Keynote Dr. Hannah Mortimer

January 19, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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Plenary: Just Listen: tuning into children Dr Hannah Mortimer Educational Psychologist

Where we are going … • Let’s think about our visions and values when listening to young children. • Communication is a two-way process – so how can we communicate effectively with even very young children? • How can we use this to ensure that each and every child can participate and belong? • And how can we consult young children on choices and decisions that affect them?

It’s good to be listened to! • Think of a time during the last week or so when you simply weren’t listened to. • Share this with your neighbour • What did it feel like? • What did it make you want to do? (2 mins)

How we listen to young children • By letting the child lead • By tuning into their voices and behaviours • By observing their body language • Through our use of eye contact • By mirroring what they say and do

Listening involves … • Observation – practical ways for tuning in • Offering choices – and acting on children’s preferences • Communicating effectively – how we listen and how we feed back • Ensuring participation – gathering evidence that every child has been listened to and that we have reflected on what they have to tell us.

Why is it important? • UN Rights of the Child Article 12: Every child has a right to be heard in the development of policy and practice that affects them Backed up by Children’s Act 2004, Childcare Act 2006: 3 (5), Every Child Matters: Change for Children (2004) and the new policy initiatives for Early Years and Childcare.

Why IS it important? • Listening as an approach to life – a culture … • Meet Molly! • Molly and the ‘ditch the dodie’ project

Observing and listening to children • An active process of receiving, interpreting and responding to communication. It includes all the senses and emotions and is not limited to the spoken word. • An ongoing part of tuning in to all children as individuals in their everyday lives • ‘Listening’ is necessary stage in ensuring the participation of all children. • Sometimes part of a specific consultation about a particular environment, activity, event or opportunity

Simple methods for observing and listening • • • • • • • •

Individual and small group talking time Using cameras Child conferencing Observations – open ended and open minded Using puppets/stories/small world play/role play Using displays –self selected Circle time and musical interaction Watch, wait, wonder

Tuning In • • • • • • • •

Get to know children as individuals ‘All about Me’ Welcome profiles Child passports Establishing likes/dislikes Observations ‘My treasure box’ Children’s prospectuses

Listening to Babies • How can you ‘listen’ to babies who cannot talk to you? • Listen to the story of ‘Ellie’s Day’ • Could this approach be adapted for you?

Offering real choices • • • • •

When finding resources When deciding who to play with When encouraging creativity When ensuring physical access When adapting the session to fit the interests and needs of the children • When including children with SEN

Sharing the menu • Swings and roundabouts • Don’t expect direct answers! • The Mosaic Approach (Alison Clark): observations/child conferencing / cameras/tours/mapping/role play/parents’ and practitioners’ perspectives ….. Pieced together to create a living picture of what is important to the child

What might you consult on? • • • • • • •

Room layout Activities Area/resource usage in the setting Outdoor play spaces What I want to do next Who I like to play/work with Anything else?

Friendship Matters Listening to children with PMLD: - Carefully managed meetings and greetings - Know when to stand back - Friends are children we play with - Encouraging turn-taking and reciprocal play

Friendship Matters • • • • • •

Inclusive therapy sessions Photo books - ‘Meet Harry’ Persona dolls Visual helpers and timetables PSA as ‘child magnet’! Time to be solitary – My Space, nurture corners

Showing that we listen • Record when, where, who and the issue concerned • How did you listen? • What did you do as a result? • How did the children give feedback? • What did they think about it?

The resource ‘Listening to Children in their Early Years’ By Dr Hannah Mortimer with SureStart Stockton-on-Tees Available from:

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