Communication and Professional Relationships with Children and Young People

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1. Know how to interact with and respond to children and young people.

1.1. Describe how to establish respectful, professional relationships with children and young people.

The starting point in working effectively with children of all ages is your relationship with them. Children who feel valued and who enjoy being with you will respond better. This means that they are more likely to enjoy playing and learning and are far more likely to behave well. The basis of forming a relationship with children is to consider what their needs may be and to adapt the way in which you work to meet these needs to suit the age or stage of development. You need to make sure that children are always able to turn to someone when they are upset, disappointed or dealing with problems. They need familiar, friendly and supported faces. This means you need to be a good listener.

1.2. Describe with examples how to behave appropriately for a child or young person’s stage of development.

It is important that when you are communicating with children you take into account their stage of development.

Pupils in foundation stage and KS1
These children are still very young and are still developing their communication skills. When speaking to them, ensure that you get down to their level and not towering over them, as this can be very intimidating for them. You need to give clear instructions and check that they understand fully. This age of children tire quickly and will not maintain concentration for long periods so it is important that they understand. They will also need reminding that is important to listen and take turns when speaking.

Pupils in KS2

This is the stage where their communication has progressed. They will be used to more formal conversation and will be less self-centred. Some may still need to be reminded about waiting their turn.

Pupils in KS3

They will know and understand different ways in which we can communicate. Teenagers may become more self-conscious about speaking in front of others and may get embarrassed more easily. It is important that they are given more time in groups to build up confidence.

1.3. Describe how to deal with disagreements between children and young people.

Disagreements will occur on a regular basis, many at break and lunch times, but also in the classroom. It is important that when dealing with a problem that you find out exactly what happened and hear both sides of the story. They need to know that they have been heard and that their point has been put across. You will need to decide if one of them or both were at fault, if apologies need to be made and if any further action is required, such as talking to another member of staff.

1.4. Describe how own behaviour could:

promote effective interactions with children and young people

Children always look up to adults and will take lead from adults around them. If we show good behaviour then they will take that in.
impact negatively on interactions with children and young people

We can’t tell them to do something when we do not do it ourselves!

2. Know how to interact with and respond to adults.

2.1. Describe how to establish respectful, professional relationships with adults.

Most teachers accept that all children are unique and different, but sometimes they expect all adults to have the same views as themselves. This is hardly the case, and you need to be ready to respect adults who have a different opinion or have a very different lifestyle. When you are able to do this, everyone benefits. Parents may feel able to talk to you more freely, while you may learn from colleagues who see things from a different perspective. You need to approach and respond politely, be committed to cooperative working.

2.2. Describe the importance of adult relationships as role models for children and young people.

Children always benefit when the adults around them are able to collaborate. Parents are more likely to...
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