The Manual for the Early Years SENCO


Collette Drifte

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  • Back Matter
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    My thanks always go firstly to the children and practitioners who have taught me so much over the years – they're all very special people.

    Thanks, too, go to my editor and friend, Jude Bowen, for her quiet and efficient professionalism and constant support – her faith in me has been an important part of the writing of this book.

    And last but not least, thanks to Reinhard, especially for taking over on the days when I had to write and do nothing else!

    About the Author

    Collette Drifte is a freelance author and trainer, with 22 years’ experience in mainstream and special education. A former deputy head teacher and now living in Northumberland, she has written numerous articles and books in the fields of early years special needs and early years literacy She speaks regularly at national conferences and exhibitions, and leads courses, workshops and seminars across the country

  • Powerpoints

    The following presentations are available on the CD-Rom for use in your setting.

    The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice
    Helping to Identify Children with Additional Needs
    Planning Effective Intervention and Holding Reviews

    Standards for the Award of Early Years Professional Status

    The award of the Early Years Professional Status requires a practitioner to demonstrate best practice in a total of 39 Standards, organised into six areas:

    • knowledge and understanding
    • effective practice
    • relationships with children
    • communicating and working in partnership with families and carers
    • teamwork and collaboration
    • professional development.

    The following are the 39 Standards, and you will see all of them clearly have a direct relevance to practitioners when supporting children with additional needs.

    Knowledge and Understanding
    • S1: The principles and content of the Early Years Foundation Stage and how to put them into practice.
    • S2: The individual and diverse ways in which children develop and learn from birth to the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage and thereafter.
    • S3: How children's well-being, development, learning and behaviour can be affected by a range of influences and transitions from inside and outside the setting.
    • S4: The main provisions of national and local statutory and non-statutory frameworks within which children's services work and their implications for early years settings.
    • S5: The current legal requirements, national policies and guidance on health and safety, safeguarding the well-being of children and their implications for early years settings.
    • S6: The contribution that other professionals within the setting and beyond can make to children's physical and emotional well-being, development and learning.
    Effective Practice
    • S7: Have high expectations of all children and commitment to ensuring they can achieve their full potential.
    • S8: Establish and sustain a safe, welcoming, purposeful, stimulating and encouraging environment where children feel confident and secure and are able to develop and learn.
    • S9: Provide balanced and flexible daily and weekly routines that meet children's needs and enable them to develop and learn.
    • S10: Use close, informed observation and other strategies to monitor children's activity, development and progress systematically and carefully, and use this information to inform, plan and improve practice and provision.
    • S11: Plan and provide safe and appropriate child-led and adult-initiated experiences, experiences and play opportunities in indoor, outdoor and out-of-setting contexts, which enable the children to develop and learn.
    • S12: Select, prepare and use a range of resources suitable for children's ages, interests and abilities, taking account of diversity and promoting equality and inclusion.
    • S13: Make effective personalised provision for the children you work with.
    • S14: Respond appropriately to children, informed by how children develop and learn and a clear understanding of possible next steps in their development and learning.
    • S15: Support the development of children's language and communication skills.
    • S16: Engage in sustained shared thinking with children.
    • S17: Promote positive behaviour, self-control and independence through using effective behaviour management strategies, and developing children's social, emotional and behavioural skills.
    • S18: Promote children's rights, equality, inclusion and anti-discriminatory practice in all areas of their practice.
    • S19: Establish a safe environment and employ practices that promote children's health, safety, and physical, emotional and mental well-being.
    • S20: Recognise when a child is in danger or at risk of harm and know how to act to protect them.
    • S21: Assess, record and report on progress in children's development and learning and use this as a basis for differentiating provision.
    • S22: Give constructive and sensitive feedback to help children understand what they have achieved and think about what they need to do next and, when appropriate, encourage children to think about, evaluate and improve on their own performance.
    • S23: Identify and support those children whose development, progress or well-being are affected by changes or difficulties in their personal circumstances and know when to refer them to colleagues for specialist support.
    • S24: Be accountable for the delivery of high-quality provision.
    Relationships with Children
    • S25: Establish fair, respectful, trusting, supportive and constructive relationships with children.
    • S26: Communicate sensitively and effectively with children from birth to the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
    • S27: Listen to children, pay attention to what they say and value and respect their views.
    • S28: Demonstrate the positive values, attitudes and behaviour expected from the children.
    Communicating and Working in Partnership with Families and Carers
    • S29: Recognise and respect the influential and enduring contribution that families and parents/carers can make to children's development, well-being and learning.
    • S30: Establish fair, respectful, trusting, and constructive relationships with families and parents/carers, and communicate sensitively and effectively with them.
    • S31: Work in partnership with families and parents/carers, at home and in the setting, to nurture children, to help them develop and to improve outcomes for them.
    • S32: Provide formal and informal opportunities through which information about children's well-being, development and learning can be shared between the setting and the families and parents/carers.
    Teamwork and Collaboration
    • S33: Establish and sustain a culture of collaborative and cooperative working among colleagues.
    • S34: Ensure that colleagues working with you understand their role and are involved appropriately in helping children to meet planned objectives.
    • S35: Influence and shape the policies and practices of the setting and share in collective responsibility for their implementation.
    • S36: Contribute to the work of a multi-professional team and, where appropriate, coordinate and implement agreed programmes and interventions on a day-to-day basis.
    Professional Development
    • S37: Develop and use skills in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology to support your work with children and wider professional activities.
    • S38: Reflect on and evaluate the impact of practice, modifying approaches where necessary, and take responsibility for identifying and meeting personal professional development needs.
    • S39: Take a creative and constructively critical approach towards innovation, and adapt practice if benefits and improvements are identified.

    List of Abbreviations

    BSLBritish Sign Language
    CAFCommon Assessment Framework
    CoPCode of Practice
    DCSFDepartment for Children, Schools and Families
    DDADisability Discrimination Act 1995
    DfEEDepartment for Education and Employment (title now obsolete)
    DfESDepartment for Education and Skills (title now obsolete)
    DLPDifferentiated Learning Plan
    ECMEvery Child Matters
    EPEducational Psychologist
    EYFSEarly Years Foundation Stage
    EYLSSEarly Years Learning Support Service
    EYPSEarly Years Professional Status
    GPGeneral Practitioner
    HVHealth Visitor
    ICTInformation and Communication Technology
    IEPIndividual Education Plan
    IPIndividual Plan (also known as Play Plan)
    INSETIn-service Training
    IPSSIndependent Parental Support Service
    LALocal Authority
    LSALearning Support Assistant
    PPPlay Plan (also known as Individual Plan)
    PPSParental Partnership Service
    PSSParental Support Service
    QCAQualifications and Curriculum Authority
    SENSpecial Educational Needs
    SENCOSpecial Educational Needs Coordinator
    SSDSocial Services Department
    TATeaching Assistant

    Further Reading

    How to Survive and Succeed as a SENCO in the Primary School, VeronicaBirkett (LDA, 2000).
    Index for Inclusion: Developing play, learning and participation in early years and childcare, T.Booth, M.Ainscow, and D.Kingston (Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education, 2006), available from the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education, Room 2S203, 5 Block, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1 QU. Telephone: 01 173 444 007.
    Every Child Matters: New Role for SENCOs: A Practical Guide, RitaCheminais (David Fulton, 2005).
    Planning and Organising the SENCO Year: Time-saving Strategies for Effective Practice, Dot Constable (David Fulton Publishers, 2002).
    Early Years and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995: What Service Providers Need to Know (Council for Disabled Children, SureStart and the National Children's Bureau, 2003), available from National Children's Bureau, c/o Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN. Telephone 0845 458 9910; or email
    Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DfES, 2001)
    SEN Toolkit (DfES, 2001)
    All Together: How to create inclusive services for disabled children and their families. A practical handbook for early years workers, M.Dickins and J.Denziloe (National Children's Bureau,
    2nd edn
    , 2003).
    Early learning goals for children with special needs, ColletteDrifte (David Fulton, 2002).
    Encouraging Positive Behaviour in the Early Years: a practical guide, (
    2nd edition
    ) ColletteDrifte (Paul Chapman Publishing, 2008).
    A Practical Guide to Preschool Inclusion, ChrisDukes and MaggieSmith (Paul Chapman Publishing, 2006).
    Working with Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs, ChrisDukes and MaggieSmith (Paul Chapman Publishing, 2007).
    Recognising and Planning for Special Needs in the Early Years, ChrisDukes and MaggieSmith (Paul Chapman Publishing, 2009).
    Right from the Start: Effective planning and assessment in the early years, VickyHutchin (Hodder & Stoughton, 1999).
    Supporting Inclusion in the Early Years, Caroline A.Jones (Open University Press, 2004).
    Taking Part, HannahMortimer (QEd Publications, 2000).

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