Communication and professional relationships with children young people and adults

Effective communication is important in building positive relationships with children, young people and adults. Children witness how adults interact and communicate with each other and this influences how the child communicates and behaves. If the child hears an adult making negative comment they will see this as acceptable. It is vital to develop a good and appropriate relationship with pupils, staff, parents and other adults involved in the child’s care and learning.

As a child’s language skills develop they begin to engage in more conversations and expect adults too listen and provide answers to their questions and the more you talk to children the more they are likely to approach you. When children see the correct way to communicate they will gain the confidence to communicate with other children in small or large groups and this will build and develop positive relationships between children as well as adults. It is important to take the time to listen to children as it reassures them that they can put their trust in you about anything they need to tell you about.

Having good communicational skills will help to develop better relationships especially with younger people, such as pupils that have a lack of confidence may find it hard to communicate at all, if you talk to them in a positive and gentle manner they are more likely to open up to you and talk more. It is important to remember that you would not like to be spoken to in a negative way so you should also be careful how you talk to others.

Non-verbal communication can also develop positive relationships by smiling at pupils when they and behaving correctly and doing their work correctly.

It is also important to be aware of how you may be perceived by others while communicating both verbally and non-verbally. Poor communication can cause confusion, create bad feelings, mistrust, lowers morale, anxiety and lessons future communication.

When you first meet an individual your body language and facial expression can form good vibes between you. If you show cold and expressionless body language this could create an instant barrier between people meeting for the first time, it will create an uncomfortable atmosphere. It may be that the other person may struggle socially and become nervous, fearful and feel that they cannot approach you.

Friendly eye contact can complement good use of body language and contribute to putting the person at ease if nervous. If you are in a group giving eye contact to each individual will make them all feel equally as important as the next. These principles can be followed up by perhaps taking the time to talk to each individual on a one to one basis to get to know hem a bit better.

Complete the table explaining how different contexts may affect relationships and the way people communicate (1.3)

Affect relationships and the way people communicate.
e.g lack of confidence
They may isolate themselves and not make friends; they won’t put their hands up in lessons. They may get picked on by others. They talk quietly and slowly.

e.g. formal / non formal relationships
An email or text conversation could be taken the wrong way as you can’t put tune of voice or body language on it, this could make the other person upset or angry and not want to work with them again.

e.g language barriers
Find it difficult to make friends, get confused and frustrated when answering questions. Other children may make fun of then because of their accent.

Complete the table explaining how to adapt communication for: (2.2)

a) the age of the child or young person
Talk to them in an age appropriate manner. Try not to use big words or long questions when talking to young children. Talk clearly and make sure you are listening patiently to what they have to say.

b) the context of the communication

When preparing task sheets make sure they are age appropriate using simple short words and sentences for younger children or lower ability groups. You can use longer words and sentences for higher ability groups and older children. When talking to children also try to use smaller simpler words that are age appropriate. When communicating with a teenager, talk to them as if they are adults as not to upset them.

c) communication differences

If you have a child that does not speak English very well then you should sit with them and read the task sheet together or make sure that the words used are as simple as possible for their ability. An interpreter could also be used. A child may have a visual impairment so you may need to make to text on their worksheet bigger and bolder you may also need to have a brail copy of the work they need to do. You may also need to read the task to them.

Complete the table stating some differences between communicating with adults and communicating with children and young people (2.3)

Communicating with adults
Communicating with children and young people

Adults can use previous experiences to help them understand what you are saying.

We make presumptions about adults understanding and leave sentences unfinished because we think they will know what we mean.

We use a lot of body language to communicate, hand gestures, nodding head.

We sometimes finish people’s sentences before they finish speaking.

Use open-ended questions to encourage descriptive answers.

You need to give them more time to think about what they want to say.

Sometimes children know what they want to say but they don’t have the words to express their meaning.

The children tend to repeat themselves while they are talking and then forget what they wanted to say and you will have to try and end the sentence for them or prompt them to finish what they were saying.

Explain how to adapt communication to meet different communication needs of adults (2.4)

There could be a parent that can’t read so when letters are sent out you could take the time to explain the letter to then. A parent may also not be
able to write so you could fill out any trip forms on their behalf and ask then to sign it if they want their child to attend the trip.

If a parent doesn’t speak English or limited English then you could ask the child to read the letters to then in their language. When having parent’s evenings an interpreter can be used.

When communicating with adults always make sure that you use the correct body language and listen to what they have to say and exchange your views in a professional manner.

Explain how you have (or would) manage disagreements with: (2.5)

A child / young person

I would not get drawn into an argument with a child; I would give the child a time out so that the child and I have a minute to think about what needs to happen. I would then ask the child to tell me the problem in a calm and polite manner. I will then make my decision as to what happens to the child and remind them of the school rules and that my decision is final.

An adult

I would stay calm and professional and discuss the matter and if an agreement is not meet then agree to disagree and leave it there. If we could not agree to disagree then I would just say ok and agree with then if it was a small issue of no importance so that we can move on and put it behind us. If it was a big issue and could become a problem then I would go and see my line manager about it and see what they think I should do.

Summarise the main points of the following legislation and procedures within your school covering confidentiality, data protection, disclosure of information and safeguarding. (3.1 and unit 333, 1.5)

Data Protection Act 1998

Schools are required to keep information secure and it can only be used for the purpose it was gathered.

The school needs to keep all the information about the children up to date and accurate.

The school is to keep all information about a child confidential and on a need to know basis.

The school must not pass on information about a child to anyone without the parent’s permission unless they believe that child is in danger or being abused at home.

Confidentiality policy and the sharing of information

The school uses the Children Act 2004 which states that close relationships should be made between agencies and sharing information between agencies should be done to keep a child safe and protected.  Explain the importance of reassuring children, young people and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and the limits of this. Justify the kinds of situation when confidentiality protocols must be breached. (3.2, 3.3)

It is important to reassure children, young people and adults that any information about them is kept confidential and only used where and when it is needed and only for the time it is required in order to maintain their trust and security. It is their right to have all their information kept confidential.

The school and all the staff must do everything they can to protect the privacy of every child and adult within the school. It is important not to violate their trust or put them at risk of harm by divulging their personal information to people how do not need to know anything about them. Children and young people need to know that their information will be kept confidential and that they won’t be put at risk of teasing or bullying by other pupils.

Also if children know they can talk to you and you will keep it to yourself they are more likely to tell you if they are being bullied or even abused. Adults need to feel secure in the knowledge that they or their children will not be the topic of playground gossip by other parents and that their home details will be safe from others.

Information should only be pasted onto those who have been authorised and have a legitimate reason to have the information and only if they have permission from parents/ guardian. If they refuse to give permission then the school cannot pass the required information on. There is a legislation to protect this right and there are severe consequences for those who breach it.

However there are certain circumstances in which an adult can pass on information to relevant authorities without permission. If you are told information about a child being abused and it is from a genuine source then it would be your right to pass on this information. Also if you believe a child is in significant risk of harm/ serious danger then you can pass on information to the relevant agencies. In some cases disclosure of information is required by law.

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