My Role The setting in which I work is a large infant and nursery school which currently has 221 pupils on roll. We have 32% of pupils on the Special Needs Register with 6% of pupils with a Statement of Educational Needs (SEEN) and 37% of pupils qualify for Pupil Premium. I am employed as a Senior Teaching Assistant in one of the reception classes. I am a key worker for 7 children in the class and am responsible for observing, collecting evidence and assessing these children. I assist the teacher in planning activities and lessons and am responsible for setting up and preparing for hem as well as other general classroom responsibilities.
As I am based in early years the curriculum I follow is the Early Years Foundation Stage (FEES), UDF 2012. Self Assessment I have completed self assessment profile A and assessed myself on all seven learning outcomes. PEP Leadership and Change I rated myself 3 (a reasonable amount of experience, confidence and skills) for this learning outcome. I feel I am able to reflect on theory and practice and take on board ideas from other professionals to improve my own practice but am not as confident in leading others, outside of my immediate setting in implementing change.
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My role as teaching assistant means I work alongside the teacher who, as unit leader, takes responsibility but I feel we work as equals in most areas and work closely as a team. I am comfortable discussing ideas and sharing knowledge with her and other members of the reception unit but I do see the teacher as the leader and therefore leave things such as directing students and volunteers and telling them what needs to be done to her as it is not something I feel comfortable doing. I feel I am a similar practitioner to ‘Sarah’ in activity 1. 4 (IEEE, p. 24, block 1).
I am confident in talking to arenas and am able listen to their point of view and address any concerns they may have but I dislike confrontation or conflict so would pass any such issues onto the teacher. Like Sarah, I welcome responsibility and the chance to make decisions and am confident to do so in our unit with known staff members but need to improve my confidence in doing so with senior leaders and other professionals. Jones and Pound (2008) (cited IEEE, block, p. 24) believe that early years provision is too demanding to be met exclusively by one person.
They use the phrase ‘inclusive leadership’ enforcing the importance of every member of the team playing their part and being confident in doing so. I aim to develop my confidence and ability in order to be a more effective member of the team. PEP Planning and Assessment I have also rated myself a 3 in this area. I gave myself a rating of 3 as I am confident in assessing the children using Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYES). I use the statements within it to assess the child’s development and the next steps needed to enable them to achieve.
This information is then used by the teacher when planning future activities and lessons. I feel I could input more into the actual planning process in order to improve my rating to 4. I am responsible for collecting evidence, both formal and spontaneous, for the children in my family group. I do this by formally observing the child during a child initiated activity at least once per term and by making notes and taking photographs of anything I see or hear on a daily basis as the children are working or playing.
I then use Development Matters to assess the children’s developmental stage based on these observations. I am also responsible for the formative assessments of the pupils in my family group which are completed on a Alfa termed basis. These assessments are used to track progress and plan for personalized learning. I am confident in observing and assessing the children as I do this as part of my daily routine. Although I discuss the outcomes from my observations and assessments with the class teacher, she is the one responsible for the short and long term planning in the unit.
I would like to be able to participate more in this area without losing sight of the freedom we have in the early years to explore the unplanned opportunities created by the children, Shirley (2009) (cited IEEE, block 2, p. 23) says that ‘one of the greatest Joys is being open to unexpected and unplanned moments of discovery. PEP Partnerships I have rated myself a 3 on this area. I have given myself this rating as I have five years experience in my setting and have worked in all stages from nursery to year 2.
I have worked as a full class support and as a 1:1 support for children with special educational needs. This has involved me working with different colleagues and a variety of other professionals as well as numerous parents. However, I feel that full competency in this area comes from gaining skills and knowledge that only come from experience. We have a full time Safe Guarding officer in school and she tends to be the first contact for other professionals coming into school which means I do not get as much opportunity as I would like to develop a professional relationship with them.
It is important to build up this relationship to ensure all children are given the opportunity to develop and achieve. IEEE Block 1 explains how the publication of Every Child Matters (DEFIES, AAA) and the introduction of the Children Act 2004 (c. 31) show that it is essential that all professionals involved with the child work together and share information. I am confident in working alongside parents to ensure a consistent approach to their child’s education and well being. I see parents as partners in their child’s learning and encourage them to be involved.
Before the children start school we have a session where the parents can meet us and ask any questions regarding the school day and curriculum and we have open days throughout the year where we invite parents in to Join in with activities with their children. As a key worker I am always available during morning and home time for any questions or worries the parents may have. Action Points I have identified planning for lessons and activities as an area for development. I have been using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYES) (UDF, Bibb) as a tool for assessing the children’s development and next steps in their learning.
I am familiar with the document and am comfortable using it for this purpose; however, I would like to use it as a guide for actually planning the next steps and planning lessons and activities suitable for the different developmental stages within our class. I am going to plan some ‘dummy lessons which I will talk through with the class teacher and get dieback on. I have also been enrolled on an EYES workshop which will give me more insight into this area. I would like to develop my relationship with other professionals from outside agencies.
Although we have a safeguarding officer in school that is responsible in contacting these agencies if we have any concerns, I would like to be aware of who to contact and how in case she is not available for any reason in an emergency situation. I have arranged to meet with the safeguarding officer and discuss each child within the class to ensure we are both aware of any issues surrounding the child. She has agreed to talk through the outside agencies she is involved with while maintaining confidentiality of the families involved.
We have one child in the class who has a genetic disorder which affects her learning, I know there is a Team Around the Child meeting arranged later on this term and have asked to be part of this. PEP As a Senior Teaching Assistant there are times when I am expected to cover for the class teacher, such as PAP time, courses and other short term absences. While preparing for this assignment I read Block 1 of IEEE and Chapter 3 talks about leadership and introduces the many ways it can be interpreted.
It states that although there may be a designated leader, the concept of ‘leaders and followers ‘is not effective practice in early years and it should be ‘a team with everyone working comfortably in a climate of evaluation and reflection’. This made me realism that although there is an official leader I should not be afraid to step up and take control of situations where it is appropriate. I will discuss with my class teacher appropriate ways to do this and I intend to look at the Continuing Professional Development (CUP) training course brochure in my setting for relevant courses. Reference List