and are polite [pic] [pic] House Rules I have written a few simple ‘House Rules’. They are designed to help us all work and play together happily and safely. I will provide you with a copy of them and they are available for the children to see in my home, both in words and in pictures. I work with the children to ensure that they understand the rules and why I have them. Mostly they are to ensure the safety of all those in the home and to help the children learn to respect each other and others property.
They are probably very similar to the ‘rules’ that you have in your own home. We all sit at the table (or in our highchair) to eat or drink. This is to prevent spills and choking accidents. It also helps to create a social atmosphere in which children can learn good table manners. We treat the furniture with respect This is to prevent children from falling off settees and hurting themselves and also to learn to respect others property and to use things for what they were designed. We look after the toys and play with them correctly We learn not to throw toys as this could hurt someone and/or break the toy.
We remove our shoes in the hallway We don’t want to tread mud on the flooring where the babies crawl and we sit to play We treat others how we would like to be treated We learn good manners, please and thank you and are nice to each other. We do not allow any hurting of each other either by physical or verbal means. We share our toys and activities and help to tidy away when finished with them. We will not fall over toys and hurt ourselves if we keep the floor tidy. Settling In Policy I understand how difficult it is for parents to leave their child with a childminder and return to work.
I will therefore work with you to ensure your child is settled and that you are happy with the care that I am to provide. I like to organise settling in sessions for the parents and child. This gives you the opportunity to provide me with lots of information about your child, their likes and dislikes, routines, favourite activities, how to comfort them if they become upset and how they have reacted when left before. It gives me the opportunity to start to build a relationship with you and your child and to understand both your needs and wishes. I am happy for you to stay until you feel that your child is settled.
Some children do take longer than others to settle and some settle quickly and then become distressed a few weeks into the placement. I will work with you to support your child through this transition period and make it as easy as possible. It is important that you and your child are relaxed and happy in my home and with the care I provide. Some parents find it helpful to call me during the day to find out how their child is. I am happy to take your calls, but I am sometimes not able to talk for long, or even to answer the telephone eg if I am attending to a child’s personal needs or I am driving.
So please do not panic if you call and there is no answer, I will call you back as soon as possible. If you have any concerns regarding this policy please discuss them with me. Working in Partnership with Parents Policy It is very important for your child that we work in partnership. This will give your child continuity of care and (s)he will not become confused with different standards of behaviour and boundaries. You are the central adults in your child’s life and the ones making decisions on their behalf. I will endeavour to work closely with you in order to carry out your wishes for your child wherever I can.
It is therefore important that we have an excellent communication system. I appreciate that as working Parents you will be in a rush to go to work in the mornings and in the evenings you may well be tired and need to go as quickly as possible, so I like to use a Parent/Childminder diary for daily communications. I will complete a page each day that will include what your child has eaten, naps, activities, milestones achieved etc. I would request that you use this book to note down if your child has had a disturbed sleep, is not feeling well or any other piece of information that may help me to provide him/her with the best care I can.
I am always happy to discuss your child and their care with you at any time that is convenient to us both, whether in person or over the phone. I would also appreciate it if you could inform me if there are any changes to contact numbers for yourselves, including work and mobile numbers and those of your emergency contacts. As your child grows and develops, issues will crop up that are very important for us to discuss in order that we can work together and your wishes be incorporated into my care routine for your child. These could include weaning, potting training, managing behaviour, starting nursery etc.
If you wish me to incorporate a special activity into my routine, perhaps a festival or religious holiday that you celebrate please let me know. If I have any concerns about your child’s behaviour, development, eating etc I will share them with you and if necessary work with you to seek support from outside agencies. If you have any concerns or issues regarding the care I am providing for your child please do let me know. Often a concern is a simple misunderstanding that can easily be resolved, un-aired it can fester and become a major issue. I am very much looking forward to working in partnership with you to care for your child.
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT Here follows a great article I have just read in Nursery World. It explores the stages of development: Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage makes clear the vital link between schemas and child development and states that practitioners should ‘encourage young children as they explore particular patterns of thought or movement, sometimes referred to as schemas’ (Practice Guidance for the EYFS (2008:79)). So, what are schemas and how do they aid learning? The glossary to the May 2006 EYFS consultation document defines schemas as ‘patterns of repeated behaviour in children.
Children often have a very strong drive to repeat actions such as moving things from one place to another, covering things up and putting things into containers, or moving in circles or throwing things. These patterns can often be observed running through their play and will vary between one child and another. If practitioners build on these interests, powerful learning can take place. ‘ Chris Athey, an authority on children’s schematic behaviour, defines a schema as ‘a pattern of repeatable behaviour into which experiences are assimilated and that are gradually co-ordinated.
Co-ordinations lead to higher-level and more powerful schemas. ‘ (Chris Athey, 1990: 37). And Jean Piaget (1962) described schemas as ‘cognitive structures’. Children learn to do an action, which they are interested in repeating again and again. Through this repetition, children gain the ability to gather and recall information, to organise and process their behaviour and thoughts and so gain knowledge and understanding of many basic concepts and the world around them. Let’s take as example, David, aged 42 months. He likes movement and is often observed playing with the diggers, cars or trains in his nursery.
When there are no transport toys available, he uses a block as a car and pretends to drive it to the petrol station, in the bathroom. When questioned by a practitioner about his play, he explains that he ran out of petrol and needed to fill his tank to complete his journey. Through this example, we can see how schemas operate at four different levels. Level 1: Sensorimotor level – during this level, children use their senses, action and movements. David is using all of his senses to move himself and objects from place to place.
Level 2: Symbolic level – this is a hugely significant aspect of child development and here is exemplified by David using a block as a car. Level 3: Functional dependency level – at this level, children have a knowledge of cause and effect. In David’s case, he knew that he needed to fill his car up with petrol to make it work. Level 4: Abstract thought level – David was able to explain verbally the significance of his actions. So, David’s interest in transporting has motivated him to learn about movement and has enabled him to understand and integrate new information about petrol and fuel. IDENTIFYING SCHEMAS
It is important, then, that practitioners understand this natural and fundamental part of child development, because an awareness of schemas: • – provides a new way of describing children’s actions and behaviours • – enables practitioners to support parents’ understanding of their children’s learning • – helps inform planning – schemas highlight children’s individual interests, preoccupations, knowledge and abilities (see box, ‘Planning for schemas’, p18) • – enables practitioners to become more effective in supporting children’s learning, particularly in developing mathematical understanding of height, size, space, order or pattern (see box)
To support ‘The Unique Child’ effectively, practitioners need to: • – identify a child’s schemas • – identify the interests contained within them, and • – provide repeated, real and first-hand opportunities for the child to repeat and experiment with their schematic concepts, so that they can develop, refine and build upon their existing knowledge. Schema clusters Effective support also requires practitioners to recognise that schemas may differ from one child to another; whereas some children may show one schema, others may display a cluster of schemas.
Professor Tina Bruce (1997) points out that ‘schemas are patterns of linked behaviours, which the child can generalise and use in a whole variety of different situations. It is best to think of schemas as part of a cluster of pieces which fit together. ‘ TYPES OF SCHEMA In the rest of this article, we look at examples of schematic behaviour, the learning that stems from it and the kind of support that practitioners should build into their planning. Trajectory [pic] Examples: Joseph (10 months) and Glenn (36 months) are both interested in trajectory.
Joseph is very active; he spends most of his time bouncing and throwing things, or knocking over structures built by other children. The movement of objects through the air fascinates him. Glenn, who is also very energetic, thoroughly enjoys going up and down the climbing frame. He will sometimes wear a cape and leap off the top, pretending to be a superhero. His ability to move and the speed at which he does so are of enormous interest to him. Learning: Although both boys are building on their understanding of height and speed, the actual ideas that interest them are different.
Whereas Joseph is developing an understanding of up and down, on and off, and opposites, Glenn is learning more about distance, speed and height. Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to: • – explore movement, indoors and out • – move over, under, across and through things • – explore different equipment eg bikes, Frisbees, skates, balls of various sizes and climbing frames Rotation [pic] Examples: Kai and Thomas, aged 11 months and 40 months, respectively, are fascinated by things that rotate. Kai will repeatedly and deliberately reach for any round objects placed near him.
He will feel, spin, bounce and turn things over. He also loves to throw and roll balls. Kai has even been observed throwing a balloon up in the air, then adding a spin to his throw to make the balloon land behind him! Similarly, Thomas spends a lot of his time playing with wheeled toys. He enjoys playing with balls and spinning tops and he is often observed spinning himself around. Thomas also spends significant time outside with friends, playing games that involve spinning on their bikes, and constructing circular tracks, which they repeatedly ride around.
Learning: Kai’s early experiences show how well he is beginning to understand rotation – an important concept that helps children to develop an understanding of movement, shape, space and spatial awareness. Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for young children to: • – play with everyday round household items eg plastic bottles with lids, clocks and cup cakes • – mix materials together The fact that Thomas can turn his bike and wheels so he is now able to control his spins shows a deep knowledge and understanding of rotation.
Practitioners should respond by: • – talking to him about the shapes in the environment and counting them • – comparing circles with other shapes and discussing their differences • – playing ball or shape games, for example, ‘I spy a shape with no edges/four sides/etc. Enveloping and containing [pic] Examples: Oliver (nine months) is interested in searching for objects that have been hidden or covered up. He is often observed looking for things that are hidden exactly where he found them the last time. He likes wearing hats nd loves games of ‘peek-a-boo’. Engaged in the enveloping schema, he is completely fascinated by the concept of ‘object permanence’, where a child learns that just because they cannot see an object, it does not mean that it is no longer there. Erica, 47 months, enjoys building dens, wrapping things up, dressing up in layers of clothing, filling up bags and containers, and digging for worms and treasure in the garden. Learning: While both Oliver and Erica are pursuing ideas around hiding and concealing, their individual lines of inquiry are different.
Oliver is developing his understanding of ‘object permanence’ – a significant milestone in child development because it is linked to children’s developing cognitive structures. Oliver can remember objects even when they are out of sight and is able to demonstrate his thinking as he begins to make predictions about where things are hidden. Erica shows that she is developing a conceptual understanding about space and size. As she fills her bags and sees which bag has more objects and which bag has less, she is exploring ideas around calculating and developing her conceptual knowledge about volume and capacity.
Support: Practitioners provide opportunities for the children to: • – play hide and seek • – wrap up dolls in blankets/nappies • – play with bags and containers of varying sizes • – dig for worms or treasure • – play with hats, scarves, old clothes Practitioners should also model words and phrases such as ‘hiding’, ‘disappeared’ and ‘invisible’, to help Erica express herself appropriately. Transporting [pic] Examples: Eighteen-month-old Ella and 42-month-old Jade are both fascinated with moving objects – and themselves – from place to place.
Ella enjoys carrying objects about in her hands or containers and pushing empty buggies around. As she fills and empties her containers, she is developing a conceptual understanding about quantity and number. She is also learning different things about places and locations. Jade spends a lot of time moving all the kitchen utensils and furniture in the role-play area to the garden. As she learns better ways to move objects from one place to another, she becomes more developed in imaginative play and understands more about creating new spaces.
Learning: Despite the obvious similarities in the play of Ella and Jade, their individual interest in transporting differs. Ella is learning about direction, size, shape and space as she tries to push her buggy through narrow spaces. Jade, however, is developing a deeper conceptual understanding about space, place and quantity. Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to: • – use such language as ‘how far? ‘ or ‘turn right/towards’ etc • – talk about location, building and the different modes of transport • – explore living things and create a scrapbook of children’s learning – transport bags, baskets and small objects around the setting. Connection [pic] Examples: Charlotte and Michael, aged 48 and 58 months respectively, are both fascinated by things that they can connect. Charlotte spends her free time making things to pull toys along with. She likes to use string, Sellotape, masking tape and the stapler to help her to connect different objects and materials. Michael is outdoors regularly, seen transporting guttering, planks and tubes that he connects with string or elastic bands. He also often constructs elaborate pulley systems.
Water is an important feature and he frequently positions his structures some distance from the tap and travels back and forth, fetching the water for experimentation and construction. Learning: Charlotte and Michael are learning important problem-solving skills as they explore their interests in connection. Charlotte is consolidating her understanding in designing and making things, cause and effect, and how to manage tools effectively. This is important to the process of learning as it reveals that both children understand the consequences and the effect of attaching or connecting string or tape to their playthings.
Michael has a high level of understanding of how to link the tubes together, and his experimentations show the cluster of schemas evident in his play – trajectory, transporting and connection. They are both at the functional dependency level ie interested in cause and effect. Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to: • – solve problems for themselves, using their connecting skills in different contexts • – recognise problems, preserve, try new solutions and think logically. Enclosing [pic] Examples: Nicholas, aged 39 months, and Samuel, aged 55 months, both love to surround themselves.
Nicholas is intrigued by constructing circular enclosures around himself. He enjoys playing with the trains and can often be observed on the inside of his train track, rotating his body as he moves his trains round the track. Recently, he has begun to put objects and figurines into the carriages of the trains. Contrastingly, Samuel is often busy building square or rectangular enclosures with wooden blocks. His structures are always balanced and symmetrical, and he manipulates the blocks so that everything is fenced in, filling the space inside his enclosure with more blocks.
Learning: Nicholas is bringing together into his play, in a co-ordinated way, all his experiences and understanding about rotation, connection and enclosures, as well as his knowledge and understanding of transporting. Because Nicholas is at a functional dependency level – understanding cause and effect – it is these kinds of schema co-ordination that Athey (1990) refers to as being ‘higher-level and more powerful schemas’. Samuel deploys a cluster of schemas in a co-ordinated way. In his play, he applies his understanding about the trajectory, containing and enclosing schemas.
All of the early experiences he has had with trajectory, for example, building towers, rows and bridges, have ultimately enabled him to build symmetrically and fill in his structures. This behaviour shows that Samuel is learning about concepts that relate to size, space, pattern, symmetry and calculation. Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to: • – play with boxes, old sheets or other materials that children can change to suit their own purpose • – talk about size and dimension and let children explore different measuring tools
Transforming [pic] Examples: Ami, who is 14 months, and Sarah, who is 19 months, are both fascinated by how things change. Ami particularly enjoys playing with cornflour and play dough. She will play with these materials for long periods, concentrating as she moulds it, hammers it into different shapes, or rolls it (by hand or with the rolling pin). Sarah, on the other hand, is totally captivated by mixing paint. She is often seen at the easel – not painting, just mixing different colours together. She also likes playing in the sand.
She enjoys filling different-sized moulds with equal amounts of dry sand. She will then carefully pour amounts of water into the mould, mix it with the sand, turn it over and knock the mould down. At this point, she will start the whole process again. Learning: Whereas Ami is learning about how she can transform things completely by altering their appearance and purpose, Sarah is focused on drawing comparisons between different shapes and sizes. This is important to learning, because children are finding out how to change the form of something and give it a different meaning.
Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to: • – talk about quantity, weight, texture and how materials behave • – cook and bake • – collect natural materials to make a collage or board games. Positioning [pic] Examples: Twenty-four-month-old Rebecca and 55-month-old Linda are interested in sequencing, classification and position. Rebecca likes to place her toys in rows. She will arrange her playthings in order of size; from the shortest to the tallest, for example. She also likes to draw small groups of similar objects in rows.
Rebecca is fascinated by the size, shape and the position of things. Straight lines also fascinate Linda, who is consolidating her understanding of the relationships pertaining to size and quantity. She is frequently seen in the creative workshop area arranging gemstones and silver buttons, alternately, in a pattern around the edge of her paper. Learning: Although the girls are both exploring the positioning schema, their individual pursuits are different. Rebecca’s focus is on rows, with straight, vertical lines – her arrangement highlighting the particular size or group of the object.
Linda is developing a deep understanding of sorting and classifying as she explores gemstones according to their shape and size. This process allows children through repetition to build up their understanding and to learn basic mathematical concepts in a practical and meaningful way. Support: Practitioners should plan opportunities for the children to: • – explore colour, size, shape pattern and sequencing • – order and sort everyday objects • – use positional language, for example, in front, on top, behind or around the edge – talk about their ideas and help children to think of new ones. PLANNING FOR SCHEMAS When practitioners observe repeated patterns of behaviour in young children’s play and exploration, they can use this information to identify what ideas children are pursuing. The EYFS card, Play and Exploration 4. 1, states that: ‘Children’s play reflects their wide-ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play, children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development. Practitioners therefore need to understand and engage with the concepts that children are already interested in if they are to support their development and learning effectively. Children’s individual needs should be frequently observed and catered for in all six areas of learning. The EYFS (2007, p12) reminds practitioners that it is their daily, ongoing observations of children’s interests that will significantly inform both planning and provision: ‘No plan written weeks in advance can include a child’s interest in transporting small objects in a favourite blue bucket. ‘ So, if practitioners are to plan and build on hild-initiated activities that will extend a child’s knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding in a meaningful way, they have got to be aware of the child’s schematic interests. In the context of a play-based framework, a sound knowledge of schemas can be used to build on child-initiated activities. ‘Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods. ‘ (EYFS card, Active Learning 4. 2). It is often through child-initiated activities that children display their real areas of interest.
A practitioner’s effort to build on these areas of interest gives children the time necessary to explore possibilities and similarities of abstract concepts, before they are able to assimilate new knowledge into their cognitive structures. And, a concept that is familiar enough will certainly be actively applied during play. The adult role in supporting learning and development: The practitioner’s role is to create a learning environment that is rich in resources and materials, and purposefully supports the development of concepts, by constructively engaging with children – effectively scaffolding and extending their learning. Provide materials that support particular schemas, for example, things to throw, for a child who is exploring trajectory’ (EYFS 2007, p79). By adhering to such guidance, practitioners will be able to maintain their continuing focus on the developmental interests and needs of The Unique Child. Stella Louis works as an early years consultant for the London Borough of Southwark. She is also a trainer and co-author of Again! Again! (see references) and founding associate, British Association for Early Childhood Education. REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING Athey, C (1990) Extending Thought in Young Children: A parent-teacher partnership, London, Paul Chapman Press • Brent Early Years Service and Louis, S (2010) Understanding Play Patterns: Making a difference through schemas • Bruce, T (1997) Early Childhood Education, 2nd edn, London: Hodder & Stoughton • Bruner, J (1990) Acts of Meaning, London, Harvard Press • Department for Education and Skills (2007): The Early Years Foundation Stage • Early Education (2009), ‘Extended thinking in the EYFS’, Journal of British Association for Early Childhood Education (no. 8) • Laevers, F (ed) (1994) The Leuven Involvement Scales for Young Children, Leuven, Belgium, Centre for Experiential Education • Louis, S, Beswick, C, Magraw, L, Hayes, L and Featherstone, S (ed) (2008) Again! Again! Understanding schemas in young children. Featherstone Education • Louis, S (2008) Knowledge and Understanding of the World in the EYFS. David Fulton • Piaget, J and Inhelder, B (1969) The Psychology of the Child. New York: Basic Books. ———————– ( ( ( (