Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X


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Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696) Part 4

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 7: Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696)

This unit required me to carry out practical activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting the paperwork that I sent to my tutor within this post. I hope you understand.

Learning Criteria: Understand appropriate responses to accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness in work setting and off site visits.

Question 4.1: Explain the policies and procedures of the setting or service in response to accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness

All staff are made aware of risks and hazards and encouraged to work safely, however, even in a safety conscious school, accidents, incidents, emergencies and illnesses still occur, however, each school setting will have its own set of policies and procedures which will dictate how a situation is dealt with and with whom it should be reported. We have very clear procedures to follow in response to these situations, copies of which are held by our local LEA.

Accident/First Aid:
All teaching staff, teaching assistants and MDSAs are qualified first aiders and attend regular first aid training. The names of those qualified to give first aid are listed on a notice for everyone to see should they require help. If a child has an accident at the setting and requires first aid then the relevant qualified person on duty will use the settings first aid kit which is easily accessible and regularly checked. When an accident occurs we fill out our accident book which details; where, when, how and what treatment was administered. If the pupil received a bump to the head or if the injury is more severe and requires further medical attention then the parent/carer is contacted immediately and informed or assuming we have a signed consent on the settings registration form, the child can be taken directly to the nearest Accident and Emergency unit. We have a duty to inform Ofsted and the Health and Safety Executive of any injury that requires treatment by a medical professional or in the event of the death.

We have an First Aid Bucket which is taken out with us whenever we go outside of the premises or on off site visits/trips the contents of our evacuation bag include: First Aid Kit, Bio-hazard Disposal Bags, Cold Compress, Accident Book, Fire Alarm Whistle, Individual child’s medication in own container, sick bags, tissues, anti bacterial hand gel, mobile phones, daily signing in/out sheets, contact details of parents/carers and emergency contacts.

All accidents to our staff or pupils are recorded and investigated, to find out what happened and how any similar incident can be avoided.

Incidents:
When an incident occurs at the setting, we record it in our Incident book which is kept in the office filing cabinet.
An incident could be a break in or theft, vandalism, dangerous occurrence, injury or fatality. In the incident book we record the date and time of the incident, nature of the event, who was affected, what was done about it including if it was reported to the police, and if so, noting the crime number. Any follow up, or insurance claim made, should also be recorded.
We comply with current HSE Regulations and report to the Health and Safety executive.

Emergencies:

We have our emergency procedures displayed at specific points around the school so that no matter where you are there is a copy within easy view such as the toilets or old school house. These procedures state what to do in the event of a fire and/or evacuation. Our health & Safety officer is responsible for the procedures ensuring they are up-to-date and in place.
We carry out regular fire drills so that the children (and staff and visitors) know what to expect and also to identify any issues with our procedure. The dates and time taken to carry out fire drills are recorded.

Sickness and illness:
We have a policy concerning the exclusion of children who are sick or infectious; this includes the period of time we require a child to stay home following a bout of sickness or diarrhoea or other infectious illness such a chicken pox. When an infectious illness is discovered, such as head lice, parents are notified by e-mail. If a child becomes ill whilst at the setting their parent/carer is called, if they are not available we have a list of authorised emergency contacts who can come and collect the child, until such time the child is cared for in an appropriate area of the setting. We have procedures and a specific cleaning kit for use on spilled bodily fluids. If a child becomes unwell and is a cause for serious concern then an ambulance would be called. Certain illnesses such as Meningitis need rapid action, so we annually e-mail parents/carers with literature from the NHS that advises people on what to do should meningitis be suspected, age specific symptom lists and aids to diagnose, such as the glass test.

So, in conclusion, I can confirm that any accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness on our premises are dealt with promptly, according to the school’s written procedures or brought to the attention of the relevant member of staff. All staff receives relevant and regular training to ensure that our knowledge and practical skills are kept up to date.

 

Question 4.2: Identify the correct procedures for recording and reporting accidents, incidents, injuries, signs of illness and other emergencies

Each school setting will have its own set of policies and procedures which will dictate how an accident, incident, injury, signs of illness and other emergencies are dealt with and to whom the event should be reported. The LEA should also hold a copy of the policy.

Within our school’s Health and Safety manual all the procedures relating to accidents, incidents, injuries, signs of illness and other emergencies such as evacuations, missing pupils, etc are held. This includes blank copies of the forms that need to be completed; the completed forms are held in the relevant folders in the school office.

Accidents & Injuries

The school aims for all key staff to be qualified to provide basic first aid. All members of the EYFS staff and contracted staff to our Resource Base are qualified in paediatric first aid. This training is updated at least every 3 years. (In fact I will be attending first aid training at the next TD Day.)

The closest first aider will administer first aid if a child experiences an injury and will, if necessary, call an ambulance. A suitable person will escort the injured party to hospital. A member of staff will always stay with a child in hospital until parents/ guardians arrive.

All accidents are written in our accident book. Each entry into the accident book generates the completion of the County Council’s “green” Incident Report and Investigation Form and details the pupil’s name, class together with details of the accident, injury, treatment and outcome (i.e. what, where and when the accident occurred, whether first aid was administered, what was done and by whom and if the parent was contacted.) The white copy is kept in school while the green note is sent home with the pupil at the end of the day.

Our accident book:

  • is kept safely and accessibly;
  • is accessible to all staff and volunteers, who know how to complete it;
  • is reviewed at least half termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.

Emergency Medical Treatment

In accepting a place at the school parents authorise the Head Teacher, or her representative acting on her behalf, to consent on the advice of an appropriately qualified medical practitioner to their child receiving emergency medical treatment, including general anaesthetic and surgical procedure under the NHS guidelines, if we are unable to contact a parent in time.

Illness

Parents should keep their child at home if he or she is ill or infectious. It is the responsibility of the child’s parents/guardian to inform the school if their child is absent due to illness. Any child who has experienced vomiting or diarrhoea or a temperature over 37.5C should remain away from school for 48 hours from the last time they were ill.

Everyone in the school, including Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children, has access to the school’s medical facilities. These are overseen by the First Aid Supervisor and NHS designated School Nurse. If parents/ guardians have any concerns about the health of their child they should call the School.

The School will always contact parents or guardians as soon as is practically possible:

  • When a child suffers anything more than a trivial injury.
  • When a child becomes unwell during the school day.
  • When the school has any concerns over a pupil’s health.

The school will expect parents to collect a child if they become unwell or sustain a significant injury. Pupils will be able to stay in the School reception until parents/ guardians come to collect them.

Medical Care

It is the parents’/guardian’s responsibility to inform the school of any changes to a child’s medical status.

Parents of children who have significant medical needs and/or conditions will be asked to meet with the School in order for an individual care plan to be written, outlining school and parental responsibility. This will detail, where appropriate, what information can be shared with school staff. The care plan will be updated as appropriate.

A risk assessment will be undertaken for children whose daily care is compromised by a medical condition. Parents will be invited to contribute to this, as well as medical or other professional staff as appropriate.

When children need to take medicine in school, it is policy for the parent/guardian to meet with the School to explain instructions on how the medicine is to be taken and stored.

Medical Records:

Medical records will be kept in a secure environment. The School will keep a record of all treatments and immunisations that your child receives whilst at school. The school records all accidents, injuries and minor illness. A record is also kept of all medicines given to a child. Basic details of any allergies or medical conditions are made available to staff in order for them to care properly for the children under their charge. Access to more detailed records and information, that parents have requested be kept confidential, is restricted to the management team. Medical records will be stored confidentially until your child’s 21st birthday, when they will be securely destroyed.

We keep a record of all medical care, accidents and injuries to staff, and have a procedure in place for ensuring that they are reviewed regularly in order to minimise the likelihood of recurrence.

Sport and medical issues:

When a child is unable to take part in sport due to medical issues the parents/ guardians should write a note or email the school reception detailing why the child cannot take part in sport and the duration this may last.

A first aid kit will be supplied to all teachers taking sporting fixtures in away matches. A suitably qualified first aider will be available at Woodford Valley Academy on match days.

There is an Automated External Defibrillators in the playground by the Green Room available for the schools’ and public use.

Incidents
I can confirm that our School meets the legal requirements for the safety of its employees by complying with RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injury, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).

We report to the Health and Safety Executive:

  • any accident to a member of staff requiring treatment by a general practitioner or hospital; and any dangerous occurrences. This may be an event that causes injury or fatalities or an event that does not cause an accident but could have done, such as a gas leak.
  • Any dangerous occurrence is recorded in our incident book. (I’ve listed the examples below.)

Our incident book

We have ready access to telephone numbers for emergency services, including local police. Where we are responsible for the premises we have contact numbers for gas and electricity emergency services, carpenter and plumber.

We keep an incident book for recording incidents including those that that are reportable to the Health and Safety Executive as above. These incidents include:

  • – break in, burglary, theft of personal or the setting’s property;
  • – an intruder gaining unauthorised access to the premises;
  • – fire, flood, gas leak or electrical failure;
  • – attack on member of staff or parent on the premises or nearby;
  • – any racist incident involving staff or family on the centre’s premises;
  • – death of a child;
  • – a terrorist attack, or threat of one.

In the incident book we record the date and time of the incident, nature of the event, who was affected, what was done about it or if it was reported to the police, and if so a crime number. Any follow up, or insurance claim made, is also recorded.

In the unlikely event of a terrorist attack we follow the advice of the emergency services with regard to evacuation, medical aid and contacting children’s families.

Our standard Fire Safety and Emergency Evacuation Policy will be followed and staff will take charge of their key children. The incident is recorded when the threat is averted.

In the unlikely event of a child dying on the premises, the emergency services are called, and the advice given by these services are followed.

Child protection matters or behavioural incidents between children are NOT regarded as incidents and there are separate procedures for this which I already covered in Assignment 2 of this course. In other words, the incident book is not for recording issues of concern involving a child.

School Reportable Accidents, Incidents or Injuries

Our Health and Safety manual also lists other situations where the school is required to report to outside agencies and the required forms and telephone numbers.

Ofsted is notified of any food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on our premises and any injury requiring treatment by a general practitioner or hospital doctor, or the death of a child or adult as soon as possible or at least within 14 days of the incident occurring.

Local child protection agencies are informed of any serious accident or injury to, or the death of any child while in our care and we act on any advice given by those agencies.

When there is any injury requiring general practitioner or hospital treatment to a child, parent, volunteer or visitor or where there is a death of a child or adult on the premises, we make a report to the Health and Safety Executive using the format for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences. Any RIDDOR reports are filed by, and referred to, our School’s Business Manager.

 

My answers for the questions in the next unit will follow…


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Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696) Part 3

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 7: Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696)

This unit required me to carry out practical activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting the paperwork that I sent to my tutor within this post. I hope you understand.

Learning Criteria: Understand how to support children and young people to assess and manage risk for themselves.

Question 3.1: Explain why it is important to take a balanced approach to risk management

It is good practice for a setting’s health and safety policy to have a section devoted to risk assessment; having a clear policy which states the setting’s overall objectives, together with written procedures that put these policies into practice, seems to be the key to good risk management within schools. Although the procedures should give clear guidance, our Health and Safety Officer says that they should also recognise that a degree of flexibility is required so that teaching staff can exercise their professional judgement. This approach will enable staff to strike a balance between safety and pursuing the pupil’s educational goals.

As a Mum, one of my main concerns is to keep my children safe from harm but I know that if they never experience risk or face challenges they will never grow and develop into well balanced adults; doing this can be very hard. Schools face the same balancing act; as practitioners, if we try to remove all risks from pupil’s school lives we could be restricting their learning experiences which would have a negative effect on their development. Of course, some risks obviously need to be avoided and we wouldn’t be competent in our role of caring for children and young people if we didn’t protect them from these dangers. Faulty electrical equipment, overloaded shelves and poisonous chemicals are a few examples of what can be clearly dangerous. On the other hand situations such as, climbing stairs, visiting the park, using a hammer or lighting a candle are experiences where is important to access the real level of risk. These experiences can extend the children’s learning and understanding on how to manage the real world in which they live.

It is very important that we teach children skills that will help them to manage dangers and risk for themselves. Giving children the opportunity to experience a certain level of risky experiences in a safe environment will help them to develop confidence and competence to make their own decisions in terms of risk taking. As already mentioned previously, risk assessment is an essential part of activity planning and a wide range of factors should be taken into consideration, such as, age of the children, the nature of the activity, the physical environment, the level of supervision required, etc. After doing a good risk assessment the activity can go ahead with the understanding that little accidents that might happen are a part of everyone’s learning experience. The Wiltshire LEA’s Health and Safety policy only requires us to formally assess significant and/or foreseeable risks to health and safety or welfare of employees, pupils or third parties and includes a non-exhaustive list of typical risk assessments that schools would be expected to have considered, undertaken and be able to produce on request. However, the manual also states that although hindsight often skews what is deemed to be foreseeable

Schools should not waste effort assessing risks from the unpredictable and incredible events that could conceivably occur

For example is if a child is never allowed to cut with scissors they will never learn to use them and develop their fine motor skills, so as adults, we must manage the risk by providing him/her with child friendly scissors, supervising him/her and making him/her aware of how to hold scissors when cutting and moving around the classroom. Many of the pupils who come through our food technology kitchen are not allowed to use knives, peelers, graters or cook on the hobs at home, as a parent myself I can understand this reticence, however, we show them how to hold, store and utilise these commonplace pieces of equipment in a safe and educational way.

So in conclusion, children need to experiment and explore their surrounding in order to learn. By taking risks, children build their capabilities, explore their emotions, expand their horizons and test boundaries while also gaining practical experience of taking responsibility for their own safety. Taking a balanced approach to risk management creates the opportunities for children and young people to develop while reducing excessively risky situations, thus minimizing the likelihood of an accident or injury.

Question 3.2: Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements

As already covered in Unit 2 when discussing safeguarding and welfare, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recognizes the right of children and young people to and education, to learn and make their own choices and to develop into adults, all while being protected from harm. This means that everyone working with children has a duty of care towards them and this is where the dilemma occurs.

Children learn and develop by making choices, exploring and experimenting within the environment around, each child is an individual and as such, makes his/her choices in their own way and has built up different likes and dislikes of but they do not necessarily have the skills, experience or judgement to make the safe choice. This is where a good practitioner comes in. The adult role is to encourage the child to explore, learn to make choices and have their voices heard when decisions are being made that involve or affect them. As a practitioner we must be there to support them by teaching them the skills needed, for example in the school garden, a child should not be stopped from using a spade and planting vegetables outside but instead must be provided with a child size tool, show them how to dig the soil safely, place the plant in the ground and be there to supervise them while doing so this supports the child’s choice while minimizing the risk. As a practitioner we need to give children that freedom to explore experiment and make choice but also make sure that the risk is managed by doing risk assessment and adult supervision. Children are bound to have accident when learning new thing but they must not stopped from doing so but we must look for ways of how this can be done safely.

Health and safety regulations may sometimes put a limit on those freedoms, so for the child’s wellbeing and safety we may limit their options. At the setting that I currently work in I have the responsibility of encouraging pupils to make choices to explore and progress their learning and developing skills, while ensuring that the activities and situations support the individual needs and abilities of the children, in a safe and well controlled environment, so that all children are protected from harm. This will mean that there are times when I need to intervene on a choice or decision a child makes, as the risk of harm outweighs what they have chosen to do. In these situations, it is essential that we explain why we have prevented them from carrying out their chosen action, and encourage them to think of the risks they may have faced, or others around them may have faced. This supports children’s understanding and awareness of their own safety and that of others, while encouraging them become aware of risks and consequences.

So, in conclusion through exploring new experiences and making choices, children and young people learn and develop the skills necessary to support them into their adult life, however they do not always have the skills and judgments that allows them to make safe choices and decisions. Therefore it is the responsibility of parents, carers and professional practitioners to identify potential dangers, and make the decision on when it is appropriate to allow the child to undertake an activity or make a choice.

 

Question 3.3: Give examples from own practice of supporting children and young people to assess and manage risks

As mentioned when answering the previous question, I currently work as a teaching assistant and have the responsibility of encouraging pupils to make choices to explore and progress their learning and develop skills, while ensuring that the activities and situations support their individual needs and abilities, in a safe and well controlled environment, so that all the children are protected from harm.

My time as a lunchtime supervisor at the school allows me plenty of opportunities to put this into practice.

For example, we regularly remind the children to slow down when running on the grass when it’s wet and suggest using the paths instead. As adults, we know that there is a higher risk of slipping/falling when a surface is wet, especially grass. Of course, we explain this to them and why we don’t think they should run on the wet grass but by letting them manage their own risks it supports them in making their own decisions regarding their safety and well being.

We have an area devoted to various play apparatus; balancing blocks, log rope, stepping logs, balance walk, rope walk with parallel bars. The children love this area and enjoy playing and challenging themselves to improve their skills. The older children enjoy doing forward and backward rolls on the parallel bars, we gently remind them to be aware of the space around them, to ensure their grip is solid and to be careful. We support the younger children to walk across the rope and teach them to hold onto the bars, reminding them that the acrobatics that they see the older children performing has been built up over their years at the school, encouraging them that if they don’t give up, perfect their balance and their handling of the bars that by the time they become Key Stage 2 pupils they’ll be doing forward rolls too. There is always a member of staff supervising this part of our playground and it can also be seen from where our First Aid officer stands.

Our Lake class is made up of children from Reception to Year 1 and at times they are allowed to ride scooters and bikes on their part of the playground. To help them to avoid injuries the teacher and the teaching assistants speak to them about safety rules and possible risk to hurt themselves or others if they do not follow these rules. When helping in that class last week, the teacher asked me to remind the children of the safety rules when using bikes and scooters and to supervise those children who will be taking part. I talked to them about hazards and asked them how they could make riding safer. As we have a separate area for riding I explained to the children why it is important to stay inside this area and I also explained why it is dangerous to walk or run into the riding area and what might happen if they will do so. When the children went out to play I supervised them to prevent any accidents, as expected, I had to remind some children about the rule but I think my support in this activity was quite effective because the children had lots of fun and nobody was injured.

That being said, there will always be some children that want to make their own minds up about this and don’t seem to listen, or those children with special needs who either learn at a different pace or are unable to understand the concept of danger, which is why appropriate staff are there to supervise them and will support them if anything does happen.

So in conclusion, by maintaining a safe environment without mollycoddling or wrapping them up in cotton wool, helps children and young adults to develop their skills and build up a sense of awareness so that they are able to assess the risks of any given activity or situation and managing the level of risks in their lives.

 

My answers for the next questions in this unit will follow…


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Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696) Part 2

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 7: Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696)

This unit required me to carry out practical activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting the paperwork that I sent to my tutor within this post. I hope you understand.

Learning Criteria: Be able to recognise and manage risks to health, safety and security in a work setting or off site visits.

Question 2.1: Demonstrate how to identify potential hazards to the health, safety and security of children or young people, families and other visitors and colleagues assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 2.2: Demonstrate ability to deal with hazards in the work setting or in off site visits assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 2.3: Undertake a health and safety risk assessment in own work setting or service illustrating how its implementation will reduce risk assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 2.4: Explain how health and safety risk assessments are monitored and reviewed assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

My answers for the next set of questions in this unit will follow…


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Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696) Part 1

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 7: Support Children and Young People’s Health and Safety (D/601/1696)

This unit required me to carry out practical activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting the paperwork that I sent to my tutor within this post. I hope you understand.

Learning Criteria: Understand how to plan and provide environments and services that support children and young people’s health and safety.

Question 1.1: Describe the factors to take into account when planning healthy and safe indoor and outdoor environments and services

As covered in previous assignments, every child has a right to feel safe, secure and protected from harm; it is, in fact, one of the main responsibilities of educational settings to help pupils accomplish this. Of course, a learning environment could be any area inside or outside the school setting which is used for teaching and learning. For example, a learning environment may be a general teaching area such as a classroom or the school hall, a specialist teaching area such as those set up for science, art, food technology or P.E. or an outside area such as a playground, school kitchen garden or sports field. The goals of any such area will be to maximise learning, while creating a safe and positive environment but at the same time, minimising behaviour problems.

When planning and preparing the learning environment, the safety, hygiene, comfort and security of those pupils who will be using it must always be taken into account. This includes such factors as; the individual needs, age and abilities of the children and young people involved, any specific risks to individuals who have difficulties such as Autism or other emotion/social linked conditions, sensory or physical impairments, etc (this also includes specific risks to any staff members who are pregnant), the function and purpose of environments and services offered, the duty of care involved, the desired outcomes for the children and young people and the lines of responsibility and accountability. I think that being alert to this is the first step. In her book Teaching Assistant’s Handbook (Level 3), Teena Kamen lists ten important safety points to remember when establishing a healthy, safe and secure learning environment which I feel helps to highlights the factors to take into account when planning healthy and safe indoor and outdoor environments and services:

  1. All equipment and materials must be appropriate to the ages/levels of development of the pupils, for example, small items are potential choke hazards for young children.

  2. Pupils must listen carefully and follow instructions on the use of equipment and materials during activities, for example handling fragile or breakable objects with care.

  3. Pupils must be told never to put anything in their mouths during learning activities unless instructed to do so by the adult in charge (they may be allowed to sample food during cooking or tasting activity).

  4. Safety goggles to British Standard BS2092 (that can be worn with spectacles) should be worn by pupils engaged in hazardous activities such as sawing, hammering and science experiments involving chemicals.

  5. Pupils should not touch electrical equipment, especially with wet hands.

  6. When pupils are doing cooking activities ensure that: ingredients are fresh and in good condition; dried ingredients are stored in airtight containers; cooking utensils and table surfaces are scrupulously clean; and all hands are washed before use.

  7. Check if any pupil is prevented from taking part in an activity due to cultural or religious dietary prohibitions; ensure that individual children are not allergic to any of the ingredients or materials.

  8. Long hair should be tied back during construction, cooking, P.E. and science activities.

  9. Pupils should be taught how to use, arrange and store P.E. apparatus correctly and safely as appropriate to their age and level of development.

  10. Pupils should report all accidents to the teacher or teaching assistant.

(Kamen, T (2011) Teaching Assistant’s Handbook Level 3, Hodder Education, London)

It is important that all children and young people should be given equal opportunities and this needs to be remembered when planning both the learning environment and the activity, which means that all pupils, including those with special needs, need to be considered when planning the learning environment, for example, the environment may need to be changed or adapted for the needs of particular children.

Some factors to be considered for indoor environments could include:
Space – for example, is there enough space or room for the pupils to achieve what they should, does furniture need moving if perhaps the class were having circle-time?
Accessibility – for example, if a pupil is in a wheelchair they need to have as much access to the classroom facilities as others? Furniture and resources may need to be moved.
Light – for example, brightness may need to be adjusted accordingly if a child or young person is visually impaired.
Sound – for example, some pupils may be sensitive to sound, e.g. a child on the autistic spectrum. It may not always be possible for noises to be avoided however as a learning support practitioner we need to be aware of the effect they can have on pupils.

Whilst outdoors, we would need to consider such factors as:
Space – is there enough space or room for the pupils to achieve what they should, if the playground in the reception area was too small for the use of equipment (the parachute for example) then we would need to move to the main playground.
Weather – does the weather permit us to carry out an activity, the playground may not be open if it was too icy or if it was covered with snow.
Security – is the outdoor environment safe, could pupils wander off, are there enough adults supervising the pupils, it the area safe for the activity?
Appropriate clothing – the pupils may need different clothing for an activity, wellies if they are gardening or sunhats when outside in summer.
Cleanliness – is the area clean, is it free of litter and animal excreta?
But it’s not just about the physical environment around us; all equipment, resources and materials must also be used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and the guidelines stated in the setting’s Health and Safety policy; which staff need to be familiar with. In addition, when supporting pupils in the use of materials, resources and equipment we should ensure that; the learning environment is safe and free of hazards during practical activities, equipment and materials are used in such a way as to support the pupils learning needs, equipment in use is suitable for the age needs and abilities of the children using it, manufacturer’s guidelines are adhered to and equipment, resources and materials are stored in a safe manner when not in use.

So, if for example I had to plan a session using bikes and scooters for the Reception/Year 1 class in the play area outside their classroom, firstly I would ensure that the equipment, i.e. the bikes, trikes, scooters helmets and pads were in safe and good working condition. Secondly, I would ensure that the main gates to the setting were closed so that no child could wonder out without my knowledge. Thirdly, during the activity, I would ensure that the children were all wearing the proper safety protection, i.e. helmets and pads and that the bikes, trikes and scooters were being used in the proper manner and with plenty of space. Planning for extra staff to help with this activity would also ensure that there was an extra pair of eyes to keep watch while allowing support for those children who were still learning to ride.

So, in conclusion, a varied environment supports children and young people’s learning and development, it gives them confidence to explore and learn in safe and secure yet challenging indoor or outdoor space, however, this means that every environment needs to be assessed and every activity has to be planned, meaning that we need to plan for the unexpected or unusual to happen as well as the likely and standard outcomes.

 

Question 1.2: Explain how health and safety is monitored and maintained and how people in the work setting are made aware of risks and hazards and encouraged to work safely

Every staff member within a school, whether employed to support an individual pupil, a group of pupils, a class, a subject or a year group, should contribute to maintaining an effective learning environment, we are a team after all. At the school that I currently work in, we all share duties such as; keeping classroom resources in good order, assisting in preparation of resources before lessons and tidying them afterwards, making sure the learning environment is clean and tidy, repairing and maintaining apparatus and resources or assisting in the presentation of work and display areas.

Keeping accurate records and monitoring the condition of materials, resources and equipment will ensure that they are always readily available and in good condition. Our business manager confirmed that it is also good practice to monitor the demand for and use of materials, resources and equipment so that the setting can identify areas for improving quality, supply and suitability, which makes sense. Any damage or shortages of learning equipment, resources and materials must be reported to the relevant staff member, e.g. class teacher, Health & Safety officer, etc. so that the situation can be rectified effectively.

The quality and quantity of materials, resources and equipment can be maintained by carrying out routine cleaning and maintenance (in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and any legal, regulatory and organisational requirements, of course) for example, when we clean our Food Technology kitchen oven or replace the toner in the photocopiers, etc. It is also important that any problem with maintaining materials, resources and equipment that lies outside your particular area of responsibility must be reported to the relevant person within the setting so that the issue can be fixed as soon as possible. For example, the water in our Reception Class was not draining away one day, so we told our Health & Safety Officer who arranged a plumber to come to the school to fix the problem.

National legislation states that both employers and employees have a duty of care regarding health and safety at work and as a response to this every setting will have relevant policies and procedures. In the school that I currently work in, each new member of staff is asked to read the school policies to ensure that they are aware of their rights, what is expected from them and the procedures to follow in the case of an incident. They are also shown where the safety equipment is, i.e. alarms, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire exits, first aid boxes and safety signage.

An employer’s duty of care under the Health and Safety Act 1974 is applicable whatever the size of the organisation. In practice there are many provisions that an employer must make, for example, ensuring that the workplace safe, prevent risks to health, make sure ventilation, temperature, lighting and toilet/washing/rest/first aid facilities all meet health, safety and welfare requirements, etc. the list is quite extensive. The subject and maintenance of good health and safety in a school is a huge undertaking and although safety is not the sole responsibility of one staff member, the setting that I am currently working in, has a designated Health & Safety Officer.

It is the role of our Health & Safety Officer to have overall responsibility for health, safety and first aid of the school, reporting directly to our Head Teacher; she is our central source of information and attends training sessions throughout the year to ensure her knowledge is current. The other duties she holds includes; keeping an up-to-date list of first-aiders, arranging first-aid training, arranging feedback sessions following any training, ensuring everyone is made aware of safety policies and first-aid provisions (she sometimes creates fun quizzes which we complete during staff meetings), regularly inspecting the Accident and Injury book (not only to highlight any potential areas of concern but to ensure that we’re all still following the correct procedures), compiling a checklist for accident prevention and safety, carrying out a premise-wide hazard check, notifying the Head Teacher of all matters requiring her attention, such as potentially serious incidents, carrying out regular fire alarm checks and drills and attending governors meetings.

 

Question 1.3: Identify sources of current guidance for planning healthy and safe environments and services

On a personal level, should I need guidance when planning healthy and safe environments and activities, I would refer to my colleagues and utilise their experience and knowledge; particularly our Health & Safety officer. I would also ensure that my plans complied with the school’s policies and procedures; the Health & Safety folder is an epic tome, kept in our school office, which contains everything related to this all encompassing subject from current legislations, including Wiltshire LEA guidelines to actual risk assessment forms.

Should a school require advice, looking at the national legislations concerned with healthy and safe environments relevant to the workplace in general and to educational settings in particular could be used as starting point, e.g. the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999,  and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended in 2002) or the specific regulations relating to the equipment used in the classroom such as; the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

However, that’s a lot of legalities to sift through, luckily, the UK government’s Department for Education publish advice on health and safety on their website which covers activities that take place both on or off school premises, which means that it also includes advice about school trips which seems like a much less painful source of guidance. The most recent government guidance (dated 13 February 2014) states that it,

replaces a number of guidance documents on health, safety and security in schools, including ‘Health and safety: responsibilities and powers (2001)’ and ‘Health and safety of pupils on educational visits (HASPEV 1998)’. It summarises the existing health and safety law relevant to schools and explains how it affects:

  • local authorities
  • governing bodies
  • headteachers
  • other school staff.

It also covers activities that take place on or off school premises, including school trips. Advice on driving school minibuses is now provided separately.”

(UK Government Online, Publications, Health and Safety Advice for Schools [available] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-safety-advice-for-schools (10.09.16))

Another good source of advice and guidance is the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness. The HSE

works with Education stakeholders across GB to ensure that education dutyholders are managing any significant risks arising from school activities and from the school premises e.g. meeting the requirements to manage asbestos; slips and trips. The Sector encourages stakeholders to adopt a common sense approach to risk management, making clear that schools are about providing children with a range of valuable learning experiences within which risks should be managed proportionately and sensibly

(HSE Online, Education, [available] http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/index.htm (10.09.16))

Schools can also utilise the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) who are

the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents”

(Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) Website “Who are we”, Online, [available] http://www.capt.org.uk (10.09.16))

Not only is their website is a fount of information but schools can contact CAPT for advice, to arrange training sessions or buy CAPT endorsed safety products directly from the site.

I also understand that although OFSTED inspectors will not set out to look at specific aspects of health and safety, they will assess the effectiveness of the school’s policies and procedures and will note and ask questions about any hazards on the school site. For example, if a fence is broken, inspectors may seek assurance that unauthorised access to the school site is not possible, or if the school has a pond, inspectors may want to know how the school prevents accidents. Inspectors will also ask pupils if they feel safe in school and include such findings and recommendations in their final report.

On a local level, the Wiltshire LEA not only send copies of their current health and safety guidelines (including procedures and training requirements) but also have various liaison officers to help and give guidance on these issues too, for example, listen in the School’s Health and Safety folder is a Wiltshire Policy Adviser, a Health & Safety Liaison Officer at County Hall, an Education HR Manager also at County Hall as well as dedicated School Nursing Service that can be contacted. Other local sources of advice and information could include; St John Ambulance, your local Fire Brigade or the Police.

 

Question 1:4 Explain how current health and safety legislation, policies and procedures are implemented in own work setting or service.

As already mentioned, the myriad of health and safety legislation, policies and procedures in a school is huge and, I feel, impacts on everything we do; where we work, what we do and how we do it is all covered under legislation. It is so integral to our day to day practices that new employees are informed of all relevant health and safety information as part of the induction process and existing staff are kept up to date by way of training sessions or staff meetings.

General cleanliness and good hygiene is important in our school; all staff are responsible for good housekeeping while the children are taught to wash hands before eating and after using the toilet and also to throw away any tissues after use and wash their hands. My setting participates in any health and safety audits arranged by the LEA and also ensures the health and safety notice board in the staff room is kept up to date, for example, that a copy of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 poster is permanently on display.

The responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 as well as the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 are so many that the setting that I am currently working in, has appointed a designated Health & Safety Officer whose role it is to ensure we are working in accordance to current laws; she works closely with our designated First Aid Supervisor and our designated Fire Safety Supervisor.

It is the role of our Health & Safety Officer to have overall responsibility for health and safety for the school, reporting directly to our Head Teacher; she is our central source of information and attends training sessions throughout the year to ensure her knowledge is current. The other duties she holds includes; liaising with our First Aid Supervisor to keep a up-to-date list of school first-aiders, arranging first-aid training, arranging feedback sessions following any training, ensuring everyone is made aware of safety policies and first-aid provisions (she sometimes creates fun quizzes which we complete during staff meetings), regularly inspecting the Accident and Injury book (not only to highlight any potential areas of concern but to ensure that we’re all still following the correct procedures), compiling a checklist for accident prevention and safety, carrying out a premise-wide hazard check with our Fire Safety Supervisor, carrying out regular fire alarm checks and drills, notifying the Head Teacher of all matters requiring her attention, such as potentially serious incidents and attending governors meetings.

The many Risk Assessments that we carry out and review for all workshops, activities, educational visits and journeys, are a direct consequence of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 although it seems that most health and safety legislation requires a risk assessment approach, for example, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended in 2002) dictates what load we can carry and how we should carry it which quite frequently comes into play when moving storage boxes around the classroom or lifting and carrying our younger pupils but stipulates that the risks of manual handling should be assessed for each situation.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, simplifies over 70 pieces of previous fire safety legislation and repeals the Fire Precautions Act 1971, the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (amended 1999). The order places a legal requirement for each building to have an up to date fire risk assessment; this identifies all sources of heat with the potential to cause fire e.g. gas heaters, Bunsen burners, cookers etc. and also considers the safe storage of combustible materials. As a direct response to this piece of legislation, our school has a Fire Safety Policy which is policed by our designated Fire Safety Supervisor. The policy aims to minimise the risk of fire, reduce the spread of any fire, provide means of escape and take preventative action; thus creating our procedures for dealing with a fire and how incidents are recorded. Identified circumstances that initiate the emergency procedure are also recorded as are details of the evacuation and fire drill. All teaching staff are fire wardens and have responsibility for checking their designated areas of the school under our Fire Safety Supervisor. We carry out drills on a regular basis to ensure all staff and children know the evacuation procedure and where the assembly point is. Having drills also ensures that evacuation routes are kept clear and marked with appropriate signs. We have numerous fire extinguishers throughout the school buildings and they are checked and maintained regularly, school staff are given appropriate instruction or training and visitors are controlled and informed of the evacuation procedure when they visit the school. Our school has taken steps to reduce the risk of spread of fire e.g. fire resisting walls and doors are kept in good order, the doors are equipped with self closing devices, etc. And finally our school keeps records of the Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Safety Policy, procedures, training, drills and installation and maintenance of alarms, emergency lighting and extinguishers.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 stipulates that employers have to ensure that there are adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities for providing first aid in the workplace, which should include arrangements for first aid based on a risk assessment of the school. Our designated First Aid Supervisor helps to arrange first aid training for teachers, teaching assistants and MDSAs which we attend on a regular basis. We know how to record any first aid incidents or accidents, that an accident slip is always sent home with the child and a parent is always contacted if a pupil has sustained a bump to the head; these procedures are also applicable when a member of staff is hurt.

If any child is ill, e.g. vomiting, diarrhoea or displays symptom of common childhood illnesses, etc. which may spread to others, their parents are informed and asked to collect the child as soon as possible and they are asked to keep the child off school for the appropriate length of time required so as to prevent it spreading to others. If any staff member is required to clean any bodily fluids up we know where the products are kept and how to dispose of it safely and also what protective clothing to wear, while the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) and subsequent LEA procedures ensure that should a more serious incident arise the school knows what to do, who to inform and what documents need completing.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) covers all school equipment from a chair to a stepladder and ensures that everything we use is maintained and fit for purpose, for example, by monitoring purchasing and maintenance of equipment and materials ensuring that it all complies with current health and safety standards and has the correct safety markings in place, e.g. British and European Standards, the British Kite mark, the European CE Mark, the Lion Mark, while it is the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 that ensures that every electrical item at our school works properly and is regularly maintained. In addition to calling in an electrician to repair any faulty piece of equipment, every year the school is visited by a professional who checks every piece of electric equipment we use in school. He records his visit, both for our records and his, and notes his findings after affixing a sticker to each item checked to confirm its status “Passed” or “Faulty”. For this reason, it is school policy that we only use school verified equipment and not bring in anything from home meaning all equipment in school has the correct safety markings in place. Of course, it goes without saying that the school also monitor contractors and ensure that only competent, approved contractors are working on site.

As I have already mentioned, my setting provides a clean and safe environment staff and the pupils to work in. All cleaning products and chemicals are kept in a locked cupboard as directed by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations which not only relates to substances such a cleaning chemicals, etc. but also exposure to dusts emitted by work processes and biological hazards. This means that if any staff member is required to clean any spillages we know where the products are kept, how to use them, dispose of it safely and also what protective clothing to wear.

 

My answers for the next set of questions in this unit will follow…


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Develop professional relationships with children, young people and adults (H/601/4065)

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 6: Develop professional relationships with children, young people and adults (H/601/4065)

This unit required me to carry out practical activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting the paperwork that I sent to my tutor within this post. I hope you understand.

Learning Criteria: Be able to develop professional relationships with children and young people.

Question 1.1: Demonstrate how to establish rapport and respectful, trusting relationships with children and young people assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

Question 1.2: Demonstrate supportive and realistic responses to children and young people’s questions, ideas, suggestions and concerns assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

Question 1.3: Demonstrate how to support children and young people in making choices for themselves assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

Question 1.4: Give attention to individual children and young people in a way that is fair to them and the group as a whole assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

Learning Criteria: Be able to communicate with children and young people.

Question 2.1: Use different forms of communication to meet the needs of children and young people assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

Question 2.2: Demonstrate how to adapt communication with children and young people for: assessed in the workplace

  1. the age and stage of development of the child or young person

  2. the context of the communication

  3. communication differences

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

Question 2.3: Demonstrate strategies and techniques to promote understanding and trust in communication with children and young people assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Learning Criteria: Be able to develop professional relationships with adults.

Question 3.1: Demonstrate how to establish rapport and professional relationships with adults assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 3.2: Demonstrate how to adapt communication with adults for: assessed in the workplace

  1. cultural and social differences

  2. the context of the communication

  3. communication differences

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 3.3: Demonstrate strategies and techniques to promote understanding and trust in communication with adults assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 3.4: Use skills and techniques to resolve misunderstandings and conflicts constructively assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 3.5: Explain when and how to refer other adults to further sources of information, advice or support.

A request for information, advice or support can be received at any time when working in a school. It should be dealt with efficiently by providing the materials or information that the other adult has asked for, in a prompt, well presented manner. I find that it is helpful to clarify what information is being asked for, especially if the request was vague, wide ranging or I’ve been given too little information to identify and locate the requested information. Once the clarification is received, a response should be issued as promptly as possible.

It is very important to make a good impression when responding to inquiries from other adults, be it parents about their children, teachers about pupils, outside professional such as therapists about pupils, or even teachers needing pastoral support, in fact, Louise Burnham puts it nicely in her book when she advises,

you may be working with or developed a close working relationship with them, so you may be asked to give advice. Maintain your professionalism and only give correct information. If unsure tell them and say you will find out and then update them ASAP. You may have to refer them onto one of the many social services departments who specialise in certain areas. If you are not sure speak to your SENCO or member of senior management team.

(Burnham, L (2006) The Teaching Assistant’s Handbook (S/NVQ Level 3), Heinemann Educational Publishers)

which is sound advice. I always try to maintain a professional relationship while being as helpful as I can, in fact, just recently, I was asked a question by a parent at home time as the children were leaving class and I lead them to the class teacher straight away in a very polite, friendly and professional manner.

It should also be highlighted that certain types of information are subject to specified standards, as previously mentioned in previous assignments, e.g. data protection, child protection, etc. It is important to provide information only to those individuals who are entitled to receive it, in which case, I would advise the person requesting information of this, including any procedures or timeframes involved with their query. For example, in the primary academy that I am currently working in, it is our business manager who is responsible for records on pupils, employees, purchasing and accounts and as such I would refer to her for information, advice or support in these areas.

When responding to other adults’ requests for information, it is good practice to take into account such things as; the type of information that is available, how to make good use of the available information, appraising the content and assess what else might be needed, how to bring together relevant information, how to assess the relevance and status of information and how to spot any gaps in information. My motto is “if in doubt, ask someone” which means that if I am ever unsure of any information that I am reading, I will confirm my understanding with a colleague. In my opinion, citing ignorance as an excuse when passing on inaccurate information is highly unprofessional and damages trust.

For example, if I received a request for any information concerning Special Educational Needs, I would refer to our school’s SENCO, as she has a lot of experience and would know exactly where to send them for the specific help they needed. Our SENCO is not only responsible for the day to day running of the school’s SEN policy but is also the person who liaises with the parents, teachers and any other professionals involved with our pupils who have extra needs. She attends all meetings concerning children with special education needs and can refer a child for extra assessments to outside professionals, for example child psychologists or speech therapists, etc. If the SENCO was unavailable and the parent or adult needed urgent help I would pass the parent or other adult onto a senior member of staff, such as my line manger, however, if the adult told me there was no rush I would write as much information about the query as possible including the date, name, contact details.  At this stage, I would not attempt to advise another adult myself as I could be giving them incorrect information which could not only damage my professional standing but their relationship with the school.

Learning Criteria: Be able to support children and young people in developing relationships.

Question 4.1: Demonstrate ways of helping children and young people to understand the value and importance of positive relationships with others assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 4.2: Provide an effective role model in own relationships with children, young people and adults assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 4.3: Use appropriate strategies for encouraging and supporting children and young people to understand and respect other peoples assessed in the workplace

  1. individuality, diversity and difference

  2. feelings and points of view

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 4.4: Demonstrate ways of encouraging and supporting children and young people to deal with conflict for themselves assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 4.5: Provide encouragement and support for other adults in the setting to have a positive relationships with children and young people assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

 

Learning Criteria: Be able to comply with policies and procedures for confidentiality, sharing information and data protection.

Question 5.1: Apply the setting’s policies and procedures for:  assessed in the workplace

  1. sharing information

  2. confidentiality

  3. data protection

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

Question 5.2: Demonstrate how to report and record information formally and informally in the appropriate way for the audience concerned assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

 

My answers for the questions in the next unit will follow…


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Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069) Part 5

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 5: Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069)

Learning Criteria: Be able to contribute to reviews of  behaviour and behaviour policies.

This unit required me to carry out activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting my paperwork that I sent to my tutor here in this post. I hope you understand.

Question 5.1: Demonstrate ways of supporting children and young people to review their behaviour and the impact of this on others, themselves and their environment assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 5.2: Demonstrate ways of supporting children and young people with behavioural difficulties to identify and agree behaviour targets assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 5.3: Use own knowledge of promoting positive behaviour to contribute to reviews of behaviour policies, including bullying, attendance and the effectiveness of rewards and sanctions assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 5.4: Provide clear and considered feedback on the effectiveness of behaviour management strategies to inform policy review and development assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

My answers for the questions in the next unit will follow…


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Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069) Part 4

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 5: Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069)

Learning Criteria: Be able to respond to challenging behaviour.

This unit required me to carry out activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting my paperwork that I sent to my tutor here in this post. I hope you understand.

Question 4.1: Recognise patterns and triggers which may lead to inappropriate behavioural responses and take action to pre-empt, divert or diffuse potential flash points assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 4.2: Use agreed strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour according to the policies and procedures of the setting assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 4.3: Assess and manage risks to own and others’ safety when dealing with challenging behaviour assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 4.4: Support children, young people and colleagues to identify the situations and circumstances which trigger inappropriate behavioural responses and ways of avoiding these from happening assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 4.5: Recognise and take immediate action to deal with and bullying, harassment or oppressive behaviour according to the policies and procedures of the setting assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

My answers to the next questions in this unit will follow…


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Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069) Part 3

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 5: Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069)

Learning Criteria: Be able to manage inappropriate behaviour.

 

This unit required me to carry out activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting my paperwork that I sent to my tutor here in this post. I hope you understand.

 

Question 3.1: Demonstrate strategies for minimising disruption through inappropriate behaviour of children and young people assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

 

Question 3.2: Demonstrate strategies for managing inappropriate behaviour according to the policies and procedures of the setting assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 3.3: Apply rules and boundaries consistently and fairly, according to the age, needs and abilities of children and young people assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 3.4: Provide support for colleagues to deal with inappropriate behaviour of children and young people assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor

 

Question 3.5: Explain the sorts of behaviour or discipline problems that should be referred to others and whom these should be referred

There will be times when children might not show a positive behaviour; inappropriate behaviour is conduct that conflicts with the accepted values and beliefs of the school and Society. It may be demonstrated through speech, writing, non-verbal behaviour or physical abuse, however, getting to the bottom of the reason behind the unwanted behaviour is just as important, if not more so, than the deeds themselves. For example, sometimes demonstrating unwanted behaviours are a way for children and young people to test the limits of their boundaries which is an important part of their development, sometimes children’s unwanted behaviour is an indicator that they need some extra support in their academic work, however it should also be remembered that some behaviours are an indicator of a far more serious underlying reason which a practitioner needs to recognise ensuring that pupils are referred to another colleague or a professional. Therefore, it is important that practitioners can recognise when the situation needs to be referred to others and when they can handle it themselves, however, we can all still encourage positive behaviour and manage children’s common behaviour, e.g. good manners.

In the primary academy that I currently work in, main stream support staff can manage low level negative behaviours without being obliged to refer to others, e.g. class teacher, senior management team, deputy or head teacher. Behaviours such as; calling out, name calling, cheating, not being punctual to lessons, getting out of their seat, deeds that are attention seeking and inappropriate tasks during lessons.

To help with consistency, staff confidence and to ensure a safe and positive learning environment, the school’s behaviour policy highlights some of the sorts of behaviours that are discouraged and what sanctions will be used to enforce the school rules. The policy states,

We employ each sanction appropriately to each individual situation.

  • We expect children to listen carefully to instructions in lessons. If they do not do so, we ask them either to move to a place nearer the teacher, or to sit on their own.

  • We expect children to try their best in all activities. If they do not do so, we may ask them to redo a task.

  • If a child is disruptive in class, the teacher will respond appropriately e.g. reprimand, divert, guide. If a child misbehaves repeatedly, a senior member of staff and ultimately the Head Teacher, will intervene to remind the child of expectations.

  • Safety is paramount in all situations. If a child’s behaviour endangers the safety of others, the class teacher, or adult responsible for the session, will stop the activity and prevent the child from taking part for the rest of that session.

  • If a child threatens, hurts or bullies another person, the incident will be recorded and appropriate sanctions employed. If a child repeatedly acts in a way that disrupts or upsets others, the school will contact the child’s parents and seek an appointment in order to discuss the situation, with a view to improving the behaviour of the child.

There are specific types of unwanted behaviour that support staff can and do refer to others, usually it is to the class teacher, as he/she holds the primary responsibility for behaviour management within the classroom. These more challenging behaviours include; when pupils are a danger to themselves and/or others, if you are dealing with a difficult situation on your own, if pupils are not carrying out your instructions and you are not in control of the situation which could impact the health and safety of yourself and/or the pupils, when you are not comfortable dealing with a pupil, for example, if they are behaving in a threatening manner or behaving unpredictably and finally if the behaviour is illegal.

Our school has an integrated “Resource Base” for 14 children who have been identified with ASD and have SEN and as such, all staff who support these children receive regular training on behaviour management, de-escalation strategies and safe handling techniques, i.e. Team Teach, meaning that we have numerous colleagues to refer to if any child throughout the school is a danger to themselves or others, for example if he/she is very upset and starts throwing things, making a mess of the classroom or trying to hit, kick or bite others. In these situations, the class teacher will try to separate the child from the other children, whilst asking the teaching assistant or a responsible pupil to get a TEAM TEACH qualified person. These incidents are always reported to the Head Teacher and the appropriate follow-up procedures and statuary paperwork completed before the end of the school day.

The class teacher may decide that a particularly persistent or ‘significant’ misdemeanour’s is serious enough to warrant the involvement of a senior member of staff. These incidents would include such behaviours as; calculated and persistent abuse towards a particular child or adult in an emotional, psychological, sexual or physical manner, persistent bullying either to an individual or indiscriminately, any unacceptable attitudes, i.e. racism, sexism or homophobic slurs, persistent disruption despite the use of positive behaviour strategies , any dangerous behaviours that could cause harm to the pupil themselves, other pupils or staff and any instances of deliberate vandalism to school property. (Of course it also goes without saying that if any member of the support team also witnesses any of these behaviours they must report it to a member of the senior management team too as well as the child’s class teacher.)

School policy and procedures dictate that the senior management team will ensure that occurrences of any of the above mentioned incidents are logged and the pupil’s parents/carers are notified in writing about the incident that day. The senior management team may decided to refer to the local Behaviour Support Team whose role it is to help schools and teachers develop and implement behaviour support strategies all of which, will be discussed with his/her parents/carers ensuring that the child receives the support they need.

So in conclusion, depending on the situation and your role in the school, referrals may be appropriate when dealing with unwanted behaviours. It may be appropriate to just have support from another adult i.e. other teachers or support staff, within the school especially if they have experienced this before or have specialist training. Referring an incident of inappropriate behaviour to the class teacher or line supervisor may be appropriate as he/she may have knowledge or confidential information concerning the pupil. In most schools, the SENCO is often the first point of contact for any behaviour support and who staff go to for arranging additional strategies for use within the classroom. There is also a wide range of specialist support and advice available that the SENCO and/or school can contact outside of the school if necessary, such as the county’s behaviour support team or NHS psychologists, etc.

 

My answers to the next questions in this unit will follow…


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Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069) Part 2

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 5: Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069)

Learning Criteria: Be able to promote positive behaviour.

This unit required me to carry out activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be posting my paperwork that I sent to my tutor here in this post. I hope you understand.

Question 2.1: Explain the benefits of actively promoting positive aspects of behaviour

Positive behaviour and engagement with school is crucial to good educational attainment which not only benefit the pupil themselves but the educational setting too. Improving the behaviour of children and young people in school and increasing engagement with education is now a feature of education policy across the UK; in fact recently policy has also aimed to tackle truancy and exclusion from schools and has set targets to monitor progress and improving the behaviour and engagement of school pupils is instrumental in achieving these new government targets.

Learning theorists suggest that if you do something and like what happens, you are more likely to repeat the action. On the other hand, if you do something and don’t like what happens, you are more likely to stop doing it. So, in order to promote pupils’ positive behaviour, a system of clearly recognised, planned positive consequences is often introduced in schools; promoting positive behaviour focuses on good behaviour and sets out to ensure that children who work hard and behave well will be recognised and rewarded in a variety of ways.

Actively promoting positive aspects behaviour on a continued and consistent basis can bring many benefits to pupils, staff and schools.

For example, a positive framework with realistic expectations for pupils’ conduct created a welcoming and structured environment that helps the children to know their boundaries which not only promotes feelings of stability and security for the children but also provides the same for the adults who support them.

Positive motivation through praise, encouragement and rewards supports the development of pupils’ self-reliance, self-confidence and positive self-esteem which has many long term benefits as already discussed earlier in this course (Unit 1 L/601/1693 Understanding How Children and Young People Develop).

Another benefit is positive social interactions between pupils and staff which has the added benefit of not only encouraging staff confidence in supporting pupils’ learning.

Promoting positive behaviour creates a positive atmosphere which makes educating pupils more interesting and enjoyable which then has the potential to create opportunities for more effective thinking and learning leading to improved educational achievement and test/examination results. Penny Tassoni also writes,

By carefully working with children we can often create a positive atmosphere in which unwanted behaviour is rare

(Tassoni, P (2000) Diploma in Child Care and Education, Heinemann Educational Publishers, Oxford)

which means that a further longer term benefit of promoting positive aspects of behaviour is the reduction of unwanted or disruptive behaviour in the classroom.

It is interesting to learn that research has shown considerable benefits for young people, projects and communities as a result of improved behaviour in secondary schools; the potential knock on effects and long term benefits for society being cited as; more positive social interactions within friendships, groups, clubs, etc., a vitalising of community spirit and belief in citizenship, positive attitudes towards others, equal opportunities, racial harmony, etc. and a more positive attitude to education. In fact, when talking of the benefits of actively promoting positive aspects of behaviour at school generating a greater interest in going on to higher and further education, Teena Kamen writes,

Research shows that pupils are more likely to maintain an interest in education leading to further training and qualifications and are less likely to go on to experience ‘juvenile delinquency’ and adult unemployment (Ball, 1994)

(Kamen, T (2011) Teaching Assistant’s Handbook Level 3, Hodder Education, London)

which has got to be a wonderful benefit, not just as an economic success for individuals but for society as a whole.   

 

Question 2.2: Demonstrate ways of establishing ground rules with children and young people which underpin appropriate behaviours and respect for others assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

 

Question 2.3: Demonstrate strategies for promoting positive behaviour according to the policies and procedures of the setting assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

 

Question 2.4: Demonstrate realistic, consistent and supportive responses to children and young people’s behaviour assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

 

Question 2.5: Provide an effective role model for the standards of behaviour expected of children, young people and adults within the setting assessed in the workplace

Witness Testimony sent to tutor.

 

My answers to the next questions in this unit will follow…


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Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069) Part 1

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Unit 5: Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour (A/601/4069)

Learning Criteria: Understand policies and procedures for promoting children and young people’s positive behaviour.

This unit required me to carry out activities that were witnessed in a school setting. Due to confidentiality I will not be including my paperwork that I sent to my tutor here in this post. I hope you understand.

Question 1.1: Summarise the policies and procedures of the setting relevant to promoting children and young people’s positive behaviour.

The Education Act 1997 and the School Standards and Frameworks Act 1998 (Section 61) places a duty on all schools to state and pursue policies to promote good behaviour and discipline, furthermore, OFSTED is required to examine and report on schools’ behaviour policies and their implementation and to report on exclusion rates.

A setting’s behaviour policy shapes its ethos and makes a statement about how it values and includes all the people in it, however, it is not the behaviour policy’s sole responsibility to promote positive behaviour. The policies and subsequent procedures in the primary academy that I current work in that I feel are relevant to promoting positive behaviour within our school includes; the anti bullying policy, the attendance policy, the child protection policy, the happy school policy, the inclusion policy, the physical intervention policy, the playtime policy, the spiritual moral social cultural policy, the drugs policy, the SEND policy, the single equalities policy, the staff code of conduct policy and of course the behaviour policy itself.

How a school’s day-to-day activities of its staff and pupils are infused with these policies and procedures is just as important as the policies themselves. Throughout our school the way pupils are rewarded includes; positive and appropriate verbal praise, awarding individual merit points for behaviour and/or academic work, writing constructive and positive comments on children’s work, using suitable stickers when needed, awarding weekly certificates for demonstrated desired behaviours and awarding the Head Teachers award when earned.

These types of rewards are intended to increase the motivation in a child and by recognising their success will lead to their good behaviour and a positive work ethic. However, where there is praise there must also be sanctions which teaches children that unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated for example, instances of bullying, racism, disruptive behaviour and being disrespectful to adults. It is made clear to the child why the sanction has been used in order for them to understand and that change in their behaviour is required in order for further sanctions to be avoided. There is a clear difference made between minor and major offences, however, the focus is on the behaviour rather than the pupil as an individual.

Every individual class has created their own set of ‘Golden Rules’ or ‘Class Rules’ which have been developed by the children themselves (together with the class teacher) and are a positive tool for encouraging good behaviour, allowing for self assessment as well as a pupil being able to monitor the behaviour of the other children in the class. In addition to the class rules, our school council (together with the Head Teacher) have created playtime rules, diner hall rules and library rules which are displayed throughout the school and are referred to continuously by staff and children alike. These rules are our codes of conduct and are designed to show children how they can achieve acceptable standards of behaviour; rules encourage children to behave in a thoughtful and considerate manner which will produce a positive learning environment.

I strongly believe that all adults who work with children and young people have a responsibility to model a high standard of behaviour both in their dealings with minors and the adults around them because their example of behaviour has a significant influence on the children’s behaviour, I feel that this is especially crucial within an educational setting as the pupils are there to actively learn! This belief is shared by the school that I am currently working in and to compliment this fundamental premise, they have created and adopted strategies that encourage positive behaviour while deterring unwanted ones.

 

Question 1.2:Evaluate how the policies and procedures of the setting support children and young people to:

  1. feel safe

  2. make a positive contribution

  3. develop social and emotional skills

  4. understand expectations and limits

UK government’s Every Child Matters is a framework of outcomes that puts a child’s welfare at the forefront by ensuring that every child has the support they need to stay healthy, be safe, enjoy life, achieve economically and contribute to society positively (Every Child Matters Online [available] http://www.everychildmatters.co.uk/ 11/05/2016). Following on from my answer to Question 1.1 (Summarise the policies and procedures of the setting relevant to promoting children and young people’s positive behaviour) the primary academy that I am currently working in has created many policies, procedures and strategies with these outcomes, as well as other legislations, frameworks and statuary guidance, in mind when dealing with the subject of behaviour.

Feel Safe.

I completely agree with the premise that an educational setting should ensure that every child attending the school feels safe and the primary academy that I currently work in concurs with this absolutely.

It is with the creation of such ‘safeguarding’ policies like our anti-bullying, child protection, drugs and of course behaviour policy that the school can support children and young people to feel safe by having the procedures in place that not only deal with any instances of inappropriate behaviour with consistency but also comply with current legislation. For example, our school has a zero tolerance for bullying and by having an anti-bullying policy the children (and parents) know that it is not acceptable behaviour. After talking to a few classes about this subject recently, I have no doubt that most children in the school fees confident enough to report an incident if one occurs, either involving themselves or another pupil and who they can go to within the school to talk about any such situations is regularly discussed during whole school worship or PSHE sessions. Of course, we shouldn’t forget the important role that having a positive teacher-student relationship plays for children and young people to feel safe and secure at school.

It should also be mentioned here that having statuary policies concerned with these issues means that the school has a legal duty to ensure that all staff working are trained on the correct protocols on a regular basis. This means that all staff are always on the look-out for inappropriate behaviour, signs of abuse, etc ensuring that interventions can take place before a pupil’s circumstances and/or behaviours reach a crisis point, this generates a further level of protection which will add to a pupil’s feeling of wellbeing and safety.

We also have an ‘Open door policy’ where any parent who has concerns are able to meet with the class teacher or the Head Teacher to talk through any worries or anxieties that they may be experiencing which supports the families of our children to feel safe and secure too.

Make A Positive Contribution.

A school is an organisation of learning and as such should ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to make a positive contribution and the primary academy that I currently work in is no exception. It is with such policies and procedures like the inclusion policy, SEND policy, equal opportunities policy, happy school policy, etc that support children to make a positive contribution.

We allow our students’ to make positive contributions in all aspects of their learning and development, by providing plenty of opportunities for independent thought and self-government supporting activities that nurture the sense of control over their own behaviours and goals. For example, including the pupils in setting the ground rules in their class i.e. creating ‘Golden Rules’, welcoming students’ opinions and ideas before, during and after school council meetings and by giving the children the time they need to understand and absorb an activity by themselves.

A child or young person should feel like they make a positive contribution to their school by being noticed and rewarded for their achievements. Certificates, head teacher stickers, merit points are all ways of boosting a child’s confidence and can encourage positive behaviour.

In our school children are commended on their contribution to the school by receiving a ‘star of the week’ award or ‘head teacher’s award’ and they can also earn merit points if they have worked well or have demonstrated positive behaviour which go towards their house (badgers, hares, otters or squirrels); by doing this it gives the children a sense of achievement and makes them feel like they are contributing to the school.

Of course I understand that positive pupil contribution is linked to creating and maintaining positive teacher-student relationships; high quality teacher-pupil relationships are a key factor in determining student engagement, especially in the case of difficult students and those from lower social and economic backgrounds which our school has limited experience due to the demographic catchment area.

Develop Social and Emotional Skills.

It is not just the role of a school to teach a child to read, write and count but to develop his/her social and emotional skills too. It is with such school policies and procedures as the behaviour policy, the PSHE policy, the playtime policy, the inclusion and equal opportunities policies, the anti-bullying policy, the child protection policy, the anti-racism policy, etc. that our school supports the development of children and young people’s social and emotional skills. The aim of these policies is to encourage pupils to not only value themselves but others too by respecting everyone’s rights and not just tolerating differences but embracing them.

It is essential that children’s social and emotional skills are developed and taught as early as possible in order to give them the best chance of developing a healthy, emotional and social wisdom later on in life, it is important that children learn social skills such as taking turns, learn to cooperate, be able to respond assertively in certain circumstances and to gain confidence in social situations. In practice, collaborative learning is a good example of this because when pupils work effectively with their peers, or others, their engagement is consequently amplified, mostly due to experiencing a sense of connection to during the activities. To make group work more productive, strategies are implemented to ensure that pupils know how to communicate and behave. Other effective methods that we use in school includes; teacher modelling and fostering individual accountability by assigning different jobs and/or roles to the pupils.

Basic everyday good manners should always be recognised and a subtle prompt given if missed to ensure the correct level of respect is both given and received. Social etiquette and other moral, social and cultural issues can be taught during Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) lessons. It is by planning these learning outcomes that the school ensures that all children develop the personal abilities and skills that will motivate them to strive for higher personal achievement, socially and academically throughout their lives; PHSE also helps a child to understand how they are developing personally and socially and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural quandaries that are part of growing up and as a parent myself, I am quite glad that some of these issues are examined and discussed as part of the national curriculum.

Understand Expectations and Limits.

All children and young people in a school setting should understand and know the expectations and boundaries set by their school. The policies and procedures that support children and young people to understand these expectations and boundaries for the primary academy that I currently work in includes; attendance, physical intervention, drugs, and behaviour policies. We can see these policies in action outlined in class rules, school rules, PSHE lessons and playground rules and the fact that pupils know that if these expectations are not met on a regular basis then appropriate actions are taken by the staff member/teacher.

Having behaviour related policies and procedures in a setting help children understand that they must develop a sense of personal responsibility that, if learned well, should be carried outside of school and into adulthood. For example apologising when it is necessary to do so and when it is appropriate, graciously accepting the consequences of their own actions and behaviour, being able to recognise the opportunities to help others, controlling the urge to over react in situations and to willingly take on responsibility. Of course, it is one thing to know what is expected of you it is quite another to put it into action, however, I feel that it is the role and responsibility of the school to support children to learn these skills while highlighting that it is also in a child’s best interest to actually demonstrate positive behaviour, as it has a knock on effect of helping them to accomplish and reach their own personal goals and targets.

Of course, positive discipline strategies begin with adult behaviours such as good boundary setting and clearly communicating those limits which should also include teaching pupils what appropriate behaviours are expected, giving cues for the new behaviour, giving choices and supporting children in their new behaviour. Positive guidance and discipline can also include changing something about a situation that triggers unwanted behaviours and sometimes even ignoring that behaviour when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

 

Question 1.3: Explain the benefits of all staff consistently and fairly applying boundaries and rules for children and young people’s behaviour in accordance with the policies and procedures of the setting

As I have already said when answering the last question, children need to know where they stand. Louise Burnham puts it nicely in her book “The Teaching Assistant’s Handbook,

If all members of the school community are using the same principles and strategies when managing behaviour, it is far more likely that the children will respond positively. Children will know the scale of rewards and sanctions, and the order in which they will be applied, whoever is speaking to them about their behaviour.”

(Burnham, L (2006) The Teaching Assistant’s Handbook Heinemann Educational Publishers, Oxford)

meaning that having a clear set of rules and a framework of consequences that are applied consistently, appropriately and fairly, by all school staff not only helps the children to understand quickly what is acceptable and what’s not but also helps to keep the learning environment calm and orderly. If you are inconsistent the children can become confused and may become scared or withdraw or lead to aggressive behaviour born out of frustration because they are unsure of whether their actions are leading them into trouble or not.

If children perceive a staff member to be someone who deals with them fairly, they are likely to respect them and appreciate his/her role within the school. However, if there is a real or perceived difference of how behaviour is rewarded/sanctioned or the reaction to individual children’s behaviours are diverse, not only could he/she be accused of favouritism, bias or victimisation but on a personal note, this inconsistency can project an image of someone who lacks control or doesn’t know what they are doing and therefore that staff member will lose their authority and respect, not just from the children but potentially from colleagues too.

Being aware of the choices available to them helps children to take responsibility for their own behaviour and provides an environment in which they can make positive behaviour choices. Also, consistent application of consequences is more likely to be perceived as fair because the expectations are clear and there are no unexpected outcomes.

Ideally pupils should be included in the consultation process which determines the consequences as with the class behaviour rules in operation in our school. A teacher at the school that I currently work in told me that this collaboration helps to ensure that the consequences are appropriate and work well but that it also promotes ownership by the pupils themselves and a shared sense of responsibility for behaviour in class and I have seen the benefits myself first hand in her lessons.

So in conclusion, I understand that each member of staff has his/her own personality and stamps this on their lessons, however, the key to effective work in this school seems to be joint planning where behaviour is concerned; the range of consequences including how, when and why each reward/sanction should be used needs to be consistent and in line with policies and procedures when this is the case then everyone – staff, pupils and parents have an understanding of the rules, boundaries and behaviour expectations as well as any sanctions that will result from transgressions, this results in a calmer, smoother day and easier year group to year group transitions and hopefully lays the foundations for well adjusted, rounded, self-moderating adults of the future.

 

My answers to the next questions in this unit will follow…