Early Years Observation and Assessment (ABC)

logo_ABC

What is the ABC Service?

ABC means Observation and Assessment in the Early Years.

The ABC Service is a service provided by the Local Education Authorities of Gwynedd and Anglesey for early years’ children. It is part of the Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Service (ALN&I)

It is a service for young children identified by the Moderation Panel as children who are likely to have additional learning needs.

ABC Centre

The ABC centres give an opportunity for some part-time Nursery class age children to be observed and assessed in small group situations.

Detailed assessment is required to ensure children get the appropriate support to develop their skills and independence for the future.

 

Outreach Service

The outreach service is an integral part of every ALN team, including the ABC Team.

Based on evidence, the Moderation Panel recommends that the children would benefit from attending a learning setting such as a nursery class in a School, Cylch Meithrin or Nursery and receive input from the ABC team.

The ABC Team staff outreach to early years establishments to assess individuals, give advice and support. During the outreach period the staff can offer simple strategies that can assist individuals as well as sharing visual resources.

These resources are available to early years’ staff to

  • assist individuals to understand the simple rules/expectations in a classroom,
  • understand the structure of 'now' and 'then' which helps young children to understand arrangements at the learning setting.
  • Assist individuals to understand what areas are available as well as helping them to choose.

During the outreach work, the aim is to organise a joint visit with other agencies. This is an opportunity to discuss and set recommendations/targets.

What does the Service offer?

Gwynedd and Anglesey ABC Classes

  • Working with small groups of children at a time. These children have been discussed in the Moderation Panel and have been offered a place in the ABC class based on their additional learning needs.
  • Parents play a very important role in the decisions and discussions that take place throughout the process.
  • Introduce the group of children to a classroom situation. Prepare the child for full-time education.
  • Specialist staff who have specialised in a range of needs, and who are familiar in observing, assessing and encouraging children's language, self-care, physical and social skills.
  • Provide opportunities for a child to pursue his/her interests and 'Can I join in with you?' strategies. To promote social communication skills. Learning through play methods are used as well as implementing the Foundation Phase.
  • Early intervention to give the best opportunities and experiences to the children from the very beginning.
  • Regular opportunities to contact and discuss targets/strategies with Parents. The Class Dojo app is used for this as well as face to face talks.
  • Opportunities to discuss and joint plan with agencies such as Speech and Language Therapists, Specialist Nurse etc.
  • It is important that children understand and can follow classroom arrangements. If this means providing visual resources or using objects to assist them, then the ABC team is available to support them (see the ABC resources section).
  • Provide an opportunity for every child to develop at his/her own level. ABC staff support Parents when working on toileting skills and provide a toileting programme / pictures and change nappies in the ABC class.
  • The ABC class formulates and implements simple targets to develop early skills e.g. toileting, play and social skills, language and communication targets.
  • There are opportunities for different agencies such as Language Therapists and Physiotherapists to attend the ABC class to support the child. ABC staff collaborate with all agencies who are involved with the child.
  • There are opportunities for Language Therapists to visit schools jointly with the ABC Staff to assess, provide targets and suitable resources for the children.
  • A Psychologist visits and conducts discussions to ensure long-term provision (One-page profile / full IDP).
  • Multimedia communication methods are used if the Language Therapist and the ABC Class Teacher consider that the child would benefit e.g. signing, pictures, symbols.

 Gwynedd and Anglesey Outreach Service

  • All Gwynedd and Anglesey ABC staff outreach to early years’ settings across both counties during specific sessions every week.
  • Children who receive outreach input have been discussed in the Moderation Panel. The Panel has recommended an input by the Team based on their additional learning needs.
  • There is regular contact between the Team member and the learning settings. Staff observe and get to know individuals and assess them by using appropriate assessments for each individual e.g. ABC tracking profile The Team is there to support children and staff in their work.
  • There are frequent meetings at the learning settings and ABC staff are there to give support.
  • When difficulties arise, staff can collaborate with the learning settings to tailor suitable strategies e.g. transfer visual resources to the School in question.
  • It is important that children understand and can follow classroom arrangements. If this means providing visual resources or using objects to assist them, then the ABC team is available to support and offer appropriate ideas - see the service's ready resources.
  • An opportunity for each child to develop at his/her own level, e.g. when working on toileting. The team can offer ideas/resources that can facilitate the toileting process and self-care skills. These strategies and any resources available can also be passed onto the parents to ensure there is consistency in everybody's method of working.
  • When undertaking outreach work, the Team seeks to conduct joint visits with the Language Therapists to discuss, joint plan and set recommendations / possible targets to work on. These targets will then be available for everyone to work on (School, Cylch, Nursery, ABC Staff during visits and Parents).
  • Multimedia communication methods are used if the Language Therapist and the Class Teacher consider that the child would benefit e.g. signage, pictures, symbols.

 

At what age do children attend the ABC class?

Nursery Class aged pupils receive a placement at the ABC centre i.e. the school year when the children reach their 4th birthday.

Pupils receive part-time education in the Nursery year.

The ABC service counts as teaching hours equating to those in a school. Children either

  • attend the class for 5 half-day sessions (Dwyfor and Meirionnydd are open for 3 sessions only) or
  • share a placement with the Mainstream School.
  • Each child is an individual and therefore there are no definite rules in place for the length of time children attend the ABC class. This will be constantly reviewed.
  • Input will be received by the team through outreach work.
  • It is the Moderation Panel who makes these decisions.

 

How are children referred for the attention of the ALN&I Service?

Children are referred for the attention of the Service by

  • Health Workers such as the Community Paediatrician, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists
  • Education Workers working with Cylchoedd Meithrin, Foundation Phase Liaison Teachers, Nursery Class Teachers.

Next Step?

The ALN&I service refer children for the attention of the Senior Teacher, Specialist Teachers and the Education Psychologist who deal with the ABC Service. Following this, there are arrangements in place to meet with the parents and discuss the development of their children with the ABC Centre Teacher and the Early Years Educational Psychologist.

Following step?

The child is discussed in a Moderation Panel which considers each application individually prior to coming to a decision based on the evidence received.

It is the Moderation Panel that recommends a placement in an ABC Centre, sharing a placement with a School, special placement or a School, Cylch or Nursery placement with consideration given to outreach input.

 

Who's in the team?
Senior Specialist Teacher

Llinos Watkins

Specialist Teachers

Sioned Rhys Griffiths

Nia Wyn Evans

Einir Rees Jones

Delyth Roberts

Ann Pierce Jones

Senior Specialist Teaching Assistants

Nia Matthews

Specialist Teaching Assistants

Wendy James

Jade Hayes-Hallsworth

Sian Jones

Alison Jones

Diana Hughes

 

What is the the Educational Psychologist’s role?

Different Educational Psychologists work with the various ABC Classes.

There is close collaboration with an Educational Psychologist. They attend the ABC class to get to know the children and offer ideas and strategies and contribute towards the Individual Development Plan (IDP) meetings.

 

What is the Quality Officer’s role? 

There is a close link between the ABC service and the designated Quality Officer.

The Quality Officer is available to facilitate and coordinate the child's transition from the ABC class to the School.

 

What is the role of the school or early years' setting?

There is a close link between the ABC service and the pupil's School or early years’ setting, to ensure a smooth transition to full-time education.

Staff from the early years’ settings can visit the ABC class at any time to get to know the children and they are invited to attend Individual Development Plan (IDP) or One Page Profile meetings.

The setting and the ABC class gather information about the pupil's development to contribute to meetings with parents.

 

Who else can help?

There is close a liaison between the ABC Centres and Speech and Language Therapists to ensure that targets are set for every child.

There is a close link between the ABC Teacher and agencies who work with the children and their families e.g. DERWEN, IMPACT Team.

 

What can you do at home?

Regular contact with the ABC Teacher is very important to make sure everybody takes the same course of action e.g. work on the same targets such as toileting skills.

ABC classes use face-to-face contact, telephone or the ClassDojo app to keep in contact with parents.

Purpose of Class Dojo app is to

  • Log some of the activities the child has enjoyed during the week,
  • Note any important development.
  • Note what works
  • Note what does not work.
  • Note any accident that has occurred.
  • Photos are also occasionally posted on the ClassDojo app.
  • Parents will be able to register on the Classdojo app so that the teacher can share messages, important and relevant information, photos, targets etc.
  • Parents are also encouraged to respond on Classdojo. For example, to note important things about their child e.g. mention if the child has not slept the previous night, if he/she is ill and absent etc.

It is important to share any information to ensure that the child has a successful session every day.

  • Parents are requested to notify if they have a new telephone number.
  • Parents are asked to notify the staff if anyone other than usual is collecting their child from school.
  • If, for whatever reason, the child is absent from class, it is the parent's responsibility to contact the taxi company to notify them that a taxi is not required that day. This saves time and expense. Parents are also asked to contact the ABC class as soon as possible.

 

Does the ABC class have a school uniform?

Those attending the ABC class do not have to wear school uniform. Some parents opt to buy their local school uniform and other parents dress their children in the clothes they wear at home. This is an individual choice.

 

Does anything have to be brought to the ABC class?

Parents are requested to provide a snack for their child to bring to class.

Parents are asked to provide suitable clothing for the weather conditions e.g. a coat in winter.

The child should have a sufficient number of nappies/wipes and spare clothing in their bag every day.

Parents are asked to place a label on their child's belongings e.g. bag, coat, drink bottle etc.

 

Transport

The Local Education Authority can arrange a taxi for children who reside further than 2 miles away from the ABC class (in accordance with the Education Department's Transport Policy). The taxi transports the children to the class and then brings them home at the end of each session.

Not all parents wish to use taxi transport. Some prefer to bring their child to school themselves.

 

Resources 

    • Name: Before words - Help at home.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: These ‘help at home’ fact sheets are aimed at parents with young children. They contain useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language. Produced by Afasic Cymru.
    • Welsh version: Cyn geiriau - Cymorth Gartref
    • Name: Bumpy speech - Help at home.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: These ‘help at home’ fact sheets are aimed at parents with young children. They contain useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language. Produced by Afasic Cymru.
    • Welsh version: Lleferydd anwastad - Cymorth Gartref
    • Name: Concentrating and listening - Help at home.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: These ‘help at home’ fact sheets are aimed at parents with young children. They contain useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language. Produced by Afasic Cymru.
    • Welsh version: Canolbwyntio a gwrando - Cymorth Gartref
    • Name: Getting rid of dummies - Help at home.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: These ‘help at home’ fact sheets are aimed at parents with young children. They contain useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language. Produced by Afasic Cymru.
    • Welsh version: Cael gwared ar ddymiau - Cymorth Gartref
    • Name: Pictures for Parents.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: Pictures to help Parents explain what is happening Now and Then at home.
    • Welsh version: Lluniau i Rieni
    • Name: Play - Help at home.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: These ‘help at home’ fact sheets are aimed at parents with young children. They contain useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language. Produced by Afasic Cymru.
    • Welsh version: Chwarae - Cymorth Gartref
    • Name: Understanding language - Help at home.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: These ‘help at home’ fact sheets are aimed at parents with young children. They contain useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language. Produced by Afasic Cymru.
    • Welsh version: Deall iaith - Cymorth Gartref
    • Name: Using words and talking - Help at home.pdf
    • Language: English
    • Description: These ‘help at home’ fact sheets are aimed at parents with young children. They contain useful practical advice with games and activities to help children develop skills and language. Produced by Afasic Cymru.
    • Welsh version: Defnyddio geiriau a siarad - Cymorth Gartref
    • Name: Cael gwared ar ddymiau - Cymorth Gartref.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Mae’r taflenni gwybodaeth ‘cymorth gartref’ hyn wedi’u bwriadu ar gyfer rhieni sydd â phlant bach. Cynnwys cyngor ymarferol defnyddiol gyda gemau a gweithgareddau i helpu plant ddatblygu iaith a medrau. Adnodd Afasic Cymru.
    • English version: Getting rid of dummies - Help at home
    • Name: Canolbwyntio a gwrando - Cymorth Gartref.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Mae’r taflenni gwybodaeth ‘cymorth gartref’ hyn wedi’u bwriadu ar gyfer rhieni sydd â phlant bach. Cynnwys cyngor ymarferol defnyddiol gyda gemau a gweithgareddau i helpu plant ddatblygu iaith a medrau. Adnodd Afasic Cymru.
    • English version: Concentrating and listening - Help at home
    • Name: Chwarae - Cymorth Gartref.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Mae’r taflenni gwybodaeth ‘cymorth gartref’ hyn wedi’u bwriadu ar gyfer rhieni sydd â phlant bach. Cynnwys cyngor ymarferol defnyddiol gyda gemau a gweithgareddau i helpu plant ddatblygu iaith a medrau. Adnodd Afasic Cymru.
    • English version: Play - Help at home
    • Name: Cyn geiriau - Cymorth Gartref.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Mae’r taflenni gwybodaeth ‘cymorth gartref’ hyn wedi’u bwriadu ar gyfer rhieni sydd â phlant bach. Cynnwys cyngor ymarferol defnyddiol gyda gemau a gweithgareddau i helpu plant ddatblygu iaith a medrau. Adnodd Afasic Cymru.
    • English version: Before words - Help at home
    • Name: Deall iaith - Cymorth Gartref.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Mae’r taflenni gwybodaeth ‘cymorth gartref’ hyn wedi’u bwriadu ar gyfer rhieni sydd â phlant bach. Cynnwys cyngor ymarferol defnyddiol gyda gemau a gweithgareddau i helpu plant ddatblygu iaith a medrau. Adnodd Afasic Cymru.
    • English version: Understanding language - Help at home
    • Name: Defnyddio geiriau a siarad - Cymorth Gartref.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Mae’r taflenni gwybodaeth ‘cymorth gartref’ hyn wedi’u bwriadu ar gyfer rhieni sydd â phlant bach. Cynnwys cyngor ymarferol defnyddiol gyda gemau a gweithgareddau i helpu plant ddatblygu iaith a medrau. Adnodd Afasic Cymru.
    • English version: Using words and talking - Help at home
    • Name: Lleferydd anwastad - Cymorth Gartref.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Mae’r taflenni gwybodaeth ‘cymorth gartref’ hyn wedi’u bwriadu ar gyfer rhieni sydd â phlant bach. Cynnwys cyngor ymarferol defnyddiol gyda gemau a gweithgareddau i helpu plant ddatblygu iaith a medrau. Adnodd Afasic Cymru.
    • English version: Bumpy speech - Help at home
    • Name: Lluniau i Rieni.pdf
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Lluniau i help Rhieni i ddangos trefn beth sy'n digwydd 'rwan' a 'wedyn' yn y cartref.
    • English version: Pictures for Parents
    • Name: Nodyn i Rieni A note for Parents.docx
    • Language: Cymraeg
    • Description: Nodiadau i gefnogi RhieniNotes to support Parents
    • English version: If you require an English version of this file, please contact us.