Unit 3: Communication and Professional Relationships with Children, Young People & Adults
Helping in Schools24/02/2012 UNIT 3: COMMUNICATION AND PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE & ADULTS. TASK : 8 PROFFESIONAL CONDUCT & COMMUNICATION TASK (1) 1) Describe the role of a volunteer working in school in supporting children and young people. You should describe how to establish professional relationships with children. Explain how your approach to supporting might vary according to the age of the children / young people you are involved in supporting for example, preschool, primary, secondary or Post 16.
The role of a Volunteer is to support the overall learning in school, this can be done a variety of ways such as: A volunteer can meet the above roles through establishing professional relationships with children, each person has a unique method of communicating and what works for some people may not work for others. Some of the important areas /characteristics are outlined below: • Use of appropriate language – depending on the age, level and understanding of a child, appropriate language should be used.
Regardless of the age of a child profanity should not be used in any circumstance. If I was talking to a Early years child I would use smaller words and talk slower and sometimes repeat words depending on the child’s body language or questions from a child. The tone is also important and a calm tone should be used at all times. Also looking for interaction from the child is key to enable me to assess their understanding that way I am talking to them rather than at them.
Likewise as children get older my vocabulary would change and I would talk using longer words and sentences. • Developing mutual respect – by talking to a child at there level and understanding, for example looking at children at eye level whilst talking to them increases mutual respect. Keeping calm and talking in a “normal” friendly tone also increases mutual respect. Listening to children and addressing their needs is also an important aspect to this. Appropriate Behaviour – The behaviour of a volunteer is also very important and depending on the age group the behaviour should be altered. For example with younger children you may need to get more involved and be more “hands on” to encourage children to participate.. With slightly older children it may be better to give them, instructions on a particular task and only go “hands on” when you feel it is a necessity. Another aspect of appropriate behaviour is being a positive role model and always showing professionalism which I have detailed in the next point. Being a positive role model – a volunteer should always be a good role model and even if the volunteer has bad habits such as smoking, then when smoking the volunteer should ensure they are in a area where no children are able to see them. Another example would be If a volunteer disagreed with a teacher or something a teacher has done then the volunteer should not challenge the teacher in front of the class and wait for opportunity when they can talk to the teacher alone.
Portraying a good role model is vital as children are very quick at learning from adults. • Confidentiality – A volunteer should be honest and open and if any information provided to them by a child / young person, It is there responsibility to share this information with the class teacher. A volunteer may be unknowingly advised of vital information which may help safeguard a child hence why a teacher should always be informed. Knowing your boundaries – A volunteer should know their boundaries and be clear about their role. This should be discussed with the class teacher beforehand to ensure that during contact with children this boundary is not breached. For example it may be the case that only teachers are allowed to award “Gold Stars” and hence a volunteer should not advise a child that they may get a “Gold star” as this would be at the teachers discretion and a volunteer may not necessarily be aware of a teachers criteria for a “Gold Star”. Building trust and empathy – A volunteer can build trust and empathy with children through very simple techniques such as getting to know children’s names and their behaviours and ensuring the volunteer behaves in a manner which would make them “approachable”. I,e being friendly, smiling, comforting, showing interest, knowing a child’s habits, knowing their favourite book. Another important aspect of Trust is being there for a child, a volunteer should be consistent in their attendance and not let children down. For example if a volunteer promises to be in a assembly then they should ensure they are available on that particular day. Integrity – Is about doing the right thing in a reliable way and treating children with respect and honesty and the way a volunteer conducts themselves. For example a volunteer may be related to a child in the school and the volunteer can acknowledge this but this should not change the way they behave to that child or treat the child any differently to other children in the class. All the above characteristics / qualities need to be adapted / tweaked depending on the age group of the children a volunteer is working with.
I have categorised the age groups into 4 areas: | |Pre School |Primary |Secondary |Post 16 | |Use of appropriate|Small words, Small Sentences , Communicating |Larger Words, Longer Sentences, Some Physical |Normal Speech. Use of more advanced language forms, |Normal Speech, Use of Technical words. Talk as | |language |through actions, gestures.
Use of tones to |Actions. Use of behavior control language. |irony, humour, sarcasm, unplain speaking etc. Don’t |adults , use of first names rather then titles. Some| | |indicate good / bad behavior. Use of physical |Reduce use of physical affirmations |treat young people like children and try to develop an|slang could be used but no profanity. Although some | | |affirmations | |understanding of “new” words they may use.
E. g. “That |tutors may use this as a volunteer this language | | | | |Wicked” or “That’s Baad” actually means the opposite. |should not be encouraged. | |Developing mutual |Talking at their Eye level , keeping calm, |Getting to know children, talk about their |Allow young people to express themselves, not judging |Challenge and engage students, support their needs | |respect |listening to children.
Giving them attention and |interests, listening to them. Giving them |them. Be Friendly but not a “mate”. Show interest and |and encourage them to talk about issues, respect | | |time, Give them lots of verbal praise and |attention and time, Give them lots of verbal |knowledge in items that interest young people – e. g. |their views, ideas. “Coaching” style teaching rather| | |encouragement. Provide lots of reassurance, Make |praise and encouragement. Provide lots of |football, latest music. than “spoon feeding” | | |them feel valued |reassurance, Make them feel valued | | | |Appropriate |Physical contact required, holding hands, hugs |Reduce Physical Contact – only use when |No Physical Contact – only in extreme circumstances |No Physical Contact – only in extreme circumstances | |Behaviour |etc.
Don’t let children see you upset, arguing, |necessary, for example crossing a road or helping|e. g. first aid. Establish ground rules or partaking |e. g. first aid. Establish ground rules or partaking| | |smoking, angry etc. Be Firm and fair with |them from a vehicle. Don’t let children see |in sports. Don’t let children see emotion and other |in sports. Don’t let children see emotion and other | | |children. |emotion and other habits.
Be carful what you wear|habits. Be carful what you wear and if it is |habits. Be carful what you wear and if it is | | | |and if it is appropriate. Establish ground rules. |appropriate. Establish ground rules. Be Strict and |appropriate. Establish ground rules. Be Strict and | | | |Be Strict and fair. |fair. Avoid contact outside school e. g. facebook, |fair.
Although legal relationships should not be | | | | |Twitter, email, face to face etc. |formed only friendship | |Being a positive |Spend time with children, take part in activities |Spend time with children, take part in activities|Spend time with young people, Be clear about your role|Spend time with young people, Be clear about your | |role model |with children. Always look happy and energetic. with children. Always look happy and energetic. |and encourage young people to engage and discuss |role and encourage young people to engage and | | | | |topics that interest them. Always portray a positive |discuss topics that interest them. Always portray a| | | | |image in the way you conduct yourself.
Share positive |positive image in the way you conduct yourself. | | | | |experiences with young people. Respect young peoples |Share positive experiences with young people. | | | | |views |Respect young peoples views | |Pre School |Primary |Secondary |Post 16 | |Confidentiality |Share information divulged by children with |Share information divulged by children with |Share information divulged by young people with |Share information divulged by children with | | |teacher. |teacher. |teacher.
Not all information needs to be shared|teacher. Depending on the nature of the | | | | |a child may tell you they have a “crush” on |information some information could be left | | | | |anther child. Keep this confidential from the |confidential between you and student. | | | |other child and don’t try and “Matchmake” | | |Knowing your boundaries |Refer to teachers if unsure if a particular |Refer to teachers if unsure if a particular |Understand protocols such as Physical contact, |Clearly establish the boundaries between | | |request from a child should be carried out. |request from a child should be carried out. Know|behavior policies.
Understand their is a fine |yourself and students in relation to Physical | | |Know what your role is in the class. If a |what your role is in the class. If a child is |line between talking about a topic and |contact, why you are there, what support you | | |child is known through friends or family then |known through friends or family then it is |encouraging the action. For example be careful |can provide etc. | | |it is important to treat all children the |important to treat all children the same. when talking about religion, sexuality, race etc| | | |same. | | | | |Building trust and |Talking to children, listening to them, |At this level just being there builds trust and |Be aware of emotional sensitivity, adolescence |Be aware of emotional sensitivity, adolescence | |empathy |remembering names.
Be friendly, smile, comfort|at first children may be apprehensive to talk to|and hormonal influences and enable young people |and hormonal influences and enable young people| | |a child when necessary, remembering a child’s |you but after seeing the same person for several|to feel comfortable to approach you if they want|to feel comfortable to approach you if they | | |interests, favorite book, toy etc |weeks this will start building up trust. |to talk about any of these issues. Show Interest|want to talk about any of these issues.
Show | | | | |in young peoples interests. |Interest in young peoples interests. | |Integrity |Always do the right thing, punctuality, |Always do the right thing, punctuality, |Talk to Young people as adults and treat them |Talk to Young people as adults and treat them | | |reliability etc, Don’t promise what you can’t |reliability etc, Don’t promise what you can’t |the same way you would treat other adults. the same way you would treat other adults. | | |deliver, be reliable, punctual and consistent. |deliver, be reliable, punctual and consistent. |Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, be |Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, be | | |Treat everybody with the same respect. |Treat everybody with the same respect. |reliable, punctual and consistent. Treat |reliable, punctual and consistent. Treat | | | | |everybody with the same respect. everybody with the same respect. | 2) Describe how a volunteer can establish professional relationships with other adults. A volunteer should aim to maintain and create professional relationships with other adults using some of the characteristics detailed in the previous question and also through: Respect– Is very important and volunteers should always respect other adults they are working with. Politeness – Always be polite, even if you need to discuss something you are not happy with this can be done in a polite way rather than being aggressive.
Well mannered – Ensure that as a volunteer you always try and portray good manners and mannerisms as this enhances people’s opinions on the value of the volunteer. Small things like holding the door open, or cleaning cups after using them can go a long way. Positive body language – Similar to the above point – the way a person stands, folds their arms, facial expressions are all important as they can portray negatively on a person. Being Co-operative- Always be cooperative and even if you disagree with something find a suitable time and place to address this with the other adult.
Give feedback to teacher – Always provide feedback to the teacher, even constructive criticisms are often welcomed by other adults. Ask for help or advise of clarity – If you do not understand something a volunteer should ask for assistance or further clarification rather than trying to continue the task without understanding what needs to be done. Use your initiative – Sometimes not everything is said or requested a volunteer should be able to “read between the lines” and perform tasks that were not explicitly stated. For example help put resources away and cleaning a area before use etc.
Communicating effectively – To establish good relationships volunteers should be mindful that when they communicate they should be clear, concise and straightforward. Rather than talk alot and not get the point across or the other adult loses interest due to too much “babbling” Be mindful of boundaries of your role – Boundaries of your role should be discussed and these boundaries should not be breached. If you are unsure of something a volunteer should ask before carrying out that particular task. Rather than carrying it out and saying “sorry I was not aware of that” ) Describe how a volunteer’s behaviour may impact negatively or positively on children and young people. Include a description of the importance of adult relationships as role models. Children and young people very quick at imitating the behaviour of adults and often patterns can be seen in young peoples behaviour due to the adults and older siblings in their lives. For example children from “rough” estates will be at a increased risk of smoking as they see this in their everyday day lives and the act of smoking “normalises” in the brain and they sometimes see it as a natural progression.
Where as a young person from a more affluent neighbourhood where the parents do not smoke and they do not see smoking on a daily basis is less likely to pick up this habit. Therefore as a volunteer we need to be careful to ensure we portray the correct image and ensure young people do not see any bad habits. Negative Influences can be: Smoking – If a volunteer smokes they need to ensure cigarettes / matches / lighters are put away and there is no chance a child may find them or they may drop out of your pocket.
Also when smoking this should be done away from the premises and not in view of any children. Mints / chewing gum should be used to mask the bad odour left behind from cigarettes. Bad attitude – Volunteers should always be friendly and helpful and should always portray this image to young people, if they are experiencing personal / emotional issues then this should be discussed with a teacher and if it likely to impact on a volunteers behaviour then they should not attend. Volunteers should not get involved with any altercations and should be mindful not to lose their temper.
Bad language – Volunteers should never use any profanity in front of young people and young people should be immediately challenged if bad language is heard. Dress code – Volunteers should dress appropriately and in keeping with the schools policies, low cut tops are not advisable, very short skirts etc, high heel shoes (health and safety). Religious clothing is ok, but the volunteer should be willing to discuss when asked by young people why they dress in this manner. Ripped jeans , unkept hair etc are not appropriate. Positive Influences can be:
Showing good manners – Holding the door open, putting away resources, cleaning up are all good manners and volunteers should always help with these tasks and attempt to engage young people to also assist. Attitude – Volunteers should be approachable , helpful, energetic and friendly this will have a positive impact on children and a happier child will learn better and want to learn. Discourage bad habits – Volunteers whenever opportunities arise should discourage bad behaviour, talk about anti smoking, anti drugs, anti bullying etc and portray these things as negatives.
Punctuality, attendance and follow through promises – Volunteers should ensure they are not late and can be relied upon and if they have made any promises or advised that they will do something later then they should not let the child down. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. Apologise and admit mistakes – When Volunteers make a bad choice, let young people know that you made a mistake and it is ok to make mistakes and advise them how you are going to correct the mistake and tell them that saying sorry is ok. Demonstrate confidence in who you are – Volunteers should always be confident and be proud of what they have achieved.
They should not portray images that If I had done this then I would have been like this or If only I had studied for more than one year then I would be a teacher etc. It may have been a long road and you may have experienced bumps along the way, but it’s the responsibility of a role model to understand the lessons have been learned. Supportive positive relationships with non-parent adults can powerfully influence a child and a volunteer should always endeavour to do this. By setting a good example for children this builds self esteem and enhances their trust in adults.
Research has shown that positive role models can reduce the chances of children getting involved with smoking / drugs, improve grades, increase their confidence, motivate them, enhance their aspirations and ambitions etc. Children and young people throughout their lives see many negative influences and negative role models and without positive role models would increase the chances of children getting involved in crime, anti social behaviour etc. 4) Describe how communication might differ across different ages and stages of development, including the differences between communicating with children and communication with adults. |Pre School |Primary |Secondary |Post 16 | |The words you speak |Small words, easy words, |Longer words, longer |Normal Speech, introduce |Normal speech, technical | | |short sentences, |sentences etc |use of more complicated |terms etc | | |sometimes broken down, | |uses of language, Humour,| | | |spell words etc | |Irony, Satire Sarcasm, | | | | | |banter, repartee etc | | |Your tone of voice – |Soft Tone, but not |Soft Tone, but not |Use of differing tones of|Depends on what you are | |loud, soft, harsh or |Monotone. Try to imitate |Monotone. Try to imitate |voices and enable young |trying to convey. | |whispered |voices |voices. If telling them |people’s understanding of| | | | |off adopt a harsher tone |when to use different | | | | |so they understand the |tones. | | | |difference | | | |Gestures |Use hand gestures, |Use hand gestures, |Body Language is very |Body Language is very | | |Affirmations |Affirmations |important, don’t talk to |important, don’t talk to | | | | |a class with arms folded |a class with arms folded | | | | |or hands behind your back|or hands behind your back| | | | |etc. |etc. | |How you Stand |Talk to children at Eye |Bend down and talk to |Do not patronize young |Do not patronize young | | |Level, sometimes sit them|children. |people and talk at them, |people and talk at them, | | |next to you when you | |talk to them as adults. |talk to them as adults. | |read to them | | | | |Your facial expression |Use facial expression |Use facial expressions to|Facial expressions are |Facial expressions are | | |with words, such as |genuinely show if you are|important and by this |important and by this | | |surprised, angry, upset, |displeased, happy with a |time children should be |time children should be | | |etc |Childs action |able to understand facial|able to understand facial| | | | |expressions. |expressions. |Types of Communication |Mainly Verbal , |Verbal, Books, IT |Verbal , Emails, |Verbal , Emails, | | |illustrations, books etc |Resources, homework etc |tutorials, Handouts, |tutorials, Handouts, | | | | |Homework, Online |Homework, Online | | | | |learning, books, research|learning, books, research| | | | |etc |etc | Difference between Communicating with adults and Communicating with children When communicating with adults it is important to be clear and concise and realise that often the other adult may disagree with what you are saying. When communicating with adults more often than not it is more of a discussion rather than when communicating with children and young people as normally they are looking for you to lead the conversation and in most circumstances will agree with what you are saying. Adults |Children | | | | |Use of appropriate Language |Language should be appropriate to age of the child | |Using professional Language |Use of Child like language | |Minimal use of Jargon |Language should maintain the good role model image | |Adults can ask questions if unsure |Communication can be verbal and non verbal | |Communication should be professional |Physically demonstrate openness | |Communication should be formal |Need to check the child is understanding what you are saying | | |Communication should be clear and simple | 5) List potential barriers to communication and ways in which these can be overcome. Barriers to communication can be categorised into 2 main areas: a) Personal Communication Difficulties b) Structural Breakdown Communication
Personal Communication Difficulties Hearing Difficulties – Can be overcome by using Sign language, Gestures, Lip reading, normally the child would be referred to a specialist SEN co-ordinator and they would assess if the child can remain in the school or needs to be transferred to alternative school where their needs can be better met. Speech Impairment / Language Delay- Can be overcome using Gestures audio flash cards, written communication normally the child would be referred to a specialist SEN co-ordinator and they would assess if the child can remain in the school or needs to be transferred to alternative school where their needs can be better met.
Visual Impairment – Can be overcome using Brail, verbal communication, large print books, interactive whiteboards etc normally the child would be referred to a specialist SEN co-ordinator and they would assess if the child can remain in the school or needs to be transferred to alternative school where their needs can be better met. Withdrawn or lacks confidence – acute shyness and anxiety, can be overcome by referral to a child psychologist, increasing the amount of one 2 one work with the child, or engaging them in activities with small groups. Cultural Differences -Cultural differences can cause many problems in an effective discussion, If a child does not understand any English it would be relatively difficult to speak to them and hence more hand gestures etc would need to be used. In extreme circumstances and the child is feeling left out if the volunteer as able to speak the same language then this could be used to aid communication.
Provide extra support after school or provide peer support. Structural Breakdown Communication Distractions- are one of the most annoying potential barriers; they are often controllable, however sometimes they are also unpreventable. Examples are • Making sure mobiles are on Silent or off. • Other children are also a major distraction and if you need to speak to a child about something serious and you need them to listen then they should be removed from the class. • If there are children outside and inside, pull the blinds down so they are unable to see what is happening outside • Schedule workmen to work after school times Children arriving late can also be a major distraction and sometimes doors can be locked to prevent people just walking in etc . • Not having toys / books in easy reach. Reducing distractions is especially important for younger children and careful consideration and effort should be made to reduce distractions. Loss of interest- is the cause often a barrier to communication, sometimes this might be due to a boring issue or a long teaching session. Sometime it is to do with the delivery, the volunteer teacher may be talking too quietly, talking in a monotone voice etc. These barriers can easily be overcome through: • The use of IT, Powerpoint, video clips, pictures, etc • Talking using different voices, 2 people reading etc. • Taking regular breaks, • Questioning and engaging young people whilst reading • Using Resources such as toys or treats to keep children engaged. Incorrect spelling/grammar – is a potential barrier in communication because it can be misinterpreted as something else and an important message might not be passed on, this can happen in any written forms of communication, for example: email, snail- mail, memo, etc. It is important to check / proofread correspondence and ensure it is free from errors and makes sense. Also depending on the audience that is receiving the correspondence appropriate wording should be used. E. g. n Parental letters as the teacher may not be fully aware of parents educational abilities simple words should be sued and letters should be clear and easy to understand. Terminology – Using the wrong terminology is could lead to very poor quality communication; it can lead to misunderstanding of an important issue, terminology that is too simple, example, thingy and stuff, is far too vague terminology to understand, if someone is having a technical discussion about something they need to use technical terminology. The wrong terminology can also result in loss of interest. Lack of sharing information- could be a barrier to communication and if a child is not learning or having difficulties volunteers and teachers should be aware of the issues.
To gain an insight and possibly overcome the barrier volunteers and teachers should Speak to the child, ask questions, ask the teacher if you feel their is a gap in your knowledge , share with colleagues 6) Explain the ground rules that you should observe whilst helping in school. Within this, please describe your understanding of the legal requirements relating to: • Confidentially • Data Protection • Disclosure of information Ground Rules Dress appropriately Staff room protocol Follow the lead of the teacher Know your role and boundaries Work within your boundaries Be professional at all times be a good role model set a good example Use of appropriate language
Confidentiality – Information must be shared with the appropriate person Child protection procedures to be followed Know the main policies of school e. g Behaviour, Hral;eth and Safety Confidentiality • Share information on a need to know basis • It is important never to gossip about parents or their children. • Duty to share information if child is at risk of harm • Not to talk about school issues outside of school- School matters to be kept confidential • Safeguard written information • It is important never to discuss one parent with another • It is important not to make judgements about children or their parents. Legal Requirements
Human Rights act 1998 gives everybody the right to confidentiality for their private and family life example newspapers not hacking into your phone, schools cannot share information about a child Data Protection- Data Protection Act 1998 defines how : • How schools keep children’s data • Process and use the data in a fair and lawful way • Data must be restricted and only used for a specified purpose. • Must be accurate and kept up to date – change of addresses etc. • Data must not be finite and must not be kept longer then necessary • Although no time limit has been specified it should be kept between 10-20 years. • Data must be secure. Data stored must be useful and required and needs to comply with act • The school / LEA must register the information with the Data commissioner if not done its a criminal offence • On Request the data should be made available to the subject Disclosure of Information- It is the schools statutory responsibility to pass on information about a child/ adult if they suspect the child may need safeguarding or is at risk. The school does not need permission from parents to make this disclosure. The freedom of information act 2000 now means that everyone has the right to request records from a public body.
Data on children and families is confidential and does not fall under this category unless it is your own information.. 7) Describe the importance of reassuring children, young people and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and the limits of this. Confidentially is about keeping information about children and their families private. It is a very complicated issue which is based upon the principle of trust. The difficult aspect is knowing when and who to share information with and on what basis the information should be shared and how much. If you suspect a child protection, the information should be shared but only with a superior i. e. head teacher as it is matter of total confidence.
It is important that parents are aware from the very beginning that even if they tell you something in strict confidence you may have a statutory responsibility to share that information with your superiors. Other information should be shared with all staff for example information about diets, allergies, religious ritual’s, adults the child can be collected by, general records on pupils, records of assessments, SEN information on pupils etc. Under the Data protection Act 1998, information about pupils needs to be kept in a secure place, Never take any information off site and do not provide opportunities for others to gain access to it. When sharing information with colleagues only discuss points they need to know.
Parents should be aware of the schools policies regarding sharing information and the way information is stored. If you notice any breaches of confidentiality always report the matter to an appropriate member of staff. The UN Convention on the rights of the child 1989 sets out some principles of confidentiality and reassuring children about confidentiality some of these are: • Trust • Reassurance • Respecting privacy • Feeling of safety safeguarding and welfare • Gives children confidence gets support and listens • Need to know your going to keep their information confidential • Telling people on a need to know basis 8) Identify atlleast two situations when confidentiality protocols must be breached. Scenario 1
A child may be divulge some information to you about alcohol or drugs use at home and wants someone to talk to their parent about this. In this scenario it would be the teachers volunteers duty to share this information with a superior and take further action on this matter even though the child has told the volunteer / teacher in confidence because they do not want to get anyone in trouble. Scenario 2 A child brings a knife to school for protection, regardless if the child provides a reasonable explanation this matter should be shared with the Police. Scenario 1 9) Write up your detailed responses to the communication with children and adults worksheet.