Causes of Concern for Ruby:
-From careful examination of the case study profile, I conclude that Ruby’s behaviour is more damaging to herself than others within her classroom environment.
-Ruby engages in a continual lack of interaction. On a social level, this will cause isolation from classmates and possible friends, not the best start for a young person beginning school.
-Ruby’s outright defiance of instructions, activities and rules will translate to a failed progression of learning. As she moves into year 1, she could possibly lack certain skills that are required for average, let alone above average, expectations of achievement.
-Refusing to conform to the norms of the classroom will see her fall behind in learning the behaviours that are expected in the educational environment.
Causes of Concern for the Setting:
-There is the possibility that Ruby’s behaviour can alter a positive mood of the setting, which is the classroom environment.
Causes of Concern for Other Children/ Adults:
-Ruby’s distress and subsequent lashing out at adults or children persisting with an insistence to comply with rules or norms could cause physical harm for people involved. Also, actions such as these might set a bad example for other children to follow.
Factors to Consider:
-Ruby has just turned 4 years old in the previous few months. Is she too young for the classroom setting? Or perhaps, just the fact that it is a new environment that is making Ruby unhappy?
-Ruby’s Mum has a new partner who is living with them. Is this causing distress for Ruby? This is sensitive information which may be difficult to obtain.
-Ruby’s Mum has just had a new baby. Before the arrival, was Ruby the only child, and has this caused a problem for Ruby? Will Ruby’s Mum, assuming cooperation, be able to recognize the change in personality?
-Ruby is most often isolated, in class and in the playground, from fellow pupils. Was Ruby not the initial cause of this and has she been isolated from the other children? Is Ruby being bullied?
-Ruby is not engaging with adults. There is certainly a lack of trust in her relationship towards them. Are the adults accountable for the behaviour of Ruby? Are teacher engagement methods of the proper standard?
-Ruby’s family’s financial status: Are her basic needs being met?
-Behavioural conditions: Does Ruby suffer from autism?
Plan of Action:
-Observe Ruby: In class, free-flow play, group activities, play time and lesson time.
-Circle time activities (which are essential in reception year): Class discussion about new arrivals (new parents, new siblings etc). Observe how Ruby engages and reacts.
-Set up a meeting with Ruby’s Mum: Ensure Mum’s full cooperation with observation. Include a series of in-depth questions about Ruby’s home life.
-From observations, circle time and meeting Ruby’s Mum, ascertain what Ruby likes and enjoys (toys, activities, characters etc.).
-Assign a key worker to Ruby: Adult that: sits with Ruby for circle time; works with Ruby’s group during group activities; also observes and provides feedback (Assigning a key worker will help to build a relationship between Ruby and an adult. As a result, she could learn to trust other adults).
-Ruby to be observed by the SENCO worker (usually is an assigned internal person within the school).
-Employ an educational psychologist to observe Ruby: Possibly possess more strategies; More impartial (as a teacher, you potentially carry a bias for your own students).
-With parent’s permission, observe Ruby’s home life.
Behavioural support action:
-Implement a “star chart” system to reward Ruby’s positive behaviour. This allows Ruby an active role in her support and helps to guide her to make positive choices.
-Apply a “peer buddy” arrangement. Taking this initiative may break down social barriers with other children for Ruby.
Justification for Strategies Identified:
Humanist Theory Approach:
-Assigning a key worker to Ruby: adults to act as facilitators to help guide Ruby to learn when her emotional and social needs are being met.
Choice Theory Approach:
-Star chart system: Ruby behaves out of her own choices. Adults to ensure that Ruby makes better choices by providing a reward scheme so her behaviour meets their needs without violating the rights of others.
Systems Theory Approach:
-Ensure cooperation of, and develop excellent communication with parents: If there is difficulty adjusting Ruby’s behaviour initially, then alter the interaction side of the adults in her life.
Cognitive Behaviourism Approach:
-Circle time activities: Adults to discuss and implement choices that allow Ruby to have a participatory role in determining her own behavioural goals.
Anticipated Consequences of Strategies Implemented:
Obviously, this is not going to be a quick process. Clearly Ruby has emotional issues. Observation is the key to this case study and the behavioural support actions will reinforce the initiatives set out by the adults who are involved with Ruby’s progress. Circle time activities will assist Ruby with thinking about her emotional needs. Developing communication with the parents may ascertain whether the problems originate from home. Ruby participating in a star chart system will augment positive behaviours and could provide a bond with the teacher. Assigning a key worker to Ruby will provide increased analysis through observation and help to develop trust with adults. Through personal experience with children like Ruby, I believe, with all of the strategies combined, that a more positive Ruby engaging in classroom and social activities could take several months.
Potential Barriers to Success:
-lack of cooperation with Ruby’s parents: vital communication could break down or one or both parents may wish to keep information confidential.
-barriers in communication with key workers: this includes teachers; playground staff; lunch supervisors; SENCO worker.
-if it is concluded that Ruby is unsafe at home: keeping Ruby protected.
Plan for Review of Strategies:
The review of the action plan for Ruby will consist of a monthly observation and consultation with the Educational Psychologist that was recruited to assist with Ruby’s situation. In addition to this, a bi-weekly observation and consultation with the school SENCO worker will be scheduled. Ruby’s school work and star chart progress will be closely monitored by teacher and key worker, as well as her social conduct. As relationships with adults strengthen, dialogue with Ruby herself will be included in review strategies.