Statement of Intent
Our setting 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.
We aim to provide an environment in which there is acceptable behaviour and where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their environment.
- We require all staff, volunteers, students and parent helpers 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 require all staff, volunteers and parents/carers to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.
- We require all staff, volunteers and students to use positive strategies for handling any conflict by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of development – for example distraction, praise and reward.
- We familiarise new staff and volunteers with the playgroups behaviour policy.
- We expect all members of the playgroup – children, parents, staff, volunteers and students to keep to the rules, requiring these to be applied consistently.
- We praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
- We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.
- We recognise that codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures and require staff to be aware of, and respect those used by members of the playgroup.
- When children use unacceptable behaviour, we help them to understand why it was not acceptable and how to behave more appropriately (this could be done through puppet shows or pictures for example).
- We never send children out of the room by themselves.
- 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 only use physical intervention such as holding, to prevent injury to children and 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 Playgroup Manager and are recorded in our incident book. A parent/carer is informed as soon as possible and signs the incident book to indicate that he/she has been informed.
- In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitude, 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 behaviour.
- We handle children’s unacceptable behaviour in ways, which are appropriate to their ages and stages of development – for example by distraction, discussion or by withdrawing the child from the situation.
- We work in partnership with children’s parents. We work with parents to address recurring unacceptable behaviour, using objective observation records to help us to understand the cause and to decide jointly how to respond appropriately.
- We recognise that young children require help in understanding the range of
feelings experienced. 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.
- 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
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 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.
Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children. We take bullying very seriously.
If a child bullies another child or children:
- We intervene to stop the child harming the other child or children.
- We explain to the child doing the bullying why his/her behaviour is inappropriate.
- We give reassurance to the child or children who have been bullied.
- We help the child who has done the bullying to say sorry for his/her actions when appropriate.
- We make sure that children who bully receive praise when they display acceptable behaviour.
- We do not label children who bully.
- When children bully, we discuss what has happened with their parents and work out with them a plan for handling the child’s behaviour.
- When children have been bullied, we share what has happened with their parents, explaining that the child who did the bullying is being helped to adopt more acceptable ways of behaving.The role of the named Behaviour Management Coordinators (Kathryn Arthur and Debbie Webb)
- To work with other staff members to agree and implement the behaviour management policy.
- To coordinate the behaviour management provision within our setting
- To offer support for parents
- To support staff development
- To liaise with other agencies
- To keep appropriate records
- To assist staff in making observations and assessments
- To assist staff in planning for children with behavioural difficulties.