Child and Young Person’s Development

There is an expected pattern of development of children and young people from birth through to 19 years. There are different aspects of child development, each child is unique and will develop in their own way and different rates, and this is a holistic process. Due to this, milestones of development are used as an average when a child reaches a particular stage to assess how far they have reached. Children can often reach particular milestones earlier or later than others. This can effect their behaviour and how they are treated by their peers, some examples of this may be due to them being taller or reaching puberty earlier etc.

Many of the skills and areas of development overlap with one another. The main areas of development are physical development, communication and intellectual development and social, emotional and behavioural development. The table below describes the different stages of development from birth to 19 years old. Physical developmentCommunication and intellectual developmentSocial, emotional and behavioural development Birth to 3 yearsHolds up head, sits up. Rolling, crawling, bottom shuffling. Pulling self up. Climbs, walks, runs. Fine motor skills – picks up small objects, feed self. Crying, babbling, gurgling.

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Recognises sounds, repeats words. Explores environment using senses – sight and touch. Learns to talk and starts to communicate more effectively. Responds to smiles and then positively to others, especially familiar people. Shows egocentric behaviour, eg expects to be considered first. Wants to help adults, seeks approval. Starts to become independent, eg wants to do things by self. 3-7 yearsGrows taller, and outwards. Increased agility, good balance and co-ordination. Gaining in strength. Fine motor skills – hold and use a pencil. New words – language development. Increased memory skills.

Curious, asks questions. Shows awareness of right and wrong. Express feelings – likes and dislikes. Enjoys jokes. Develops self-help skills, eg dressing self Good understanding of rules and co-operate with others, take turns. Likes to be with other children. May copy unwanted behaviour – swearing, biting or kicking to gain adult attention. 7-12 yearsRefine physical skills such as running, jumping and skipping. Fine motor skills improve-handwriting. Develop physically – body proportions similar to adult. Become more body conscious. Wider use of language. Develops writing skills. Can expand on previous knowledge.

Has longer attention span. Interested in more complex activities. Enjoys company of other children. Is able to play on own. Becomes less concerned with adult approval. More concerned with peer approval. Participates in games with rules. 12-16 yearsRapid physical change – puberty. Growth spurt. Boys’ voice breaks. Sexually active. Body consciousness increases. Articulates and argues point competently. Forming own opinions and views. Has a competitive streak. Can be harder to communicate with. Belonging to a gang becomes important. Desire for peer approval. Strongly influenced by role models.

May become self-conscious, eg too fat/tall. Can be very supportive towards others, eg people with SEN. 17-19 yearsTurns into adults Have reached physical maturityThinking about careers and university choices Qualifications required to further themselves Focus on areas of strengthEnter adulthood needing advice and guidance Lack experience Vary in emotional maturity 1. 2 It is important to remember different aspects of development interlink with one another. For example physical activities such as playing football not only develops the child’s physical skill but also their social and communication skills.

Religious education helps with social, emotional and behaviour development but also develops the child’s communication and intellectual development. This in turn helps them to understand the different backgrounds which further assist to accept and respect their peers. Activities in physical education help with physical development and also social, emotional and behavioural development, it can teach children how to take turns, share, and be part of a team. 2. 1a/b/c Pupils development is influenced by a range of factors. These are background, health and the environment.

Background – Children come from all types of backgrounds, cultures and circumstances. The school may not be aware of the circumstances at home and it is important to remember this. You may notice a change in the pupil’s behaviour and emotional development and the ability to learn. Some of these circumstances could be due to a family break up, introduction of a new partner, bereavement, illness, moving house or changing country. Health – Poor health or a physical disability or impairment can restrict a pupil’s developmental opportunities. If a child is poorly on a regular basis they are likely to fall behind in their developing their skills.

Physical disability or impairment may restrict the child from taking part in certain activities which can result in delaying physical, social and emotional development. It is important for the school to be aware so that they can provide the correct support needed by the pupil. Environment – There are many environmental factors that will influence the child’s development and these should be taken into consideration when assessing the child’s needs. These can be poverty and deprivation, personal choices, whom the child is looked after by or their care status and education.

People who have to live on very little money include one parent families, people who are unemployed, elderly people, people who are sick or disabled, single earners and unskilled couples. Families who are poor may have enough money for food, for some clothes and for heating, but poverty means that there is little money for interesting purchases and exciting lifestyles. The child is less likely to thrive and achieve well in school. They may need extra guidance and support from adults to help them make the right choices. Families who depend on benefits have limited life choices.

The latest clothes, safe reliable cars, the latest electronic equipment, holidays and so on, may not be choices for people on low incomes. This can determine the child’s choice of friendship groups, extra curricular activities and academic involvement. Families in the higher social classes tend to live in more expensive housing areas with good facilities for travel and education and the child has more choices available. Development can also be affected if a child is looked after by someone other than its parents or is in care. The child should be monitored closely to make sure they are reaching expected levels of progress.

If there are any issues these should be dealt with straight away. Some children may come to school without any prior education. This may be due to them moving from a different country or where the child was home schooled. Extra support should be provided until the child has fully integrated into the school environment. 2. 2 If you have any concerns to the child’s development, you should always report them to the relevant party. For primary school children this will firstly be the class teacher and then SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). For secondary school children you should go directly to SENCO.

In both cases you should provide dates and comments about your concerns to enable either the teacher or SENCO make a decision to take appropriate steps to support the child. In all cases, the pupil’s parents should always be informed and kept up to date with any progress. You should take the above steps so that any issues can be detected early and a solution can be found. Failure to do so can have profound effects on the child’s development. 3. 1 For some children times of transition and change can be particularly difficult. Reducing difficulties during change by even a small amount can make a big difference to many children.

Common transitions which most children can face are school based transitions which are starting school, changing classes or key stages, or passing onto secondary school. These can be long or short term transitions. Most children will also have changes in personal circumstances such as passing through puberty or simply a change in timetable or their activity in the classroom. In both cases you should speak openly to the child so that they are aware of what will happen and can therefore ask any questions reducing any misunderstandings or harmful effects on their development. 3. 2

There will be occasions when transitions will occur only with some children or young people. Parents should advise the school of these, however, sometimes this can be overlooked. If you notice the behaviour of a child or young person change you should bring it to the attention of the teacher straight away. Some of these transitions are:

•Illness of a member of the family •Death of a family member
•Diagnosis of Illness •Living with the illness of a family member
•Diagnosis of a disability •Coming out as lesbian or gay
•Separation from parents
•Parental separation
•New step parents
•Entering care Foster parents
•New siblings
•Moving house
•Living in a new country

Most schools will have policies in place to deal with the above situations and you should follow them closely. However, if your school does not have any policy then you should speak to the parent/s and pupil involved in a sensitive sympathetic way making sure that the transition goes smoothly. 3. 3 Transitions may affect children and young people’s behaviour and development in different ways. They can become quiet and withdrawn, be very anxious, start to demonstrate uncharacteristic behaviour and become attention seeking.

It is important to encourage children and young people to ask questions about transitions in their lives, listening actively to what children and young people are saying about transitions in their lives, communicating simply, reassure messages about key transitions, respond constructively to children and young people’s concerns about transitions in their lives, explain situations fully and accurately, set out what is happening and, if possible and appropriate, the reasons for the changes, work with children and young people to explore possible actions to deal with new and challenging situations, involve children and young people in making decisions, summarise and confirm key points in discussions with children and young people. If they do not receive this support their social and emotional development may also be affected, as transition can be potentially be traumatic for children.

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