We believe that everyone at the Centre has a right to feel valued, respected and safe (see Vision Statement). For this to happen in practice, we have a responsibility to behave in ways that enable all of us to feel free to explore and learn without fear of being hindered or hurt. This policy provides guidelines on how to support this vision; it recognises that learning self-regulation and socially appropriate behaviour is a developmental process and that through modelling positive behaviour at all times and managing challenging behaviour appropriately and competently, we can provide for the needs of the individual as well asensuring the safety and well being of everyone at the Centre.


We aim to listen to, and acknowledge the views of everyone in the centre, embracing who we are and where we have come from. In recognition of this, our expectations of behaviour are underpinned by the following values which were agreed by all staff:

  • RESPECT AND RECOGNITION: to value and celebrate our own and others’ contributions and uniqueness, and to show consideration for our own feelings and the feelings of others.
  • FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY: to enable children and adults to explore and express themselves freely in an environment which supports decision making and opportunities to consider the consequences of our words and actions.
  • INCLUSION: to provide access to learning for all, taking into account everyone’s needs, background and ability, working together to share the same vision and work towards the same goal.
  • HONESTY: to empower everyone to communicate openly and honestly in their interactions with each other.
  • SAFETY and TRUST: to help everyone to feel able to express their concerns and fears in an appropriate way and to thrive physically and emotionally in their learning.


At this age children are learning how to behave appropriately. Many of the things they do are normal for their stage of development and we help them to learn when something is dangerous or harmful to themselves or others, and to make positive choices in their behaviour.

We do this by:

  • Noticing and acknowledging positive behaviours.
  • Using clear and consistent boundaries across the Centre.
  • Explaining the consequences of some behaviours and offering choices.
  • Involving the children in problem-solving by using the conflict resolution steps (see Appendix 1)
  • Sharing information with parents/carers about their children’s behaviour both in the centre and at home (see Appendix 2)
  • Providing strategies to support turn-taking e.g. using a sand-timer.
  • Communicating and modelling positive behaviour, using a variety of strategies and props e.g. makaton, gestures, visual timetables and puppets
  • Recognising and acknowledging feelings to encourage empathy
  • Creating an environment that minimises conflict e.g. ensuring there are sufficient resources
  • Providing planned opportunities to discuss behaviour and feelings e.g. at PSE circle time (see PSED policy).

Challenging Behaviour

Adults at the centre will intervene when behaviour is persistently disruptive or difficult to manage.

We do this by:

  • Being clear about the behaviour that is unacceptable
  • Supporting the child to think of solutions to put things right.
  • Providing time away from the situation to calm down and reflect before talking things through.
  • Use of personalised Social Stories
  • Working together with parents/carers and families to share strategies and ensure we are giving a consistent message.
  • Using a ‘Solution Circle’ to generate ideas for support.
  • In some cases, involving the SENCO in setting up an individual education plan (IEP) with specific targets related to behaviour.
  • Liaising with other agencies e.g. health visitor, behaviour improvement team, to access further support and advice.

Some behaviours are extremely concerning e.g. racist remarks, inappropriate touching, verbal aggression, persistent harming (of themselves or others), and intentional damaging of property. Incidents such as these will be managed on an individual basis and in a non-judgemental and appropriate way.

This may include:

  • Removing the child from the situation.
  • Seeking immediate support from other staff members
  • Contacting the parent/carer and request the child is taken home.
  • On rare occasions: using positive handling techniques for the child’s own safety and the safety of others (see Health and Safety Policy).
  • Convening a meeting the same day, including a member of the Senior Management Team and the parent/carer, to identify ways forward.
  • Referring to other agencies e.g. Educational Psychology Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, for further guidance and support.


Appendix 1 – Conflict Resolution Steps

  1. Approach calmly and with an open mind
    Walk over and get down to their level.
  2. Acknowledge feelings
    Say “I can see you’re feeling hurt/cross/upset/angry”
  3. Gather information from both sides
    Say “What’s the problem?”
  4. Restate the problem
    Say “so the problem is…”
  5. Ask for solutions and choose one together
    Say “I wonder what we can do to solve the problem/help you feel better?”
  6. Be prepared to give follow-up support
    Keep an eye out for what happens next and give further support if needed.

With acknowledgement to Rachael Underwood and the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation

Appendix 2 – Parent/Carer Involvement

Working in partnership with our parents/carers is integral to the success of this Behaviour Policy. In order for it to work in practice, their contribution is vital.

We will achieve this by:

  • Sharing the expectations of behaviour at the centre, through informal and formal discussions with individuals and groups of parent/carers.
  • Talking to individual parents/carers about all aspects of their child’s behaviour on a daily basis, as well as at regular parent/carer conferences.
  • Being fair, non-judgemental and consistent when discussing children’s behaviour with parents/carers.
  • Providing extra support for parents/carers to help manage children’s challenging behaviour e.g. through Family Support Services and outside agencies

We hope parents/carers will feel able to:

  • Inform us of any relevant changes to their circumstances which may affect their child’s behaviour e.g. new baby, moving house, bereavement, divorce, separation or hospitalisation.
  • Re-enforce expectations of positive behaviour by talking to their child at home.
  • Actively support staff at the Centre in implementing positive behaviour strategies.
  • Be a positive role-model for their child

Reviewed February 2015