Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy



Little Acorns Pre-school

Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy

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.


  • Our named person who has overall responsibility for issues concerning behaviour is Anna Woodcock and we require the named person to keep herself up-to-date with legislation and research and thinking on handling of children’s behaviour;
  • We will use a stepped approach and In order to manage children’s behaviour in an appropriate way we will:


Stepped approach


Step 1

  • ensure that EYFS guidance relating to ‘behaviour management’ is incorporated into relevant policy and procedures;
  • ensure that all staff are supported to address issues relating to behaviour including applying initial and focused intervention approaches (see below).
  • implement the setting’s behaviour procedures;
  • have the necessary skills to support other staff with behaviour issues and to access expert advice, if necessary;
  • ensure all staff complete appropriate Promoting Positive Behaviour training.
  • equire that all staff, volunteers and students to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating the children, parents and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.
  • 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.
  • familiarise new staff and volunteers with the pre-school’s behaviour policy and its rules for behaviour.
  • expect all members of the pre-school – children, parents, staff, volunteers and students – to keep to the rules, requiring these to be applied consistently.
  • praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
  • avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.
  • 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 pre-school.
  • make sure that when children behave in unacceptable ways, we help them to see what was   wrong and how to cope more appropriately.
  • never use physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking.  Children are never threatened with these.

We only use physical restraint, such as holding, 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 our Incident Book.  A parent is informed on the same day and signs the Incident Book to indicate that he/she has been informed. If for any unfortunately reason the parents signature is not obtained at a child’s departure from the setting, Staff will contact parents and guardians by telephone in order that they are fully aware of the day’s occurrences.

Any incident which cannot be recorded in the accident book such as a child biting or hitting another child should also be recorded in the incident book in the same manner. 

The Incident book is reviewed on a half-termly basis.

  • ensure that 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 explanation rather than personal blame.
  • do not shout or raise our voices in a threatening way to respond to a child’s behaviour unless a child’s or adult’s safety is at risk.
  • 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.
  • work in partnership with children’s parents.  Parents are regularly informed about their children’s behaviour by the key person. 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.
  • try to warn the children in advance of expected behaviour e.g. tidy up time in order to achieve their full compliance.
  • promote the Fundamental British Values in the Early Years following the Prevent Duty Guidance (March 2015)




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 her/his 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 her/his actions;
  • 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; and
  • 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.




We encourage children to be courteous to adults and each other, whilst helping them understand that some behaviour from adults is inappropriate and removes any adult right to expect politeness from children.


  • We cautiously and realistically help children to keep themselves safe.
  • We help children understand that it is acceptable to yell push and struggle if they are attacked or grabbed. We do not encourage them however in unrealistic estimates of their own physical strength.


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, 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 remain a concern then the key person should liaise with parents to discuss possible reasons for the behaviour and to agree next steps. If a cause for the behaviour is not known or only occurs whilst in the setting then the SENCO 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.



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 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 an Early Health Assessment 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. It may also be agreed that the child should be referred for an Education, Health and Care assessment.
  • 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 on 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.


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 the key person and behaviour coordinator to observe, reflect, and identify causes and functions of unwanted behaviour in the wider context of other known influences on the child.
  • We 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.


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 as above.
  • Corporal (physical) punishment of any kind should never be used or threatened which could adversely affect a child's well-being.


Other polices related to this policy:


·         Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy

·         Special Educational Needs and Gifted and Talented Policy

·         Equality and Diversity Policy

·         Voice of the Child

·         Key Person Policy

·         Parent Involvement Policy

·         E Safety policy


This policy was reviewed by Anna Woodcock on 25th July 2015, approved at a meeting of Little Acorns Pre-School and signed by the chair-person on behalf of the pre-school.