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The Forest School and Inclusion: a project evaluation

Barbara Pavey (PhD)

2006

An early draft of this paper was presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, University of Glamorgan, 14-17 September 2005

Summary

This paper reports the evaluation outcomes of one element of a Forest School programme involving pupils from an urban primary school in South Wales. The programme included nine pupils from a specialist teaching facility. The children experienced a range of severe and complex learning difficulties, including global (general) developmental delay, autism, speech and language difficulties, hearing and vision difficulties and behavioural difficulties.

The research focused on three key questions: what is the nature of the Forest School experience for young children with significant special educational needs? Can the Forest School meet the needs of young children with significant special educational needs? Does the Forest School develop the personal and social qualities of young children with significant special educational needs? To these was added a fourth question, focusing on how progress might be measured.

A case study approach was used, incorporating a range of methods. These included short discussions with the professionals involved; observation of the introductory classroom session, using a time-series record; observation in the Forest School location, including recording using video and audiotape; comparison of the diary records of the Specialist Teaching Facility teacher and the Forest School leader; and pre-and post-programme assessment of the children’s personal, social and communication development using a questionnaire devised for the purpose.

Findings showed that pupils from the Specialist Teaching Facility responded positively to the Forest School experience in a number of ways. The conclusion was that the Forest School can meet the needs of pupils with complex and severe learning difficulties and disabilities. Challenges and requirements will become clearer as more children with special educational needs experience Forest School programmes. Educators can learn from observing pupils within the forest, and the combination of the Forest School programme and the regular school programme together offer great potential for the educational development of children with significant learning difficulties and disabilities (SEN).

Introduction

The Forest School experience has its origins in Scandinavian practice, and was brought to the UK by a team from Bridgewater College (Dowling 2000, Maynard 2003, Swarbrick, Eastwood and Tutton 2004). The Forest School approach uses the forest as a learning environment in a number of ways, including personal and social aspects within its ethos. Interest in this area of education is spreading, and has a particular focus in Wales (Swarbrick et.al, 2004). Outdoor Learning is supported by the Department for Education and Skills in its recent focus upon field trips and visits (DfES 2005). In this and other contexts the principle of education outside the classroom is endorsed by the UK Parliament House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills:

"The broad extent of this enquiry has convinced the Committee that outdoor learning can benefit pupils of all ages and can be successful in a variety of settings. We are convinced that out-of-classroom education enriches the curriculum and can improve educational attainment "(United Kingdom Parliament 2004; part 7 para 1).

In the work of the Forest School movement, outdoor learning finds an expression that is worthy of further exploration and study.

The ethos of the Forest School includes providing children with the opportunities to learn and to express themselves in individual ways. Maynard (2003) describes how, in addition to offering a setting in which children can develop motivation, self confidence, language and physical skills, among other useful experiences, the Forest School also provides freedom within safe boundaries. It furnishes a safe alternative that addresses adult perceptions of danger, because, as Swarbrick et.al. (2004) point out, the environment is usually in a private area and is supported by a high adult to pupil ratio.

The Forest School (FS) experience reported here formed part of the evaluation of a project carried out in a particular Local Education Authority in South Wales, taking place on Thursday mornings over 16 consecutive weeks in the spring and early summer. The children involved included pupils from mainstream classes in a local primary school, and pupils from the Specialist Teaching Facility within the school. The Specialist Teaching Facility (STF) was a unit for children with considerable special educational needs. At the time of the project it held nine children aged five to seven years, all of whom were boys. The children experienced a range of severe and complex learning difficulties, including global (general) developmental delay, autism, speech and language difficulties, hearing and vision difficulties and behavioural difficulties. Makaton sign language was used by some of the children as a medium of communication. While some children transferred in due course to the mainstream provision within the school, others remained within the unit or transferred to special school provision if their learning needs became more pronounced.

Aims

The overall purpose of the research was,

"To evaluate the impact and benefits of involvement in Forest School in relation to young children’s learning and development" (Maynard 2003; 6).

In addition the project considered the relationship between gender and learning styles, attitudes to the Forest School, and the nature of the Forest School experience. Where the children from the STF were concerned, the research focused on three key questions:

1. What is the nature of the Forest School experience for young children with significant special educational needs?

2. Can the Forest School meet the needs of young children with significant special educational needs?

3. Does the Forest School develop the personal and social qualities of young children with significant special educational needs?

For this last purpose a fourth question focused on whether there was a way to measure any possible development of this kind. This could be expressed as:

4. Can an instrument (in this case a questionnaire) be developed which can provide information about the personal and social development of young children with significant special educational needs before and after the Forest School experience?

It must be acknowledged that in pursuing this last aim the task constituted, as Norwich and Kent (2002; 60) citing Inman et.al. 1998 point out, an attempt to ‘measure the unmeasurable’. Norwich and Kent voice concerns about reliability and validity in the assessment of personal and social development (PSD). At the same time there remain pressures to provide assessment methods for personal and social development. As Norwich and Kent assert, (2002; 62)

"Though assessing PSD is fraught with difficulties, there seems to be no way of avoiding the need to do so".

It seemed useful to consider what was involved in attempting to produce an instrument that was specific, flexible and sensitive in seeking to measure whether there had been any change in the children’s social and communication skills in the time period that the Forest School project took place. However, Norwich and Kent's concerns with the domain validity, and with the reliability of subjective, teacher-based assessments of the summative kind, are noted (Norwich and Kent 2002; 79).

Methods

The research followed a case study methodology (Cohen, Manion and Morrison, 2000), with a number of elements being brought together to provide triangulation in constructing a unique picture of a particular Forest School experience. The elements within the case study included short discussions with the professionals involved and observation of the introductory classroom session, and the use of time sampling (Wall, 2001), also known as interval recording (Cohen et.al. 2000), where data are recorded in categories on pre-decided, timed occasions. This record described what the class teacher, the Forest School leaders, the classroom assistants and the children were doing, at intervals of 2.5 minutes.

In addition there were observation visits to the Forest School location, recorded using video and audiotape. These visits took place on two occasions, the first at the start of the outdoor sessions, and the second at four weeks from the end of the programme. The observations were supported by fellow members of the evaluation team.

Further elements of the research included comparison of the diary records of the STF teacher and the FS leader; and the pre-and post-programme assessment of the children’s personal and communication development, a method described by Cohen et al. (2000) as a panel study or trend study. This element of the research employed a questionnaire devised particularly for the purpose and piloted as part of the research process.

The questionnaire sought to address pupils’ personal, social, communication and learning characteristics and styles (Appendix A). Its construction drew on a number of sources including the National Assembly for Wales consultation on the Foundation Stage (National Assembly for Wales 2003), the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority Baseline Assessment Scales (QCA 2003a), the QCA Foundation Handbook on using the Scales (QCA 2003b), and the QCA Guidance on Personal, Social and Emotional Development (QCA 2003c,) together with discussions with fellow professionals. The questionnaire was marked on a continuum line of nil to five, where five was the highest score. (Appendix A). The method of scoring preferred by the staff was to work together agreeing a consensus rather than completing the questionnaire separately, as originally intended. The questionnaire was completed at the beginning and at the end of the Forest School project, using the same sheets but marking the scores with a different colour of ink. In this way any movement in either direction could be shown for each child, and by inserting a mid-line on the nil to five continuum, it could be seen whether any movement had crossed the midline from less favourable to more favourable scores, or vice versa. This could be refined by further subdividing the line into five sections, to give more information about the scale of any movement in the scores. If values were then awarded to each of the divisions, with one point for a score of between nil and one, and up to five points for a score of four to five, it became possible to total the points and rank the scale of change.

Results

Short discussions with the professionals involved

The discussions showed that both STF and FS professionals were eager to explore the opportunities for learning offered by the FS programme. STF staff and children had some previous experience of an outdoor activities programme the previous year, and had met one of the FS leaders at that time. FS staff also had some previous experience of working with people with autism and special educational needs.

Discussion with the FS leaders at the start of the sessions in the forest revealed that they had felt it necessary to change their ideas about how they would work with the children, as a result of meeting them in the classroom. Discussion with the STF staff revealed apprehension for the children’s safety in this less structured and controlled setting, and highlighted the difficulty of relinquishing control, particularly at times where opinions might vary as to the best course of action. STF staff recognized a need for themselves to ‘stand back’ in this setting, acknowledging the difficulty in doing so, but appreciating too that when they did stand back, their perceptions and understanding of the children were enhanced. Discussions later in the programme clarified any differences in approach taken by both sets of professionals.

Observation of the introductory classroom session, using a time-series or interval record

This observation recorded the first meeting, interaction, and educational input between the FS leaders and the children. The observation covered the period from 9.40 to 11.45 a.m., excluding break-time. The session before break was the FS leaders’ introductory session; the session after break was a baking lesson conducted by the STF staff, with the FS leaders observing.

The time series observation provided considerable qualitative detail. The main points noted were concerned with the characteristics of the children in the classroom, and their interactions with the staff. These included the high level of physical and oral management of the children in the classroom setting and the distractibility of the children, linked to the perceived need for the pupil’s continuous control, and return of attention. The classroom provision structured the children’s learning experiences in a fairly continuous way, although at certain times the children were also free to run and play. The range of children’s responses was considerable; some had no language, others were comparatively verbal, at a basic level. Observation suggested that there was a high level of physical response amongst the children, compared with an understandably low amount of language response.

The children were responsive to the Forest School staff. There was a high level of interest in the puppets and practical materials provided by the FS staff, and there was a rewarding occasion when the children spontaneously linked what was being discussed about the birds and animals in the forest, with the classroom wall display. There were other occasions when the children had difficulty understanding some of the concepts, such as recognizing models of items that were not likely to be found in the forest. It was not clear whether or not the children recognized the FS staff from their meeting a year earlier.

Observation in the Forest School location

The two occasions when observation took place in the FS location were at the introductory session in the forest, and at the session four weeks from the end, when the fire was lit. There was also some discussion with the adults managing or supporting the programme. From the start of the outdoor work there were a number of things that made an impact, and a range of new learning experiences for children and adults alike. The sessions for the children from the STF took place in the morning, with a mid-morning break. On the first occasion of entry to the forest there was a high level of adult supervision, the children walked up the slope in a line, with an adult holding each child’s hand. This contrasted with the later observation, when children entered the forest independently over a stile and made their own way to the location.

The range and nature of the structured activities observed, was varied. There was den and house building, using sticks to make shapes, and lines, enjoyment of playing in mud and trees, exploratory walks, and structured games such as ‘sticky elbows’ and ‘touch blue’. At times it was difficult to discern children’s true responses when surrounded by a high supervisory adult presence. However there seemed to be a spontaneous emergence of collaborative play, teamwork, and cooperation among the children in den and house building.

In spite of health and safety fears, there were no major incidents; and although not all pupil interactions were positive, the children responded well. They respected the rules concerning the fire when it was lit, even though many of them had not seen a fire before. There were a small number of fundamentally confusing concepts offered, such as warning children against a fire spot which was cold and dead, and later warning them against a pond that was empty (according to professional records). Another example was when size and type comparison were made with objects that were not present.

There was a high level of physical involvement on the part of the children, once they were aware of their freedom to use and explore the environment. In contrast, there was difficulty in capturing children’s attention at the story times in the forest. There seemed to be an increase in stamina amongst the children, over time. This was visibly noticeable between the two periods of observation, and was also noted by the STF staff. In the early weeks of the programme children fell asleep in the bus returning to school and Fridays were known as quite days in school because the pupils were tired. Towards the end of the programme neither of these were the case; children did not fall asleep on the return journey and Fridays were as active as other days. Observation also suggested that towards the end of the programme children were more ready to explore and investigate independently.

Comparison of the diaries

The diaries kept by both FS and STF staff were mainly records of the activities carried out during the programme, both in the forest and following up in school. The wide range of activities included listening, watching, interacting verbally and physically, and using related vocabulary in activities such as hand and body prints, tree planting, and other activities. Structured activities included games such as ‘One, two, three where are you’, ‘touch blue’, ‘bear hunt’, and many more. Realistic FS puppets took the place of real life woodland animals. The children played with these, placing them in naturalistic settings, and also taking part in related activities such as building a ‘nest’ for an owl puppet using sticks and glue. There were also some encounters with real animals:

" (…) took no notice of a dog we passed - usually terrified"

and on the occasion of the discovery of a bat in a cave, causing great excitement:

" (…) told a man about the bat - flying".

Steps were made towards confidence, in the natural setting, by another child:

" (…) wouldn't touch insects…said he was scared, but loved looking at them magnified, very excited"

The children participated in and seemed to enjoy physical activities related to the direct environment, such as mud wallowing, digging, tree climbing, getting buried in leaves, throwing leaves in the air and many more related physical activities. There were additional, oral activities including singing, action songs, and shouting and calling:

"(...) enjoy(ed) climbing up trees, saying "climbing tree", started singing as he was walking through woods".

Some of these experiences were very new and important for children who, in some cases, were physically and communicatively uncertain.

There were investigative activities such as exploring, investigating minibeasts, sawing with a bow saw, and collecting and classifying sticks for purposes such as making lines and circles and linking trees, and measuring. There were imaginative activities such as play in the dens and 'houses', water play, chasing play, and creative activities such as bridge building, weaving natural materials into a previously-made net, and drawing spirals (related to snail shells). There were many other sensory and experiential activities included listening to a story, looking at a bug book, looking for (and finding) animals, using ropes to pull logs, a treasure trail including shapes stickers and colours, making a model beetle using sticks and mud, and using a magnifying glass.

It can be seen that there was considerable scope for learning and exploring opportunities in the forest, and many of these were followed up in school activities. Follow-up and related activities included number work, model making, making forest homes and nests, singing number and action songs, and many more activities in accordance with the classroom theme of growth and change. The availability of waterproofs provided for the project enabled STF staff to undertake a school wet walk in the rain with the children, chanting the Bear Hunt verse as they went:

"We found the biggest puddles and the stickiest mud…excellent opportunity and the boys enjoyed".

School staff reported that they would have liked to have done more of this if the school had the resource of its own waterproofs. The provision of waterproofs was important; weather was not a factor in the FS experience, and the programme was not called off because of rain (in fact the weather was mostly good). Complete sets of waterproofs were supplied by FS but not Wellington boots, which was a difficulty for one child during the programme.

Background experience of forest or woodland varied amongst the children. Records indicate that some had parents who took them regularly to woods and streams; others did not have this experience. Likewise the experience of fire was varied; however the children respected the rules of the fire. Many of the children’s responses were described by FS staff:

"(..) really focused around fire circle", " and " (…) enjoyed fire, enraptured",

capturing the intensity of their response and the importance of the experience. In addition to developing favourite physical activities involving mud and trees, some pupils remembered activities that took place in the forest and returned to them spontaneously:
"First session back after holidays. Children, particularly (…) and (…) seem to know their way around".

Within the two sets of staff diaries there were understandably some different points of view. There were differences regarding the interpretation placed upon a child’s activity or response, but there were many more occasions when interpretations were in accord. There were some differences of view regarding the effectiveness or desirability of techniques intended to help pupils, and about how best to manage or deal with certain activities or situations. There were also some differences of view regarding the relative value of unstructured and structured learning situations. However, both sets of diaries recorded improvements among the children. These include improvements in behaviour, assertiveness, strength, and physical, personal and social confidence, and increased communication. Some children seemed to experience a reduced fear of heights, or a reduced apprehension about getting dirty or messy.

Both sets of diaries also recorded some difficulties. These included occasions where children experienced fatigue, particularly in the early stages of the programme, and also overexcitement, occasional overactivity or aggression. The only negative incidents recorded showed that one child used a rope unacceptably by putting it round another child’s neck, but no injury was sustained. Other minor incidents included one small cut on a child’s hand from barbed wire, and one or two brief disagreements between children. There were other health and safety issues; records show concerns about the barbed wire, the stream (on the other side of the barbed wire), a dog (mutual licking), the presence of a staff belt knife, and the proximity of a road when pupils were allowed to walk and run. Over all the project was remarkably free of incident, and the understandable fears and apprehensions expressed by some adults, were not realized.

Pre-and post-programme assessment of personal and social development

The number of returns for the questionnaire was reduced to seven, because two children moved class between the days when the questionnaire was competed. Not all of the items were completed for all seven children. Looking at items crossing the midpoint into more favourable scores, five of the seven children were judged to have made progress, while two stayed the same. As a group, ten more items crossed the midline at the end of the assessment than did so at the start, indicating some progress. The analysis of change showed that children’s greatest relative strengths at the start and end of the programme appeared to be in areas concerned with kinesthetic skills. Improvements seemed to have been made in a number of additional areas including those concerned with auditory and visual skills, social and interactive skills, and concentration.

Discussion

The research element concerned with the experience of pupils with severe and complex learning needs called on five separate elements. These were the discussions with professionals, the time series record, the observation, the comparison of diaries, and the panel or trend study based on pre-and post-project completion of a questionnaire. Together these describe the nature of the experience and present a positive picture of all-round progress made by the children of the Specialist Teaching Facility. It cannot be certain that this progress was directly due to the Forest School experience; it might have happened anyway, over the same period in the classroom, or be due to other factors such as maturation or the change of environment, without the forest being crucial to the experience.

In addition, the amount of progress that could be made by children with severe and complex learning needs over the length of the period was not going to be large, and might be explained by, for example, errors of measurement or observer bias. In piloting the questionnaire a number of weaknesses became apparent stemming from its provisional nature and its potential for bias. As an instrument it would not allay Norwich and Kent's (2002) concerns about validity and reliability, and so findings must be treated with extreme caution. Nevertheless progress appears to have been made during the period of the FS project.

Results show that the nature of the Forest School experience was different from that of the school. First, there were the obvious differences of environment and the nature of the activities. In seeking to identify this difference, the Forest School project might perhaps be described as being more to do with process, contrasting with a regular schooling approach more concerned with content and outcome. These difficulties in turn raise deeper questions that may benefit from further exploration concerning the purpose, the learning experiences, and the educational means and methods within special education. In this difference there is potential for variation of opinion, but also scope for combining both approaches to enrich enormously the quality of children’s educational experience. It was noticeable to this observer that in the forest, children from the STF looked and behaved like any other children. If, as the social model of disability suggests, it is society, the social context and the environment that are the disablers of adults and children with learning disabilities, particularly in terms of barriers caused by attitudes, difficulties of access and the removal of independence and control (Boxall 2002; 214), the FS experience would seem to lend support to this view. When compared with Boxall's analysis, the FS project can be seen to have avoided attitudinal barriers, made physical and emotional access available and created opportunities for the young children from the STF to have supervised control of, and independence in, the learning environment.

Findings from this research experience suggest that there may be scope for developing the FS/school interactive process, with opportunities for both FS and school professionals to discuss their different approaches and how these may usefully combine in the children’s interests. Recognition of the process-content emphasis in each approach might be a good starting point. Agreement on how children are managed, particularly in the special management of any idiosyncratic child behaviours, and the use of particular techniques such as hand-over-hand modeling, should be specific. There should be clarity and reassurance in matters of health and safety, understanding of legal responsibility and duty of care. The mutual trust of the different sets of professionals has a bearing on this, and is linked to difference of approach.

Within this project, all the pupils in the STF had statements of special educational needs. The information in these could support usefully professionals’ knowledge of the individual children. In addition, while there was considerable evidence of follow-up of the FS programme in school, there was no clear evidence of school programmes being followed up in the Forest School. However there may have been discussion about linking ideas, and work on basic number and creative concepts took place in the Forest School, as did the regular reading of stories.

The trialing of an assessment instrument for assessing the impact of the Forest School upon the STF pupils’ achievement indicated that in the period of the FS programme, the children made some progress. There are weaknesses with this instrument, and it cannot be said that the progress made could be directly attributable to the FS experience. Norwich and Kent (2002; 79) express reservations about inventory-style assessments of personal and social development that are dependent upon subjective judgment, and these are respected. The findings are perhaps most useful in supporting the overall picture emerging of this particular FS experience, providing a different means of judgment within a subjective, qualitative evaluation. However, the particular developments in the area of visual and auditory learning style indicated through the questionnaire results might lead cautiously to a suggestion that it could be worth further investigation to explore possible relationships between the Forest School experience and children’s improvement in these and other areas.

Conclusion

The Forest School experience should be recognized as more than an opportunity for physical or environmental education in an outdoor location, or a series of special occasions for the children to play in the woods. The combination of the Forest School programme and the regular school programme together offer considerable potential for educational development of children with significant special educational needs.

To return to the research questions, the research showed that the nature of the FS experience for young children with significant special educational needs was an enriching one, with potential for meaningful teaching and learning; that the Forest School could meet the needs of young children with significant special educational needs; and that the FS experience did seem to develop the personal and social qualities of young children with significant special educational needs. Key points from this research would therefore suggest that:

a) The Forest School is an enabling learning environment for children with learning difficulties, including children who have learning needs of considerable severity;

b) Both mainstream school staff and Forest School staff are enabled to develop their own ideas and methods as a result of working with pupils with significant learning difficulties who are experiencing the FS programme.

There is considerable scope for further development of mutual, increasingly complementary working so that Forest School and statutory school could contribute regularly to each other’s provision, to the benefit of children with and without special educational needs. Challenges and requirements will become clearer as more children with special educational needs experience Forest School programmes.

Differences of approach need to be recognized and dealt with before the children embark on the programme, and shared training would be a useful way forward. Educators can learn from observing pupils within the forest. The combination of the Forest School programme and the regular school programme together offer great potential for the educational development of children with significant learning difficulties and disabilities.

Acknowledgements

The writer would like to thank fellow members of the evaluation team under the leadership of Dr Trisha Maynard, thanking in particular Sharon Airey, fellow observer. The report that originated this paper is based is available as Appendix C in Maynard (2003). An early draft of this paper was presented to the British Educational Research Association Conference at the University of Glamorgan, September 2005.

References

Boxall, K. (2002) Individual and Social Models of Disability and the Experiences of People with Learning Difficulties, in D. Race (Ed) Learning Disability A Social Approach, (Routledge, London) 209-226

Cohen, L., Manion, L., and Morrison, K. (2000), Research Methods in Education, 5th Edition, (London, RoutledgeFalmer)

Department for Education and Skills (2005) Outdoor Learning-Kelly (Press Notice)available on-line at http://www.dfes.gov.uk

Dowling, M., (2000), Young Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development, (London, Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd.)

Inman, S., Buck, M., and Burke, (1998) Assessing Personal and Social Development; measuring the unmeasurable? (Lewes, Falmer Press)

Maynard, T., (2003) Forest School Swansea Neath Port Talbot: an Evaluation, Swansea, University of Wales Swansea

National Assembly for Wales (2003) The Learning Country: Foundation Stage – Consultation Paper, Cardiff, National Assembly for Wales

Norwich, B., and Kent, T., (2002) Assessing the Personal and Social Development of Pupils with Special Educational Needs: wider lessons for all, Assessment in Education 9, 1, pp. 59-80

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (accessed March 2003a) Baseline Assessment Scales in Personal and Social Development available on-line at http://www.qca.org.uk/ca/foundation/baseline/index.asp

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (accessed March 2003b) Foundation Handbook: Using the Assessment Scales available on-line at http://www.qca.org.uk/ca/foundation/handbook_web_2a.pdf

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (accessed March 2003c) Guidance on Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Stepping Stones, available on-line at http://www.qca.org.uk/ca/foundation/guidfance/personal/pdf

Swarbrick, N., Eastwood, G., and Tutton, K. (2004) Self-esteem and interaction as part of the forest school project, Support for Learning, 19, 2, pp.142 -146

United Kingdom Parliament House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills (2004) Second Report Conclusion and Recommendations available on-line at http://www.publications.parliament.uk

Wall, K. (2003) Special Needs and Early Years, A Practitioner’s Guide, London, Paul Chapman Publishing

Appendix A

Forest School pre-experience and post-experience profile for children with SEN undertaking a Forest School learning module

Child’s name……………………….…………. date………………………………

To be carried out by class teacher and classroom assistants working together as a team (in accordance with their own preference) for each child.

This profile is designed to consider social and interactive progress made over the period of a Forest School experience lasting for approximately one term. The participants are a small group of children with severe and complex learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorders and communication difficulties. The profile relates to the child’s social and interactive functioning in the classroom setting. It is not meant to be exhaustive, but to focus on those characteristics of the child in school, which might be affected by the Forest School experience. With the help and agreement of the school staff it will be completed at the start and at the end of the experience, and the results compared.

Please mark X on the line between 0 and 5 where you think the child’s performance falls. 5 indicates that the child shows the characteristic strongly, 0 indicates that s/he does not show it at all

1. Gives first name on request 0--------------------------------------5

2. Shows interest in new activity (watches, moves toward,) 0--------------------------------------5

3. Accepts change of own activity by a familiar adult 0--------------------------------------5

4. Accepts change of own activity by an unfamiliar adult 0--------------------------------------5

5. Visual – likes to look, watch, notices with eyes 0--------------------------------------5

6. Visual – responds/reacts to pictures 0--------------------------------------5

7. Visual– remembers what s/he sees 0--------------------------------------5

8. Auditory – likes to be told, discuss, argue, ask, hear stories 0--------------------------------------5

9. Auditory – responds/reacts to voices 0--------------------------------------5

10. Auditory – remembers what s/he hears 0--------------------------------------5

11. Kinaesthetic – reaches out with hands towards things 0--------------------------------------5

12. Kinesthetic –likes to touch, hold, handle, run hands over surface   0--------------------------------------5

13. Kinesthetic–responds/reacts to three-dimensional materials 0--------------------------------------5

14. Likes patterns, sequences 0--------------------------------------5

15. Adapts to changes in routine quite easily 0--------------------------------------5

16. Initiates communication with familiar other 0---------------------------------------5

17. Sustains communication with familiar other 0--------------------------------------5

(please estimate for approximately how long) ………….

18. Initiates familiar activity 0--------------------------------------5

19. Sustains familiar activity 0--------------------------------------5

(please estimate for approximately how long) ………….

20. Initiates communication with unfamiliar other 0--------------------------------------5

(e.g. total stranger, or person not often encountered)

21. Can follow simple 1-part instruction ( e.g. Close book) 0--------------------------------------5

22. Can follow 2-part instruction 0--------------------------------------5

(e.g. bring me a cup and a spoon)

23. Can follow more complex but familiar 3-part instruction 0--------------------------------------5

e.g. hang your coat up, sit down, pick up your pencil)

24. Indicates need for toilet 0--------------------------------------5

25. Tidies up toys/equipment when encouraged to do so 0--------------------------------------5

26. Able to play purposefully 0--------------------------------------5

27. Able to play collaboratively 0--------------------------------------5

28. Able to play imaginatively 0--------------------------------------5

29. Takes turns when prompted 0--------------------------------------5

30. Takes turns without prompting 0--------------------------------------5

31. Shares toys, equipment, materials when prompted 0--------------------------------------5

32. Shares toys, equipment, materials without prompting 0--------------------------------------5

Concentrates without supervision:

33. For 1 minute or less 0--------------------------------------5

34. For between 2 and 5 minutes 0--------------------------------------5

35. For between 6 and 10 minutes 0--------------------------------------5

36. For more than 10 minutes 0--------------------------------------5

37. Makes own opinion known in socially acceptable ways: 0---------------------------------------5

i.e. without loud vocalizing, tantrum, aggression)

38. Makes simple choices 0--------------------------------------5

39. Makes decisions and carries them out 0--------------------------------------5

40. Responds to praise 0--------------------------------------5

41. Responds anxiously to new situations: 0--------------------------------------5

(Please circle any habitual responses to new situations)

Rocking

Crying

Tantrum

Moves away

Aggression towards objects

Aggression towards others

Minor self-harm, e.g. skin picking, own hair pulling

More obvious self-harm, e.g. biting, hitting self

Hurts others, child or adult

42. Is there anything you would like to add?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

This document was added to the Education-Line database on 26 February 2007