Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Social Work in School: Reflection

Social Work in initiate ReflectionThis essay give be an analysis of my affectionate fake practice in my recent placement at Murston particular School in Sittingbourne, Kent. This piece is a reflective piece on my time at this instruct and the issues I attended while I was on that point. In order to accomplish this, this essay will be broken nap into s of all timeal sections.The low gear section will serve as an agniseledgeability to the placement setting. It will provide a brief overview of the school and the field of ponder of Sittingbourne. The next section will move on to look at near(a) of the issues that I encountered during my time at the school. Schools offer an interesting world of study for social workers because as a colleague of mine presentd, each issue comes with those school gates. This essay will ensure nearly of those issues and how they argon resolved in this setting. It will take or so of the theories at sport in this purlieu and examine what works considerably and what doesnt work so thoroughly when it comes to practicing social work in schools. I will reference ad hoc examples from my own time there to illust ordain this. The third section of this essay will then vacate to take a wider view of some of the issues at play in terms of having social workers in schools. Although social work placements in schools ar fair leafy veget adequate to(p)place these days, they still do raise some fairly specific issues.Throughout this essay, the cerebrate has to remain on the service users, in this case the pupils at the school and to a lesser extent their p arnts and how their unavoidably be world met. It will consider how anti-oppressive practices ar at play in this setting and how victorful they be. I want this piece to be a reflective piece. Reflection is a key comp geniusnt of erudition at heart the caring professions as it forces you to littlely analyse and evaluate what you whitethorn expect d ane diffe rently and what you will do differently should you encounter the aforementioned(prenominal) or a convertible features again. It would be useful to practice my experiences to a particular sticker of reflection as it will divine service me greater understand what I pitch learnt and help me to be critical nearly certain aspects of the experience as a whole. The reflective sticker I look at chosen to use for this essay is Bortons (1970) developmental pose for Reflective Practice. It is one of a be of models I could form chosen ( understructure buoys model of reflection,1994 Kolbs acquisition cycle, 1984 Atkins and Murphys model of reflection, 1994 Gibbs model of reflection, 1988 ) yet Bortons model best suits my purpose.The model that Borton devised is based on 3 separate chemical elements that work in a sequential, cyclical order. The first phase is the descriptive typify, or the what?. It makes the practitioner consider what the issue was, what their role in it was, and what the response was to the actions taken? The irregular stage is the so what?. This forces the practitioner to consider the theory and knowledge building that is an prerequisite part of reflection. What do the events tell or teach one nigh the service user, nearly myself and about the model of care that I am applying. What was I feeling at the time and did these feeling affect my actions? What could I fork up done differently if presented with the same situation again and how has my pinch changed as a result of what I have been through. The final stage of this model is the now what?. This stage looks at how the situation brush aside be bettered in the future. This is when broader issues may come into play.Murston primary(a) School in Sittingbourne, Kent is a mixed, non-denominational school with approximately 140 students. Because a nursery school was clear last year, it now caters for students aged betwixt 3 and 11. The majority of the students are white British s ave there are a fewer students from minority pagan backgrounds. The population which it serves is fairly st adequate to(p) but pro tem housing in the local anaesthetic theatre means there is some degree of transience and some pupils joining in Years 1 and 2 have had no previous experience of school. A luxuriously proportion of pupils at this school have been determine as having learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Their unavoidably relate approximatelyly to learning, speech and speech communication difficulties, behavioural, delirious and social needs, autism and physical hindrance. A recent Ofsted report rated the school as good. The report democracyd that the school, provides a good standard of education inwardly a in truth undecomposed, caring family atmosphere (Ofsted, 2008 p. 4).The school is in the Borough of Swale. term much of this borough is fairly affluent, there are a few pockets of deprivation. Sittingbourne is one of these areas. This is reflected by the well in a higher place average take up of alleviate school meals.This essay will now rivet on tierce issues of the many issues that I encountered in my time at Murston primary winding School. These are blustery, the inclusion of children with autism and finally self-harm. I have chosen these three areas to focus on because they are three quite diverse issues. determent is one that is widely covered and is a common problem in well-nigh schools in the UK. The inclusion of children with autism is a growing area of study as much and more is found out about this unhealthiness. Self-harm among green children is an area that is a lot ignored because of the stigma that it still grants in our society. However, it is a very real problem and one that I encountered during my time at Murston Primary School.Bullying is, an unfortunate reality which fares across disparate cultures and educational settings at about the same rate (Carney and Merrell, 2001 p. 364). Hazler (199 6) defines bullying as, repeatedly (not honest erst or twice) harming anformer(a)(prenominal)s. This can be done by physical fire or hurting others feelings through words, actions or social exclusion. Bullying may be done by one person or by a group. It is an unfair match since the bully is either physically, verbally and/or socially stronger than the victim.Bullying has been identified as one of the binding concerns that parents have about their childrens safety when at school. In response, the brass has do tackling the problem of bullying a top priority. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCFS) latterly published, gum elastic to Learn Embedding Anti-Bullying Work in Schools (2007). This report sets out a framework for schools to use in formulating anti-bullying strategies. A certain amount of gross profit is wedded to schools to formulate their own responses to bullying but there are certain elements that all anti-bullying programmes should contain. The victims of bullying should be able to be perceive they should know how to report bullying and get help they should be over assured in the ability of the school to deal with the problem they should feel confident that steps are universe taken to help them feel safe they can receive help to rebuild their confidence and they have to know that they can receive aver from others. Those heterogeneous in bullying have to be aware that there are sanctions and learning programmes that will hold them to account for their behaviour and help them realise the harm they have caused. These pupils have to develop their emotional skills so that they can learn to behave in ways that wont cause harm to others. They as well as have to learn how to repair the damage they have caused. The school as a whole has to be clear about the anti-bullying stance. at that place needs to be a collaborative attempt between staff outgrowths and pupils to develop the anti-bullying work in the school. All pupils have to be clear that they can keep open bullying. about importantly perhaps, anti-bullying has to be regarded as a collaborative effort not just within the school but with other schools within the area and with other agencies.Not as much attention is given to the problem of bullying in primary schools as much of the focus is on the transition that pupils make when they move from the modester, more personal environment of a primary school to the larger, and much less supportive lowly school environment (Eccles, Wigfield, Schiefele, 1998). Pellegrini and Long (2002) deal that bullying during this transition is, a deliberate strategy used to attain dominance as youngsters participate a new social group (p. 260). However, another cause of bullying is the rapid changes that occur in body size. This is e peculiar(prenominal)ly the case for boys. Pellegrini and Bartini (2001) argue that these changes lead to a reorganisation of social dominance hierarchies. The bigger the boy is, the more dominant he becomes over his smaller peers. This change is ordinarily witnessed in secondary school as puberty doesnt occur in males until the early years of secondary school. Hazler (1996) argues that bullying is some common between the ages of 9 and 15. There was a child at Murston Primary School who was much physically bigger than many of the other boys in the school who had had a history of fairly violent behaviour towards some of the other boys in the school.I will refer to this boy as fanny. tin is 11 and is in year six, so he is in his final year at Murston. He is from a minority ethnic background and he only joined the school the year previously. John has been identified as having some learning difficulties as his reading train and language levels are well below what they should be at his age. He is also a recipient of free school meals. John has had difficulties in adjusting to Murston and has been bullying two students in particular. Murston has a well develop ed anti-bullying visualise which is especially important considering the high proportion of vulnerable students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The school has a teacher who is in charge of the anti-bullying programme. She is well cognize to all the other staff and pupils. She is a well liked member of staff by the pupils and she has an open door policy where students are made to feel welcome. This policy may be so successful because as Smith and Shu (2001) argue, younger children are more likely to tell psyche when they witness bullying. Other teachers are desired to tell her if they suspect anyone of being bullied or bullying. In most cases she is able to successfully mediate between the two parties with parental involvement in all cases. However, in intense cases she will contact the LEA who will first send a social worker to work with the two parties and then an educational psychologist. I was able to observe one of her sessions with John and also his educati onal psychologist who had been involved from when the problem had first been identified.Olweus (1993) argues that sometimes staff at school can model bullying behaviour by belittling and threatening students. This was sure as shooting not the case at Murston. John had not learnt this behaviour from his teachers. John was not a popular member of school. This is supported by Carney and Merrell (2001) who state that, in early grades bullies tend to enjoy average or more or less below average popularity among peers (p. 370). John also bullied alone which is contrary to many of the theories of bullying that suggest that bullies tend to bully in groups (Smith and Shu, 2001). It became clear that John was acting out because he was having feelings of inadequacy due to language levels being so much lower than many of the other children in the class. He felt excluded from many of his peers and bullying was a way of getting disembarrass of his frustration.It would be useful to briefly apply Bortons (1970) Developmental simulate for Reflective Practice to this experience. This essay has adequately covered the what? so far. I felt that the school was handling the problem well and were recognising that some cases require outside help. Because it had taken the educational psychologist many sessions to build up give with John, I wasnt able to participate fully as the school felt they were at quite a delicate stage with John. However, just from observing I learnt about the frustrations that cause bullying. Murston Primary School is in quite an advantageous position when it comes to bullying. Being so small, it is easy to discern problems when they arise and it is possible to deal with problems more effectively. I dont think they can do much more in their anti-bullying programme.The second issue this essay will look at is the inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorder in schools. This term covers a range of developmental disorders from autism to Asperger syndrome . This essay will focus on autism because there were several children at Murston Primary School with autism. There are three distinct behaviours that characterise autism. The first is that ill children have difficulty with social interaction. Secondly, autistic children experience problems with verbal and communicative communication. The final characterising characteristic of this disorder is unusual, repetitive and very limited interests. Barnard (2002) states that the rate of autism spectrum disorder reported by teachers is three times higher in primary schools than it is in secondary schools. Autism is classified as a easy learning disorder and because of this, children suffering form it are encouraged to go to mainstream schools such as Murston.Inclusion is a contentious issue in educational circles. It implies, Inclusion implies a restructuring of mainstream schooling that every school can accommodate every child irrespective of disability (Avramidis and Norwich, 2002 p. 131 ). The idea first came to the public attention with the publication of the Warnock Report in 1978. Croll and Moses (2000) state that, support for the principle of inclusion of all children in mainstream neighbourhood schools has achieved widespread support, at least at a rhetorical level (p. 4). It is often seen as the ideal but an ideal that is not fully achievable. The critical element to inclusion is how the teachers respond to it. Avramidis and Norwich (2002) argue that, teachers beliefs and attitudes are critical in ensuring the success of inclusive practices since teachers acceptance of the policy of inclusion is likely to affect their payload to implementing it (p. 130). The view in the UK was fairly positive. Clough and Lindsay (1991) found that on the whole teachers were fairly happy with inclusion, provided the support was in place for them. However, inclusion is now widely seen as somewhat of a failure. Schools want to seem like they are inclusive, but they have yet to m ake adequate provisions for pupils with special educational needs. A 2004 Ofsted report entitled, finical educational needs and disability towards inclusive schools, supports this view.There are many issue surrounding the inclusion of autistic children in ordinary state schools. Murston is an inclusive school and an inclusive school that unlike many other schools is able to cater to the needs of students with autism. Barnard et al. (2000) state that inclusive schools, must ensure that appropriate learning or other positive experiences take place. It is not simply about where an psyche is educated or receives service or support it is about the whole tone of such a service or support. Inclusive education is a process involving the restructuring of the curriculum and classroom organisation (p. 6). Murston is certainly well equip to deal with the demands placed upon them by these pupils. The school has realised that to adequately converge the needs of its service users it needs to involve the expertise of other agencies. scuttlebutt has been sought from a number of specialist professions including educational psychologists, speech, language and occupational therapists. Teaching assistants have received extra training in transaction with children with autism and there are regular workshops for teachers as well. Not only are the teachers well trained, but there are a range of interference programmes in operation to help not only the students with autism but also without autism. The 2008 Ofsted report made special mention of the provisions that Murston offers these students by stating that, with child(p) care, guidance and support mean pupils are exceptionally well looked after. mental faculty cater for everyones needs very well, including those children who are particularly vulnerable (p. 5). Barnard et al (2000) argue that parents are happiest when schools recognise the individual needs of their child. From my time at Murston, I would say that this is a pr iority for the school.As with the issue of bullying, Murston is in a fairly advantageous position due to its size. It is able to offer such fantastic support because it has a relatively small number of students. Although it does have a higher proportion of students with autism than many other schools in the area, most of the teachers I spoke to seemed very positive about the work they were able to do.It is possible to apply Bortons (1970) Developmental Model for Reflective Practice to my experience of inclusion. I got to assist in a few classes and on a number of instances helped out the children with autism. I didnt feel sufficiently trained to deal with some of their more specific problems. However, my experience did teach me the importance of treating each child as an individual. I feel that Murston has a good system in place, aided by the fact that it is a very small school. It would be useful for them to be able to share some of their knowledge with other schools in the local a rea. This essay will now consider the final issue that I encountered in my time at Murston Primary School.Deliberate self-harm is when someone injures or harms themselves on purpose. This can take many forms. It can range from pickings an overdose to cutting or burning oneself. Gunnell et al (2000) claim that it is a problem that is growing and affecting more young flock than ever before. Because of the social stigma attached to it, it is often a problem that goes unreported and as such there are no hard statistics about it. However, a 2004 report published by the Office for National Statistics estimates that about 1 in 12 children and young people deliberately self-harm. This leads to well over 24,000 hospitalisations every year.There are numerous reasons why children and young people self-harm. If the individual is feeling worried, trapped and helpless by a problem they may be having, self-harm is a way of regaining comptroller of the situation. Self-harm is also a way of reliev ing tension. Children sometimes lack the necessary language skills to truly express their emotions. This leads to them bottling up their feelings. The only way of releasing these is through self-harm. Thirdly, self-harm can be a form of punishment if the child or young person is feeling guilty about something they may have done or witnessed. Finally, self-harm may be a way of fate the child to feel connected after the emotional numbness that often follows a traumatic event.Self-harm is often seen as something that lady friends do. Young et al (2007) do not go along with this assumption. They argue that while women are more likely to take this behaviour forward into later life, levels are similar between young girls and boys. Boys tend to favour the more violent methods whereas girls are less violent. One might expect that this activity is higher among people from lower socio-economic backgrounds as well but West and Sweeting (2004) dispute this. They argue that in actual fact this is not the case. Levels of health are the same across all groups of children and yond people in todays society. tour I was at Murston Primary School, there was evidence that a girl in year 6 had been deliberately self-harming. I felt that the situation was dealt with very well by the staff at the school. The problem was identified quickly and guidelines based on a Royal College of Psychiatrists fact poll were followed. The student was made to feel comfortable and it soon transpired that her mother had been quite seriously ill for some time. Her case was referred on to social services and her GP but again, the value of treating this girl as an individual meant that she was able to open up to staff in the first place. Self-harming behaviour is an quality that something is going seriously wrong in the life of that young person. There are no quick fixes to this problem. I feel that the school has a more than adequate care structure to deal with this problem.Overall I felt my experien ce at Murston Primary School was very positive. I got to witness firsthand a wide variety of issues that affect the students on a day to day basis. I only chose the three examples above as I felt they gave an indication of the wide variety of issues that live in a school setting. Having social workers in school is still a relatively new concept in many separate of the country. I felt that maybe this school was not set-up to have a full time social worker on the staff but I dont think it needed one as it was a very small school. However, I do realise the value of schools working with social services, especially in areas such as Sittingbourne that do have fairly high levels of deprivation. There are a number of issues that arise from this and schools, working in collaboration with social services and other local agencies are best equipped to tackle these problems of social exclusion.Most of the staff in the school were happy to allow me to shadow them but I felt a certain amount of h ostility from some staff because it felt like I was looking over their get up and questioning their methods. This was not the case, for the most part I was simply observing. I did not feel it prudent to get involved in most cases because I had no knowledge of the background and in many cases the pupils already had a number of people from the caring professions already working for them. I was able to offer my help and expertise when it was required but for the most part I was happy to observe the interactions within this complex and repugn environment.Bibliography and ReferencesAvramidis, E. and Norwich, B. (2002). Teachers attitudes towards integration/inclusion a review of the literature, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 17(2), pp. 129-147.Barnard, J. (2000). Inclusion and Autism Is it Working?, London NAS.Barnard, J. (2002). Autism in Schools Crisis or quarrel?, London NAS.Carney, A.G. and Merrell, K.W. (2001). Bullying in Schools, School Psychology International, 2 2(3), pp. 364-382.Clough, P. and Lindsay, G. (1991). Integration and the hurt Service, Slough NFER.Croll, P. Moses, D. (2000). Ideologies and utopias education professionals views of inclusion. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 15(1), 1-12.DCFS (2007). Safe to Learn Embedding Anti-Bullying Work in Schools, HM Stationery Office.Eccles, J. S., Wigfield, A., Schiefele, U. (1998). Motivation to succeed. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.),Handbook of child psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 10171096), New York Wiley.Gunnell, D., Shepherd, M. and Evans, M.(2000). Are recent increases in deliberate self-harm associated with changes in socio-economic conditions? An ecological analysis of patterns of deliberate self-harm in Bristol1972-3 and 1995-6, mental Medicine, 30, pp. 1197-1203Hazler, R.J. (1996). Breaking the Cycle of Violence Interventions for Bullying and Victimization, Washington, DC Accelerated Development.Ofsted (2008). Murston babe School Inspection Report, HMSO.Olweus, D. (1993). Bully ing at school, Cambridge, MA Blackwell.Pellegrini, A. D., Bartini, M. (2001). Dominance in early adolescent boys Affiliative andaggressive dimensions and possible functions, MerrillPalmer Quarterly, 47, pp. 14263.Pellegrini, A.D. and Long, J.D. (2002). A longitudinal study of bullying, dominance, andvictimization during the transition from primary school through secondary school, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 20, pp. 259-280.Smith, P.K. and Shu, S. (2001). What Good Schools Can Do About Bullying Findings from a Survey in English Schools After a ten of Research and Action, Childhood, 7(2), pp. 193-212.Warnock Report. DES (1978). Special Educational Needs Report of the committal of Enquiry into the Education of Handicapped Children and Young People. London HMSO.West, P. and Sweeting, H. (2004). Evidence on equalisation in youth from the West of Scotland. Social Science and Medicine, 59, pp. 13-27.Young, R. wagon train Beinum, M., Sweeting, H. and West, P. (2007). Yo ung people who self-harm, British Journal of Psychiatry, 191, pp. 44 -49.

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