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Samina’s story

06/04/2021

Please note: The name of the young person has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

Focus: Working in co-production with young people; person centred planning and promoting the voice of the child

Background

Samina is a girl in Year 5, she has had an EHC plan since being at nursery and she attended a special school before transitioning to a mainstream junior school in Year 4. Samina had made good progress in her reasoning and learning skills. She needed support with social interaction.

What did you do?

The Educational Psychologist (EP) was involved to support her Annual Review to plan for her phase transfer.

Samina was supported by the EP to give her views using a range of semi-structured, person centred planning approaches including the ‘portrait gallery’ and personal construct interview which facilitates a young person to be able to describe the things that are important to them. Among Samina’s views she shared the following:

  • Her strengths include being a good friend and being kind; being happy; being determined.
  • She is concerned about not being clever enough to be in the mainstream school, and she is worried about what may be going on when parents and others talk about her progress.
  • She would like to be more confident and less nervous and shy.
  • Important to her are having friends, being part of a group of friends; being in a school football team; being in the school choir; entertaining others and cheering them up.
  • When she’s an adult, she would like to be some form of entertainer, e.g. a wrestler or actress. To work towards this aspiration, her shorter term goal was to do some kind of entertaining at school, e.g. being in a school play in Year 6.

Following this discussion, the EP and the Inclusion Manager at Samina’s school discussed how to support Samina to feel part of her Annual Review, particularly in the light of the concerns she expressed about what’s happening when adults talk about her. They discussed how to adapt the meeting to make it friendly for her.

They shared the ‘My Person Centred Planning Meeting’ leaflet with Samina and they talked about what would happen before, during and after the meeting, who she would like to invite to the meeting and the rules for the meeting – which she contributed to.

These included the rules ‘first talk about the good things’ and ‘talk to me directly and make sure I understand’. They made invites together and they decided what refreshments to serve. Samina welcomed the attendees and served them refreshments.

This supported her sense that she was the host and not a person being ‘done to’. The meeting began with a presentation from Samina on PowerPoint which was produced with the EP prior to the meeting giving some of her key views.

What was the impact?

Samina contributed to discussion throughout the meeting. Her plan included supporting Samina’s sense of belonging and social confidence by involving her in the school play and football team in addition to other transition arrangements and support to meet her needs.

Samina made a really successful transition to high school and she now has a role supporting other young people to prepare for their Annual Reviews using the same format as described. Samina is a talented member of the school’s drama club but is yet to find a wrestling club to attend although she remains hopeful and still lists this as an aspiration at her Annual Reviews.