1.14 Promoting Positive Behaviour
Cullompton Pre-School believes that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met and where there are clear and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour.
As children develop, they learn about boundaries, the difference between right and wrong, and to consider the views and feelings, and needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on other people, places and objects. The development of these skills requires adult guidance to help encourage and model appropriate behaviours and to offer intervention and support when children struggle with conflict and emotional situations. In these types of situations key staff can help identify and address triggers for the behaviours and help children reflect and manage their actions.
Children need to learn to consider the views and feelings, needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on people, places and objects. This is a developmental task that requires support, encouragement, teaching and setting the correct example. The principles that underpin how we achieve positive and considerate behaviour exist within the programme for promoting personal, social and emotional development.
We have a named person who has overall responsibility for our programme for supporting personal, social and emotional development, including issues concerning behaviour. Our named person is Amelia Joyner.
- We require the named person to:
- keep up-to-date with legislation, research and thinking on promoting positive behaviour and on handling children’s behaviour where it may require additional support;
- access relevant sources of expertise on promoting positive behaviour within the programme for supporting personal, social and emotional development ; and
- ensure all staff have relevant training on promoting positive behaviour as necessary. Ensure that all staff complete the Promoting Positive Behaviour programme on Educare (http:/pre-school.educare.co.uk/Login.aspx) added to policy March 2018.
- Staff need to be aware of – and respect – that codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures.
- We require all staff, volunteers and students to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children, parents and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.
- We familiarise new staff and volunteers with the pre-school’s behaviour policy and its guidelines for behaviour. We may share information with volunteers on individual behaviour plans.
- We expect all members of our pre-school – children, parents, staff, volunteers and students – to keep to the guidelines, requiring these to be applied consistently.
- We work in partnership with children’s parents. We work with parents to address recurring inconsiderate behaviour, using our observation records to help us to understand the cause and to decide jointly how to respond appropriately. We have individual behaviour plans which are shared with parents.
- All incidents and intervention relating to unwanted and challenging behaviour by children should be clearly and appropriately logged.
- Cullompton Pre-School will ensure that EYFS guidance relating to ‘behaviour management’ is incorporated into relevant policy and procedures;
- Cullompton Pre-School will be knowledgeable with, and apply the setting’s procedures on Promoting Positive Behaviour;
- Cullompton Pre-School will undertake regular audits of the provision and practice of staff to ensure the environment and practices supports healthy social and emotional development. Findings from the audit are considered by management and relevant adjustments applied. We focus heavily on adult interaction to promote positive behaviour. We assess the wellbeing of children by using SSTEW (Iram Siraj) (Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Wellbeing).
- ensure that all staff are supported to address issues relating to behaviour including applying initial and focused intervention approaches (see below).
- Cullompton Pre-School will address unwanted behaviours using the agreed and consistently applied initial intervention approach. If the unwanted behaviour does not reoccur or cause concern then normal monitoring will resume.
- Behaviours that result in concern for the child and/or others will be discussed between the key person, the behaviour coordinator and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or/and manager. During the meeting, the key person will use their knowledge and assessments of the child to share any known influencing factors (new baby, additional needs, illness etc.) in order to place the behaviour into context. Appropriate adjustments to practice will be agreed and if successful normal monitoring resumed.
- If the behaviour continues to reoccur and remains a concern then the key person, the pre-school leader and SENDCO should liaise with parents to discuss possible reasons for the behaviour and to agree next steps. If relevant and appropriate, the views of the child relating to their behaviour should be sought and considered to help identify a cause. If a cause for the behaviour is not known or only occurs whilst in the setting then the behaviour coordinator will suggest using a focused intervention approach to identify a trigger for the behaviour.
- If a trigger is identified then the pre-school leader and key person will meet with the parents to plan support for the child through developing an action plan. If relevant, recommended actions for dealing with the behaviour at home should be agreed with the parent/s and incorporated into the plan. Other members of the staff team should be informed of the agreed actions in the action plan and help implement the actions. The plan should be monitored and reviewed regularly by the key person and pre-school leader until improvement is noticed.
All incidents and intervention relating to unwanted and challenging behaviour by children should be clearly and appropriately logged.
- If, despite applying the initial intervention and focused intervention approaches, the behaviour continues to occur and/or is of significant concern, then the behaviour coordinator and SENCO will invite the parents to a meeting to discuss external referral and next steps for supporting the child in the setting.
- It may be agreed that the Team Around the Family (TAF) or Early Help process should begin and that specialist help be sought for the child – this support may address either developmental or welfare needs. If the child’s behaviour is part of a range of welfare concerns that also include a concern that the child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, follow the Safeguarding and Children and Child Protection
- Advice provided by external agencies should be incorporated into the child’s action plan and regular multi-disciplinary meetings held to review the child’s progress.
Focused intervention approach
- The reasons for some types of behaviour are not always apparent, despite the knowledge and input from key staff and parents.
- Where we have considered all possible reasons, then a focused intervention approach should then be applied.
- This approach allows our team to observe, reflect, and identify causes and functions of unwanted behaviour in the wider context of other known influences on the child.
- Cullompton Pre-School follow the ABC method which uses key observations to identify a) an event or activity (antecedent) that occurred immediately before a particular behaviour, b) what behaviour was observed and recorded at the time of the incident, and c) what the consequences were following the behaviour. Once analysed, the focused intervention should help determine the cause (e.g. ownership of a toy or fear of a situation) and function of the behaviour (to obtain the toy or avoid a situation) and suitable support will be applied.
Use of rewards and sanctions
- All children need consistent messages, clear boundaries and guidance to intrinsically manage their behaviour through self-reflection and control.
- Rewards such as excessive praise and stickers may provide an immediate change in the behaviour but will not teach children how to act when a ‘prize’ is not being given or provide the child with the skills to manage situations and their emotions. Instead, a child is taught how to be ‘compliant’ and respond to meet adult’s own expectations in order to obtain a reward (or for fear of a sanction). If used then the type of rewards and their functions must be carefully considered before applying.
- Children should never be labelled, criticised, humiliated, punished, shouted at or isolated by removing them from the group and left alone in ‘time out’ or on a ‘naughty chair’. However, if necessary children can be accompanied and removed from the group in order to calm down and if appropriate helped to reflect on what has happened or to prevent damage to persons or property or to keep the child safe.
Use of physical intervention
- The term physical intervention is used to describe any forceful physical contact by an adult to a child such as grabbing, pulling, dragging, or any form of restraint of a child such as holding down. Where a child is upset or angry, staff will speak to them calmly, encouraging them to vent their frustration in other ways by diverting the child’s attention.
- Staff should not use physical intervention – or the threat of physical intervention, to manage a child’s behaviour unless it is necessary to use ‘reasonable force in order to prevent children from injuring themselves or others or damage property‘ (EYFS).’
- If ‘reasonable force’ has been used for any of the reasons shown above, parents are to be informed on the same day that it occurs. The intervention will be recorded as soon as possible within the child’s file, which states clearly when and how parents were informed.
- Corporal (physical) punishment of any kind should never be used or threatened.
Challenging Behaviour/Aggression by children towards other children
- Any aggressive behaviour by children towards other children will result in a staff member intervening immediately to prevent escalation.
- If the behaviour has been significant or may potentially have a detrimental effect on the child, the parents of the child who has been the victim of behaviour and the parents of the child who has been the perpetrator should be informed.
- The designated person will make a written record of the incident, which is kept in the incident file. The designated person will contact Children’s Social Services if appropriate i.e. if a child has been seriously injured, or if there is a reason to believe that the child’s challenging behaviour is an indication that they themselves are being abused.
- The designated person should complete a risk assessment related to the child’s challenging behaviour to avoid any further instances and discuss at staff meetings and a behaviour plan written.
- The designated person should meet with the parents of the child who has been affected by the behaviour to advise them of the incident and the setting’s response to the incident, specifically a bite. After telephoning a parent, we send out our biting information and behaviour management plan to all parents of any child that has been bitten.
- Ofsted should be notified if appropriate i.e. if a child has been seriously injured.
- Relevant health and safety procedures and procedures for dealing with concerns and complaints should be followed.
- Parents should also be asked to sign a behaviour plan where the risk assessment has resulted in the need to have one in place. This relates to managing the behaviour of a specific child.
Challenging unwanted behaviour from adults in the setting
- Settings will not tolerate behaviour from an adult which demonstrates a dislike, prejudice and/or discriminatory attitude or action towards any individual or group. This includes negativity towards groups and individuals living outside the UK (xenophobia). This also applies to the same behaviour if directed towards specific groups of people and individuals who are British Citizens residing in the UK.
- Allegations of discriminatory remarks or behaviour including xenophobia made in the setting by any adult will be taken seriously. The perpetrator will be asked to stop the behaviour and failure to do so may result in the adult being asked to leave the premises and in the case of a staff member, disciplinary measures being taken.
- Where a parent makes discriminatory or prejudiced remarks to staff at any time, or other people while on the premises, this is recorded on the child’s file and is reported to the setting manager. The procedure is explained and the parent asked to comply while on the premises. An ‘escalatory’ approach will be taken with those who continue to exhibit this behaviour. The second stage comprises a letter to the parent requesting them to sign a written agreement not to make discriminatory remarks or behave in a discriminatory or prejudiced manner; the third stage may be considering withdrawing the child’s place.
Strategies with children who engage in inconsiderate behaviour
- We require all staff, volunteers and students to use positive strategies for handling any inconsiderate behaviour, by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of development. Such solutions might include, for example, acknowledgement of feelings, explanation as to what was not acceptable, and supporting children to gain control of their feelings so that they can learn a more appropriate response.
- We ensure that there are enough popular toys and resources and sufficient activities available so that children are meaningfully occupied without the need for unnecessary conflict over sharing and waiting for turns.
- We acknowledge considerate behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
- We support each child in developing self-esteem, confidence and feelings of competence.
- We support each child in developing a sense of belonging in our group, so that they feel valued and welcome.
- We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for inconsiderate behaviour.
- When children behave in inconsiderate ways, we help them to understand the outcomes of their action and support them in learning how to cope more appropriately.
- We do not use a ‘naughty chair’ or exclude children from the group although, on occasions it is necessary to help the child address their behaviour away from the situation. We talk through feelings and use gestures and appropriate number of words will be used to help all children understand. We do this respectfully, following a warning, and move to a quieter area.
- We never use physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking. Children are never threatened with these.
- We do not use techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children. We do not talk about children in front of them or other children.
- If the behaviour continues to reoccur and remains a concern then the Pre-School Leader and Key Person and /or SENDCO should liaise with parents to discuss possible reasons for the behaviour and to agree next steps. If relevant and appropriate, the views of the child relating to their behaviour should be sought and considered to help identify a cause.
- We use physical restraint, such as holding, only to prevent physical injury to children or adults and/or serious damage to property.
- Details of such an event (what happened, what action was taken and by whom, and the names of witnesses) are brought to the attention of our pre-school leader and are recorded in the incident file. The child’s parent is informed on the same day. We look at patterns to manage behaviour. We make effort to advise parents, ahead of collection time, of any incidents.
- We put individual behaviour plans in place for children and discuss these at keyperson meetings and share them with parents.
- In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes, by means of explanations rather than personal blame.
- We do not shout or raise our voices in a threatening way to respond to children’s inconsiderate behaviour.
Children under three years
- When children under three behave in inconsiderate ways we recognise that strategies for supporting them will need to be developmentally appropriate and differ from those for older children.
- We recognise that very young children are unable to regulate their own emotions, such as fear, anger or distress, and require sensitive adults to help them do this.
- Common inconsiderate or hurtful behaviours of young children include tantrums, snatching, biting or fighting. Staff are calm and patient, offering comfort to intense emotions, helping children to manage their feelings and talk about them to help resolve issues and promote understanding.
- If tantrums, snatching, biting or fighting are frequent, we try to find out the underlying cause – such as a change or upheaval at home, or frequent change of carers. Sometimes a child has not settled in well and the behaviour may be the result of ‘separation anxiety’.
- We focus on ensuring a child’s attachment figure(s) in the pre-school, often their key person, is building a strong relationship to provide security for the child.
Rough and tumble play and fantasy aggression
Young children often engage in play that has aggressive themes – such as superhero and weapon play; some children appear pre-occupied with these themes, but their behaviour is not necessarily a precursor to hurtful behaviour or bullying, although it may be inconsiderate at times and may need addressing using strategies as above.
- We recognise that teasing and rough and tumble play are normal for young children and acceptable within limits. We regard these kinds of play as pro-social and not as problematic or aggressive.
- We will develop strategies to contain play that are agreed with the children, and understood by them, with acceptable behavioural boundaries to ensure children are not hurt.
- We observe behaviour and discuss an agreed plan and our own judgements on when play gets too rough.
- We recognise that fantasy play also contains many violently dramatic strategies, blowing up, shooting etc., and that themes often refer to ‘goodies and baddies’ and as such offer opportunities for us to explore concepts of right and wrong.
- We are able to tune in to the content of the play, perhaps to suggest alternative strategies for heroes and heroines, making the most of ‘teachable moments’ to encourage empathy and lateral thinking to explore alternative scenarios and strategies for conflict resolution.
- Children are not permitted to bring in toy weapons but may construct their own from our construction toys.
- We consider how to deal with behaviour when rough play involves an EAL child and understanding may be harder.
We take hurtful behaviour very seriously. Most children under the age of five will at some stage hurt or say something hurtful to another child, especially if their emotions are high at the time, but it is not helpful to label this behaviour as ‘bullying’. For children under five, hurtful behaviour is momentary, spontaneous and often without cognisance of the feelings of the person whom they have hurt.
- We recognise that young children behave in hurtful ways towards others because they have not yet developed the means to manage intense feelings that sometimes overwhelm them.
- We will help them manage these feelings as they have neither the biological means nor the cognitive means to do this for themselves.
- We understand that self-management of intense emotions, especially of anger, happens when the brain has developed neurological systems to manage the physiological processes that take place when triggers activate responses of anger or fear.
- Therefore we help this process by offering support, calming the child who is angry as well as the one who has been hurt by the behaviour. By helping the child to return to a normal state, we are helping the brain to develop the physiological response system that will help the child be able to manage his or her own feelings.
- We do not engage in punitive responses to a young child’s rage as that will have the opposite effect.
- Our way of responding to pre-verbal children is to calm them through holding and cuddling. Verbal children will also respond to cuddling to calm them down, but we offer them an explanation and discuss the incident with them to their level of understanding.
- We recognise that young children require help in understanding the range of feelings they experience. We help children recognise their feelings by naming them and helping children to express them, making a connection verbally between the event and the feeling, “I can see that you are feeling cross because he took your toy.” Older children may be able to verbalise their feelings better, talking through themselves the feelings that motivated the behaviour.
- We help young children learn to empathise with others, understanding that they have feelings too and that their actions impact on others’ feelings. “When you hit Adam, it hurt him and he didn’t like that and it made him cry.”
- We help young children develop pro-social behaviour, such as resolving conflict over who has the toy. “I can see you are feeling better now and Adam isn’t crying any more. Let’s see if we can be friends and find another car, so you can both play with one.”
- We are aware that the same problem may happen over and over before skills such as sharing and turn-taking develop. In order for both the biological maturation and cognitive development to take place, children will need repeated experiences with problem solving, supported by patient adults and clear boundaries.
- We support social skills through modelling behaviour, through activities, drama and stories. We build self-esteem and confidence in children, recognising their emotional needs through close and committed relationships with them.
- We help a child to understand the effect that their hurtful behaviour has had on another child; we do not force children to say sorry, but encourage this where it is clear that they are genuinely sorry and wish to show this to the person they have hurt.
- When hurtful behaviour becomes problematic, we work with parents to identify the cause and find a solution together. The main reasons for very young children to engage in excessive hurtful behaviour are that:
- they do not feel securely attached to someone who can interpret and meet their needs – this may be in the home and it may also be in the setting;
- their parent, or carer in the setting, does not have skills in responding appropriately, and consequently negative patterns are developing where hurtful behaviour is the only response the child has to express feelings of anger;
- the child may have insufficient language, or mastery of English, to express him or herself and may feel frustrated;
- the child is exposed to levels of aggressive behaviour at home and may be at risk emotionally, or may be experiencing child abuse;
- the child has a developmental condition that affects how they behave.
- Where this does not work, we use the Code of Practice to support the child and family, making the appropriate referrals to an outside agency where necessary.
We take bullying very seriously. Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children. It is characterised by intent to hurt, often planned, and accompanied by an awareness of the impact of the bullying behaviour.
A child who is bullying has reached a stage of cognitive development where he or she is able to plan to carry out a premeditated intent to cause distress in another.
Bullying can occur in children five years old and over and may well be an issue in after school clubs and holiday schemes catering for slightly older children. It is extremely rare for bullying to occur in children under 5.
If a child bullies another child or children:
- we show the children who have been bullied that we are able to listen to their concerns and act upon them;
- we intervene to stop the child who is bullying from harming the other child or children;
- we explain to the child doing the bullying why her/his behaviour is not acceptable;
- we give reassurance to the child or children who have been bullied;
- we help the child who has done the bullying to recognise the impact of their actions;
- we make sure that children who bully receive positive feedback for considerate behaviour and are given opportunities to practise and reflect on considerate behaviour;
- we do not label children who bully as ‘bullies’;
- we recognise that children who bully may be experiencing bullying themselves, or be subject to abuse or other circumstance causing them to express their anger in negative ways towards others;
- we recognise that children who bully are often unable to empathise with others and for this reason we do not insist that they say sorry unless it is clear that they feel genuine remorse for what they have done. Empty apologies are just as hurtful to the bullied child as the original behaviour;
- we discuss what has happened with the parents of the child who did the bullying and work out with them a plan for handling the child’s behaviour; and
- we share what has happened with the parents of the child who has been bullied, explaining that the child who did the bullying is being helped to adopt more acceptable ways of behaving.
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (DfE 2014)
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Behaviour Matters (2016)
- CIF Summary Record (2016)
|This policy was adopted at a meeting of||Cullompton Pre-School||name of setting|
|Held on||September 2010||(date)|
|Date to be reviewed||September 2011||(date)|
|Signed on behalf of the management committee||
|Name of signatory||Emma Jones|
|Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner)||Chairperson|
This policy has an annual review period and, as such, will be reviewed and signed off at a management committee meeting of Cullompton Pre-School each year, as shown below.
|Previously reviewed on:-||23rd November 2015||by
|Previously reviewed on:-||10th March 2017
|Previously reviewed on:-
|1st October 2018
|Previously reviewed on:-
|25th February 2019
|Reviewed by Staff on:
|24th February 2020 (AJ)|
|Reviewed by Committee on:
|Date of next review:
|Signed on behalf of the Management
|Name of Signatory (printed):
|Role of Signatory (e.g. Chairperson)