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Child and Young Person Development College

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  • Category: Child

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Know the main stages of child and young person development

AC 1.1 a) The expected pattern of children and young people’s development from birth to 19 years, on the physical side, will see improvements in

❖ fine motor skills, i.e. writing, threading, drawing and painting. These really begin to show from about 3 years.

❖ gross motor skills, i.e. running jumping, balancing, skipping and hopping. This starts anytime from 9 months when babies begin to crawl. Walking – by 18 months – and running, jumping, balancing, skipping and hopping which improve gradually from 18 months upwards.

❖ hand to eye co-ordination. From watching their own hands to trying to grab their first toy, babies are improving their hand to eye co-ordination from an early age. The ability to use hands and eyes together to perform a task (i.e. pick up a pencil at 12 months) is something everyone uses every day.

❖ general co-ordination. This starts between birth and 1 month when a baby will start to hold its head erect for a few moments. It gradually develops to kicking, crawling, standing and walking, between 3 and 18 months, and as they get older, become more skilled.

b) In the arena of communication and intellectual, you will see them make huge strides in

❖ developing creative and imaginative skills. Here you see evidence of role-playing. From as early as 3 years, children ‘pretend’ to be other characters, be it with others or alone with toys for company. The stories they write – between 5 and 10 years – will become fiction as opposed to something that really happened in their lives and this is only seen developing more as they get older. For example one 5 year old boy told his class about a holiday he’d just been on in the snow and at the end of the day the teacher asked the parent if they had had a good time. It turned out the family hadn’t been away and the story was just that, a story, made up. The child was that convincing in his imagination, it had seemed real to everyone else.

❖ problem solving. This doesn’t really appear until about 3 years when the child is seen to find simple solutions to stumbling blocks. For instance, they wake up and want their Mummy who’s outside feeding the chickens. The child works out that rather than crying, they’d be better off putting on wellingtons and a coat and going outside to find her (still crying). ‘Bargaining’ can be seen whilst the child is between 5 and 10 years old. For instance, they may try the “if I get changed, can I have a piece of chocolate” ploy when asked to go upstairs and get ready.

A bit like ‘bargaining’, working out compromises comes whilst the child is between 11 and 19 years old. They are getting more sensible and are beginning to appreciate the point of view of others more.

❖ decision making. Giving the child simple decisions to make from an early age helps them to develop this skill. For instance, “which cereal would you like this morning?”, “which hair band do you want to wear today?” As they get older, their ability to decide things of greater importance gets better.

❖ using language. Babbling from about 9 months gradually develops into speaking. Their vocabulary increases and by the age of 5 they can use grammar correctly. The ability to concentrate (between 5 and 10 years) and the way they see and appreciate others (between 11 and 19 years) becomes apparent. It is in these years that they begin to reason things out.

c) Whereas with their social, emotional and behavioural development, they

❖ take turns better. Before about the age of 3, children do not understand the concept of letting another child ‘have a go’. Even then,
they may have a tantrum if a toy they want is taken by someone else. As they get older the tantrums stop and the young person is more willing to share, bordering on the point of maybe missing a go rather than let someone think they were being unfair.

❖ co-operate more. As said above, as the child gets older, the ‘want’ to be seen to be sharing and co-operate becomes more important. This stems from the appreciation of others.

❖ become more social. A really young child is quite insular. All they want is their primary carer (Mummy, maybe). As the child develops, they notice and want friends. Once they have reached the point where they do not have to be within sight of the parent (11 – 19 years), they want to go out with their friends on their own.

❖ improve their self-esteem and self-expression. From birth children strive to develop their own identities. Up to 11 years they can be very confident and sure of themselves. After this their self-esteem becomes very vulnerable. Their bodies begin to develop into adults and it can be very confusing. They will need guidance in many different ways, hearing about ‘life’ from older children at school, say. They may be under pressure to grow-up but still behave immaturely, unsure of how to handle many different situations. In their later teens you see them develop to different levels of maturity. They will be lacking in experience, emotionally and need to find their own way.

❖ be more receptive to the feelings of others. Children take their time to appreciate the feelings of others. If the eldest child, this will start to develop from about 7 years. Younger children/siblings who see behaviour considerate of others will, possibly, start earlier. Before this age children will seek out adult approval, want to help and be aware of how others view them, for example class helpers.

AC 1.2 These areas of development can affect one another and overlap. For example, playing a physical game like catch, the child must be able to catch and throw – gross motor skills; emotionally, be able to cope if they drop the ball and lose; cognitively, know how to count the catches and on a communication level shout numbers out loud so everyone know where they’re up to.

Also, a child’s development of confidence may be affected by their physical development (how they think they look and whether they are happy with it or not). Puberty is another example of why physical development affects social-emotional development. Young people developing into adults may become shy or embarrassed about their bodies. It is this lack of confidence that stops them making friends and socialising. A child/young person cannot be good at football, basketball, netball or such, even with sufficient gross motor skills, if they haven’t developed the social skill of taking turns and co-operating with others.

Outcome 2

Understand the kinds of influences that affect children and young people’s development

AC 2.1 a) One influence that can affect children and young people’s development is their background and family environment. If the school is made aware of any changes to the family’s situation, they will be able to help the child cope. This could be anything from parental break-up to bereavement to new sibling and could challenge the emotional and/or intellectual development of the youngster.

b) Another factor is their health. Should the child suffer from a disability or health issue, their physical development may be affected, resulting in exclusions on a social level and therefore possibly causing them harm emotionally.

c) Lastly, you have to consider the environment in which they are brought up. Living in a poor area where the parents cannot respond as easily to the needs of their children, i.e. by not providing money for a school trip resulting in the child not being able to go and thereby being excluded by their peers, will affect them emotionally and probably intellectually as well, as the happier the child is, the more responsive they are to learning.

AC 2.2 Recognising and responding to concerns about children and young people’s development is very important, as no intervention could mean the problem gets worse and a delay in treatment could mean that the outcome is not as good as it would have been if treatment was started earlier. For example a child who doesn’t speak at all or hardly speaks will find it difficult working in a group and joining in. This will impact on their social development and in turn their emotional well-being. Not successfully joining in at school could also put them behind intellectually. A concern about a child who is normally happy and carefree may mean they have recently suffered some kind of abuse and if no action is taken it could result in injury or worse.

Outcome 3

Understand the potential effects of transitions on children and young people’s development

AC 3.1 Transitions experienced by most children and young people include:-

❖ starting school

❖ moving from infants to juniors

❖ moving to high school

❖ moving schools

❖ puberty

AC 3.2 Transitions experienced by some children and young people include:-

❖ Bereavement

❖ Having their role in the family changed when a new sibling is born

❖ Illness

❖ Divorce

❖ New step-parent

❖ Moving house

AC 3.3 Transitions may affect the behaviour of children and young people in the following ways; becoming quiet and withdrawn, getting very anxious, becoming attention seeking or displaying uncharacteristic traits. It is important, that as they are going through one of these difficult periods in their life, for them to have positive relationships in their lives, areas where they feel safe and where no change is going on. It is also important to be there should they wish to talk about what is going on. Once the school/parent has prior knowledge of this happening, they can start to prepare the child/young person for the transition ahead – as junior schools do with pupils in year 6, in readiness for their move to high school.

Should the child not receive any help or support, as all transitions can be potentially harmful, the social and emotional development of the child will suffer, as in turn will the intellectual.

A child who suddenly finds they’re to have a new baby in the house may feel pushed out. It is important to reassure the child that they are loved as much as before and having a new brother/sister is someone to play with and not someone who will take their parents attention away. They may become withdrawn and uncommunicative or oppositely, more attention-seeking, vying for their parents time, displaying uncharacteristic traits. During this time development is halted. These will continue until the child begins to feel settled and their place in the family is no longer threatened.

A positive transition could be waiting for a birthday to arrive. The feeling of excitement can be unsettling and put the child on edge – in a good way though – making it hard for them to concentrate on anything (possibly their intellectual development may suffer here).

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