Pyrford Preschool

Positive Behaviour Policy

Our behaviour policy begins with nurturing self-respect in both the children and staff. We do this within a happy secure environment where boundaries and expectations are consistently set and supported. We encourage compassion and care for the feelings of other people and respect for property. Our focus is on positive behaviour, demonstrating it, pointing it out, and rewarding it.

We recognise that, as adults, we are role models of the behaviour we want the children to learn.

We also recognise that all behaviour is a form of communication and there are always antecedents to challenging or negative behaviour as follows:

To get something from someone e.g. a toy

To get attention e.g. from an adult

To avoid something e.g. using a skill that is underdeveloped

To respond to a sensory issue e.g. too much noise or stimulation

What would we consider to be ‘challenging or negative behaviour’? This is typically behaviour that presents a barrier to learning either on the part of the child or other children. Our role, where possible, is to unravel and understand, the immediate cause.

We encourage ownership of behaviour, for example, in a case of conflict between two children, we ask them both, ‘What did you do?’. At all times, we will ensure we are giving each child the time and space to be heard. Equally, if the child cannot easily articulate what has triggered a certain behaviour, we will together try to identify what needs are not being met and address the more immediate triggers.

We will create an environment where a child’s challenging behaviour can be redirected into acceptable behaviour. In being empathetic with them, for example, ‘I can see how you must have been cross’, we are then able to divert to teaching them positive lessons and reasonings. On no occasion will we aim to humiliate the child.

We actively commend the children for their good behaviour such as ‘good turn taking’ or ‘well done, you stopped and waited’.

If a child demonstrates challenging behaviour, we open dialogue with them to set boundaries, such as ‘we can’t put sand in people’s hair’. These boundaries may need to be reinforced, ‘if you put sand in their hair, we’ll have to bring you away from the sandbox’. However, before a consequence is introduced, we aim to redirect the child’s attention by perhaps introducing something new to their play area or challenging their ideas.

We will help children maintain their self-esteem by only questioning and disapproving of the challenging behaviour, and not the child themselves.

We judge when a child needs time and space to calm down and reflect and only when we feel the child is receptive, will we discuss the behaviour or incident.

Where a child is finding a task difficult, we will try to help them overcome any feelings of inadequacy or failure and encourage their sense of play and discovery.

To help provide an emotionally secure environment, we will:

  • set clear boundaries and expectations
  • offer stimulus and respond to their reactions to other stimuli
  • listen
  • encourage thinking of solutions
  • provide suitable play opportunities and encourage sustained concentration on their chosen play activity
  • organise materials and equipment appropriately for their use
  • extend play to develop key social skills

We take account of the varying stages of development amongst the children and adjust our expectations accordingly. We also help the children to understand the consequences of their behaviour by setting them out clearly and following up consistently. We acknowledge the strength and range of children’s feelings and try to help children to find constructive ways of managing these.

We communicate behavioural issues with parents/carers when we feel that there is a pattern of behaviour that needs addressing together. Mostly, isolated incidents are dealt with as part of the session and do not require further communication.

Staff do not use any form of physical intervention unless it is necessary to prevent personal injury to the child, other children, an adult or serious damage to property.  If such physical intervention is used in order to manage a child’s behaviour, it is recorded, and parents/carers will be informed as soon as practical. We record any such details in the Pyrford Preschool Incident Report Form.

We expect parents/carers to inform us of any changes in the child’s home circumstances, care arrangements or any other changes in the child’s day to day life. All information will be kept confidential. Open communication is crucial in providing balance in the child’s welfare and learning.

If we have concerns of a child’s behaviour which cannot be resolved in partnership with parents/carers, with parental permission, we may consult outside agencies for confidential advice and support.

To this end, all staff will have read and understood this policy and contributed as appropriate.

Jen Don Carolis is the person nominated to ensure our Behaviour policy is implemented and reviewed each year.  She will also attend appropriate training and development to keep herself and staff up to date with behaviour management advice and information.

Links to legislation:

  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) 
  • General Data Protection Regulation 2018
Date policy written:        September 2011
Date policy reviewed:     November 2022