Recognising and Planning for Special Needs in the Early Years
Publication Year: 2009
Subject: Early Childhood Special Education
Making sure that young children with special educational needs have the right support is a top priority for all early years settings, but spotting additional needs can be tricky. This book is the ultimate resource for busy practitioners, who want good, clear advice on what to look for and how to set up the necessary provision.
From an award-winning author team, the advice contained here will empower you, and give you the confidence to identify and plan for the needs of every child in your care.
Topics discussed in chapters are as follows:
- Observation and assessment of needs
- Physical development, and how to spot problems
- Communication, language and literacy, and how to spot difficulties
- Personal, social and emotional development, in line with the holistic child emphasis of the EYFS
The book also ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: The Bigger Picture: The Law, Guidance and Recommendations
- Chapter 2: A Unique Child: A Holistic View
- Chapter 3: Enabling Environments: The Reflective Setting
- Chapter 4: Development Matters: Looking at Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Chapter 5: Development Matters: Looking at Communication, Language and Literacy
- Chapter 6: Development Matters: Looking at Physical Development
- Chapter 7: Look, Listen and Note: Themed Observations
- Chapter 8: Next Steps: Plan, Do, Review
Hands on Guide Series[Page ii]
Written by two Area SENCOs who work closely with pre-school SENCOs and managers on a daily basis, these books are packed with ready-to-use activities, photocopiable worksheets and advice ideal for all those working with the 0 to 5 age range, such as pre-school practitioners, nursery managers, advisory teachers, SENCOs, inclusion officers and child care and education students and tutors.
Other books in the series are:
- A Practical Guide to Pre-School Inclusion (2006)
- Developing Pre-School Communication and Language (2007)
- Working with Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs (2007)
- Building Better Behaviour in the Early Years (2009)
© Chris Dukes and Maggie Smith 2009
Illustrations © Sage 2009
First published 2009
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.
All material on the accompanying CD-ROM can be printed off and photocopied by the purchaser/user of the book. The CD-ROM itself may not be reproduced in its entirety for use by others without prior written permission from SAGE. The CD-ROM may not be distributed or sold separately from the book without the prior written permission of SAGE. Should anyone wish to use the material: from the CD-ROM for conference purposes, they would require separate permission from SAGE. All material is © Chris Dukes and Maggie Smith, 2009.
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About the Authors[Page vi]
Chris Dukes is a qualified teacher with over 20 years' experience. She has worked in various London primary schools as a class teacher and later as a member of the Senior Management Team. Chris has a Masters degree in Special Needs and through her later roles as a SENCO and support teacher, many years' experience of working with children with a variety of needs. Chris has worked closely with staff teams, mentoring, advising and supervising work with children with additional needs, as well as with other education and health professionals. Chris currently works as an Area SENCO supporting Special Needs Coordinators and managers in a wide range of pre-school settings. As well as advising she writes courses, delivers training and produces publications.
Maggie Smith began her career as a nursery teacher in Birmingham. She has worked as a peripatetic teacher for an under-5s EAL Team and went on to become the Foundation Stage manager of an Early Years Unit in Inner London. Maggie helped to set up an innovative unit for young children with behavioural difficulties and has also worked supporting families of children with special needs. She has taught on Early Years BTEC and CACHE courses at a college of higher education. She currently works as an Area SENCO supporting Special Needs Coordinators and managers in a wide range of pre-school settings. As well as advising she writes courses, delivers training and produces publications.
This book is dedicated to all the practitioners, children and parents we have had the privilege of working with and learning from.
Contents of the CD-ROM[Page vii]How to Use the CD-ROM
The CD-ROM contains pdf files of the worksheets from this book organised by chapter. You will need Acrobat Reader version 3 or higher to view and print these pages.
The documents are set to print at A4 but you can enlarge them to A3 by increasing the output percentage using the page set-up settings for your printer.
Throughout the book, you will see this CD icon used . This indicates that the material you are looking at is also available electronically on the accompanying CD-ROM.Contents of the CD-ROMIntroduction
- Five Steps to Recognising Additional Needs
- Factors which Can Affect a Child's Progress or Behaviour
- Sample Record of Meeting with Parents 1
- Sample Record of Meeting with Parents 2
- Blank Record of Meeting with Parents
- Reflection on Setting and Practice
- A Reflective Practice Chart for Setting Leaders and Managers
- Let's Talk About … Learning styles
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: 0–11 Months
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: 8–20 Months
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: 16–26 Months
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: 22–36 Months
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: 30–50 Months
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: 40–60+ Months
- Communication, Language and Literacy Development: 0–11 Months
- Communication, Language and Literacy Development: 8–20 Months
- Communication, Language and Literacy Development: 16–26 Months
- Communication, Language and Literacy Development: 22–36 Months
- Communication, Language and Literacy Development: 30–50 Months
- Communication, Language and Literacy Development: 40–60+ Months
- Physical Development: 0–11 Months
- Physical Development: 8–20 Months
- Physical Development: 16–26 Months
- Physical Development: 22–36 Months
- Physical Development: 30–50 Months
- Physical Development: 40–60+ Months
- Using Observations to Help identify Additional Needs
- Themed Observation Sheet
- Themed Observation Follow-up Sheet
- Jargon Buster: Speech, Language and Communication
- English as an Additional Language
- Speech, Language and Communication Observation Follow-up Sheet
- Jargon Buster: Physical Development
- Physical Development Observation Follow-up Sheet
- Sample Observing and Recording Behaviour Sheet
- Sample Observing and Recording Behaviour Follow-up Sheet
- Blank Observing and Recording Behaviour Sheet
- Blank Observing and Recording Behaviour Follow-up Sheet
- The Graduated Response
- Blank Individual Education Plan
- Blank Individual Education Plan Review
- Sample Individual Education Plan
- Let's Talk About … Individual Education Plans
- Writing Individual Education Plans – The Planning Cycle
- Individual Education Plans and Planning – 20 Points for Practice
- Jargon Buster: Who's Who in Education
- Jargon Buster: Who's Who in Health
- Getting the Most Out of Talking to Professionals
- Top Tips for Communicating with Professionals
Our starting point for writing this book is illustrated by the following scenario. It is a situation in which many practioners often find themselves.
It is the end of the day at Wonderland Nursery. Kath and Hollie are tidying up the room ready for the next day. The following conversation takes place.
Kath: ‘I'm a bit worried about Johnny.’
Hollie: ‘Why, what's the matter?’
Kath: ‘I don't know really, I can't put my finger on it but I feel that something's not quite right.’
Hollie: ‘I know what you mean. Maybe you should have a word with his Mum.’
Kath: ‘I would but I don't want to worry her, especially if it turns out to be nothing.’
Hollie: ‘Have you spoken to Sheila? She's an experienced manager, she'll probably know what to do.’
Kath: ‘Well I did mention it to her, she didn't really say much. Mind you I was a bit vague; I just said I was a bit concerned about him!’
Hollie: ‘Can you narrow it down to a particular area of his development that you are worried about?’
Kath: ‘I think it's mainly his language. He doesn't really seem to be saying much and he hardly ever plays with the other children. He usually walks away when they go anywhere near him.’
Hollie: ‘Why don't you try doing some themed observations – that usually helps. I'll look at them with you, if you'd like.’
Kath: ‘Good idea. I don't know why I didn't think of doing some before. I'll have a look at a child development book as well.’
Hollie: ‘That new book Sheila's just bought is really good. It gives you child development information so that you can compare it with the child you have in mind. It links everything to the EYFS and it gives you a step-by-step guide on what to do if you're still worried.’
Kath: ‘Great, I'd better go and find it! What's it called again … ?’
We hope that by writing this book practitioners will be provided with the support they need to help young children and their parents move forward in a positive way.
One of the most exciting things when working with young children is that as practitioners we are constantly learning new things and having our ideas challenged. Every child we meet will teach us something new and change the way we think about their learning. None more so than [Page x]a child who has or may have an additional need. We don't need to be experts but we do need to have an open mind, a willingness to be flexible and adaptable and to believe that we have something to offer every child.
A ‘can do’ approach is the single most important requirement for inclusion and the biggest barrier to including all children is not accessibility, resources or equipment but individual attitudes. Just as we see each child as an individual we must also see each practitioner as an individual. This is why reflective practice is so important. It gives us the opportunity to analyse not only our practice but also the thoughts, ideas and perceptions which underpin this practice.
Many practitioners are either reluctant or feel they do not have the skills to identify any additional needs of children in their care. This could be for many reasons including fear of approaching parents, fear of labelling children or fear of getting it wrong.
However, a practitioner's role is not to diagnose but to observe and identify where a child may be experiencing difficulties. Strategies can then be put in place to support the child and, if concerns still remain after a period of time, to make an appropriate referral to a specialist.
Practitioners would rarely do this without support from local authority advisors such as Area SENCOs or advisory teachers.
Chapter 1 sets the scene and lays out the legal and advisory framework within which all early years providers work. It places the early identification of additional needs firmly within those frameworks.
[Page xi]Chapters 2–8 follow the outline of a Five-step guide to recognising and planning for additional needs. This will demystify the process and guide you through the various stages from gathering initial information to writing an individual education plan.Pre-School Practitioners
This book will enable you to identify children with special needs in your pre-school setting. You will be supported by practical examples, developmental guidance and formats to use within your setting. These can be used as presented in the book or adapted or personalised to suit your own needs. The Hands-on activities will provide a starting point for team discussion.Tutors and Students
Through reading this book you will increase your awareness of the steps needed to identify children's special needs. It will give you clear guidance on how to incorporate these steps into everyday practice and planning. The Hands-on Activities can be used as short assignments.Advisers
Use this book to support pre-schools to improve their knowledge, understanding and practice for identifying special needs. Stand-alone chapters can be used as a basis for training.A Note on the Text
The case studies included in this publication are composites of numerous children in various settings, distilled from the authors' many years of experience. They are not specific to any one child-practitioner or setting.
Contacts and Useful Organisations[Page 114]
- Chris Dukes and Maggie Smith (authors of Hands On Guides)
- BT Education Programme – ‘The Better World Campaign’ free resources
- Department for Children, Schools and Families
- National Literacy Trust
- National Refugee Integration Forum
Bibliography[Page 115]2007) Environments for Outdoor Play. Paul Chapman Publishing.(Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007) Supporting Children Learning English as an Additional Language: Guidance for Practitioners in the Early Years Foundation Stage. DCFS.Department for Education and Employment (2001) Special Educational Needs: Code of Practice. DfEE.Department for Education and Science (2005) Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings. DfES.Department for Education and Skills (2007) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. DfES.Department for Education and Skills (2008) Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage. DfES.2002) Supporting Physical Development and Physical Education in the Early Years, Supporting Early Learning. Open University Press.and (2005) Young Children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development,(2ndedn. Paul Chapman Publishing.2005) A Manual for the Early Years SENCO. Paul Chapman Publishing.(2006) Young Bilingual Children Learning at Home and School. Trentham Books.(2006) A Practical Guide to Pre-School Inclusion, Hands On Guides,and (2ndedn. Paul Chapman Publishing.2007) Developing Pre-school Communication and Language, Hands On Guides. Paul Chapman Publishing.and (2007) Working with Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs, Hands On Guides. Paul Chapman Publishing.and (2007) Identifying Special Needs in the Early Years. Paul Chapman Publishing.(2006) Child Development: An Illustrated Guide,(2ndedn. Heinemann.2005) Developing Early Years Practice, Foundation Degree Texts. David Fulton Publishers., and (National Children's Bureau Enterprise Ltd (2003) Early Years and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995: What Service Providers Need to Know. NCB.2007) Developing Reflective Practice in the Early Years. Open University Press.and (2006) Self-Esteem and Early Learning: Key People from Birth to school, Zero to Eight Series,(3rdedn. Paul Chapman Publishing.2005) Learning Through Talk in the Early Years: Practical Activities for the Classroom. Paul Chapman Publishing.(2002) Personal, Social and Emotional Development (What Learning Looks Like …),(2ndrevised edn. Step Forward Publishing.2007) Supporting Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Everything Early Years How To … Series. Everything Early Years.(2006) Special Needs and Early Years. Paul Chapman Publishing.(2003) Physical Development, Foundation Blocks. Brilliant Publications.(2004) Physical Development in the Early Years, Classmates. Continuum.(