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Engagement Model


The Engagement Model is used in Pathway 1and has 5 areas:


  • Exploration - how a learner responds to a stimuli or activity. Exploration is essential for us to understand what interests and motivates each individual child. We can then use this understanding to develop skills and knowledge. 
  • Realisation - how a learner begins to interact with a stimuli or activity. Do they show curiosity to explore further? Do they still want to engage and interact with the stimuli or activity in a different context or at a different time or with a different person?
  • Anticipation - how much the learner is able to predict or expect. Do they show excitement before a favourite activity (when shown object of reference or symbol)?
  • Persistence - can the learner sustain their attention for a period of time that show persistence for them? Each child will have differing attention spans and it is vital that adults working with children are able to assess persistence on an individual basis.
  • Initiation - are learners able to interact spontaneously and independently in a known, familiar activity, without waiting for prompts or direction?


We use these areas to assess children's engagement when working towards their individual EHCP outcomes. The Engagement Model allows us to plan for development in skills and knowledge that is completely child specific. With good and consistent levels of engagement in each of the 5 areas, there is greater potential for new learning to be acquired, retained or applied. 


How you can apply the Engagement Model at home


Exploration: introduce a new toy and see how your child interacts with it? If they are unsure, play with it alongside them so they can begin to understand that new things can be good fun! Over time, they will begin to apply their knowledge from these experiences so they do not need any modelling when a new object or activity is introduced.


Realisation: allow plenty of time for exploration. Introduce the same toy but in a different place and see if the child can remember what they enjoyed about it. Watch them exploring and playing and see if you can identify what it is about the toy or activity they like - it could be a sound, a movement, the feel of something.


Anticipation: Watch to see if your child is anticipating routine activities in their day - do they show excitement at hearing the front door as they know a family member is home? Do they have a favourite part of a story? Reading the same story each day is a great way to see their understanding and knowledge building. 


Persistence: Set up activities you know they enjoy - discovering things on their tray, water play etc. Introduce some new elements (maybe some new tactile experiences or some new utensils to use in water play (bowls, spoons etc) and allow them to play and explore until it is clear they have finished.


Initiation: As with 'persistence', set up activities you know they enjoy but do not give any prompts. What do they do? If they are not ready to initiate, help them by introducing the activity or by playing with them. One day they will just do it!


Have fun!