Writing a plan
A plan is a written working document that enables all members of staff to see what the child's strengths are and which areas of their development have been identified as needing extra support.
With help from parents, the SENCo and staff should collect information about what a child can do and what they find difficult. For example the child has good visual skills but may have difficulty understanding language.
The SENCo and staff would try a range of different strategies or teaching approaches to meet the child's needs. These would be part of the group's normal strategies; for example, most children will sit and listen to stories as they understand the social expectation, however some children need reminding, encouraging and praising.
A plan would be written when it is recognised that a child has not responded to the normal strategies. In fact, the child may have great difficulty sitting and listening to a story because they do not have the necessary levels of understanding. A plan would be put in place to both enable the child to access books at their level and promote the child's understanding of language.
Strategies may include:
- differentiating the curriculum; for example, a child who cannot complete a 10 piece interlocking puzzle could try a five piece interlocking puzzle
- providing special equipment; for example, a child who has difficulty using scissors independently would benefit from a four hole pair of scissors, which enable an adult to guide the cutting.
When the setting has concerns regarding any aspects of a child's development, they will discuss this with parents. This will help to explore whether the same difficulties exist at home. If this is the case, then a discussion can take place about possible reasons for this. If the parents do not share the concerns or see the same behaviours at home it is helpful to ask the parents about the approaches they use at home that could also be used in the setting. Parents need to understand and agree that their child would benefit from the process and be encouraged to contribute.
Reviewing the plan
The plan should be reviewed after approximately six weeks. New targets may be set according to the child's progress. Given that a plan is a working document, progress should be monitored and recorded at least weekly. This should form part of the graduated Assess, Plan, Do and Review approach.