7.1 Promoting positive behaviour


Policy statement


We believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are understood, supported and met and where there are clear, fair 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 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 behaviour and help children reflect, regulate and manage their actions.




In order to manage children’s behaviour in an appropriate way we will:

-       Treat all children fairly and equally.

-       attend relevant training to help understand and guide appropriate models of behaviour;

-       implement the setting’s behaviour procedures including the stepped approach;

-       have the necessary skills to support other staff with behaviour issues and to access expert advice, if necessary;

-       ensure all staff complete the Promoting Positive Behaviour programme, on Educare (http://pre-school.educare.co.uk/Login.aspx)

-       demonstrate a positive attitude.

-       understand and support each child.


How are staff supported?

-       All staff share the responsibility for the behaviour in the setting,

-       Ensure staff receive training to Increase their confidence and professionalism.

-       Alongside parents, liaise with support services e.g. early help, health visitor, inclusion team, speech and language therapists and other health professionals.


Stepped approach

Step 1

§  We will ensure that EYFS guidance relating to ‘behaviour management’ is incorporated into relevant policies and procedures;

§  We will be knowledgeable with, and apply the setting’s procedures on Promoting Positive Behaviour;

§  We will undertake an annual audit of the provision to ensure the environment and practices supports healthy social and emotional development. Findings from the audit are considered by management and relevant

adjustments applied. (A useful guide to assessing the well-being of children can be found at www.kindengezin.be/img/sics-ziko-manual.pdf)

§  ensure that all staff are supported to address issues relating to behaviour including applying initial and focused intervention approaches (see below).


Step 2

§  We 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, 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.) 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 and SENCO will 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 Senco and/or Manager will suggest using a focused intervention approach to identify a trigger for the behaviour.

§  If a trigger is identified, then the SENCO 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 SENCO until improvement is noticed.


All incidents and intervention relating to unwanted and challenging behaviour by children should be clearly and appropriately logged.




Step 3

§  If, despite applying the initial intervention and focused intervention approaches, the behaviour continues to occur and/or is of significant concern, then the SENCO and Manager 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 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 Policy


(1.2). It may also be agreed that the child should be referred for an Education, Health and Care assessment. (See Supporting Children with SEN policy 9.2)

§  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.


Initial intervention approach

§  We use an initial problem-solving intervention for all situations in which a child or children are distressed or in conflict. All staff use this intervention consistently.

§  This type of approach involves an adult approaching the situation calmly, stopping any hurtful actions, acknowledging the feelings of those involved, gathering information, restating the issue to help children reflect, regain control of the situation and resolve the situation themselves.

§  High Scope’s Conflict Resolution process provides this type of approach but equally any other similar method would be suitable. Periodically the effectiveness of the approach will be checked.

Focused intervention approach

§  The reasons for some types of behaviour are not always apparent, despite the knowledge and input from key staff and parents.

§  Observations are vital in determining why and when certain behaviour is happening.

§  Behaviour can cause concern because:

It is serious, violent, abusive or aggressive.

It is persistent and frequent.

When observing unwanted behaviour, it is important we are looking for:

                        What triggers the behaviour

If the child is in control of their behaviour

What are the consequences of the behaviour

When is it most or least likely to happen.

What happens at the end of the unwanted behaviour.


It is important that we record all that the child says and does, not just the inappropriate bits so that we get a clear picture of what led up to the behaviour.

-       Record several observations over different activities and times of the day.

-       Observations will help to determine our strategies and will lead into targets for a support plan.

-       There is also evidence for referral to other professionals if this is needed.


§  We follow the ABC method which uses key observations to identify a) an event or activity (antecedent) that occurred immediately before a 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 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 removed from the group, accompanied by a member of staff to have some quiet time and to calm down.  If appropriate they are helped to reflect on what has happened.


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 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 challenge and 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 contact children’s social services if appropriate and will consider whether notifying the police if appropriate. i.e., if a child has been seriously injured, or if there is reason to believe that a child’s challenging behaviour is an indication that they themselves are being abused.

§  The designated person will make a written record of the incident, which is kept in the child’s file; in line with the Safeguarding children and child protection policy.

§  The designated person should complete a risk assessment related to the child’s challenging behaviour to avoid any further instances.

§  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.

§  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 risk assessments where the risk assessment relates to managing the behaviour of a specific child.


Strategies to support children demonstrating aggressive behaviour – biting/hitting/kicking.


Try to eliminate aggression by

-       Observe the child – use the ABC as previously mentioned.

-       Intervene as quickly as possible, be aware of possible difficult times and relationships, and distract before aggression arises.

-       Be prepared.  A child with frequent aggressive behaviour needs closely monitoring.

-       Keep the child busy and focussed by providing relevant and exciting activities.

-       Ensure the child has adequate personal space.

-       Frequently praise the positive behaviour.

-       Consider groupings – do some children wind others up?

-       Read stories about friends, feelings and being sorry.

-       Talk about feelings using photographs, pictures or emotion masks.  Let them know that it is OK to feel sad or angry, everybody does.

-       Acknowledge their feelings.  For example, “I can see you are angry but ………”

-       Make sure that the child knows there is an adult he/she can go to when upset or cross.  If anger is coming from frustration because they can’t do something, teach them how to ask for help from an adult using simple. language or visual aid cards

-       Separate the behaviour from the child.  You don’t like the behaviour, but you still like him/her.

-       Teaching the child how to play and share with others.


When aggression occurs:

-       Put your hand up and say “stop” and then say “hitting/biting hurts”.

-       Stay calm and brief – only one adult at a time should intervene.

-       For continuous aggression put yourself between the child and the victim with your back to the aggressor and make a big fuss of the child who is hurt.  Give no attention to the child who has done the hurting – not even eye contact.

-       Don’t make the child say sorry unless they are. They can make it up to the child by doing something for them later.  By making them say sorry you are giving them the attention they are looking for.

-       We try to help the child to understand how they have made the other child feel if they are upset, sad or crying.

-       To eliminate aggression we offer the child a quiet space to be in with an adult.


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.