Learning outcome: Demonstrating inclusive practice (PP1)
My name is and I am the manager of a day care setting based in the north of London; in a rich culturally mixed community. I manage a 41 place centre offering full day care services for children aged 6 months to 5 years. I am responsible for the overall running of the setting including the writing of policies and recruitment of staff. I am also the settings SENCO, nominated safeguarding officer and Room leader of the pre-school room. I am the first point of contact for all parents that require a nursery place at the setting.
In this essay I will be looking at the development of my personal and professional practice in relation to inclusive practice as a result of studying E105.
Since embarking on my foundation degree and particularly studying the module E105 I have become more confident in my role as a manager. I have developed my knowledge and understanding of the different elements of the early years, which has made more confident and assertive in leading change. I also feel more confident in my role as a manager and liaising with external agencies, attending multi-agency team (MAT) meetings and Team around the family (TAF) meetings.
As a result of studying Block 2, I have improvised many of the strategies devised by Jeff and Smith 1999, ‘core values underpinning teamwork’, within my day-to-day conduct with staff and other professionals. I feel more confident leading staff meetings, developing changes and making referrals to external agencies such as; child psychologist, speech therapist, support worker etc.
A key learning moment for me relation to Inclusion was when I read the section on ‘Children with additional or complex needs’ and watched the DVD clip ‘Inclusion (Abdullah)’ for activity 4.9 in Block 4. I was taken aback at the extent the setting went to include Abdullah and facilitated his participation in all aspects of the learning environment. Although he had allocated support staff, they allowed him independence which was important for his emotional health and self-esteem. Another reflecting moment for me was when I completed activity 4.8 in block 4 and I was asked to think of ways that I would promote their development, learning and play. I realised how there were several children at my setting who were in a similar situation and could have benefitted from my sensitive support. One particular child suffers from relapse of his kidneys. He often has to be hospitalised because of his condition. As he is in and out of hospital he finds it difficult to interact with peers and get involved in group activities. He also lacks confidence and rarely socialised. However doing this activity gave me an opportunity to think of ways that I could support him. I planned a carpet time activity that was carried out in a small group which encouraged engagement in non-verbal ways (Evidence 7). My colleagues noticed the impact of the activity on the child. One colleague commented: ‘That was so wonderful. I couldn’t believe Cameron actually got involved. He actually showed signs of enjoyment. I have never seen him so happy!’ (Evidence: 13) Since watching the DVD clip on Abdullah I am more careful in ensuring that where possible, all activities are equally accessible for all the children. I provide additional support and use individual children’s learning styles to ensure their participation and progress. (Evidence 12: speech therapists observation and Evidence 14: email correspondence with local authority inclusion team)
Reading the chapter Listening about living (Block 4, p. 125) and Listening to children by Alison Clark gave me an opportunity to reflect on the different ways that children communicate. It is easy to listen to children and seek the views of those children that were able to verbally communicate. But those children that cannot verbalise themselves also have views. After...