0121 350 8020

Achieving Positive Behaviour 

Policy Statement


Our Nursery 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.

Children need to learn to consider the views and feeling, needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on people, places and objects. This is a developmental task that requires support, encouragement, teaching and setting the correct example. The principles that underpin how we achieve positive and considerate behaviour exist within our program for promoting personal, social and emotional development.




We have a named person who has overall responsibility for our programme for supporting personal, social and emotional development, including issues concerning behaviour. The named person is Laura Bellerby.

We require the named person to:

·        Keep herself to date with legislation, research and thinking on promoting positive behaviour and on handling children’s behaviour where it may require additional support.

·        Recognising codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures and require staff to be aware of, and respect those used by members of the nursery.

·        We require all staff, volunteers and students to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children, parents and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.

·        We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for negative behaviour.

·        When children behave in negative ways we help them understand the outcomes of their actions and support them in learning how to manage their feelings.

·        Exclusion is not a strategy used at this nursery.

·        We use physical restraint, such as holding, only to prevent physical injury to children or adults.

·        In cases of serious negative behaviours such as racial or other forms of abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes, by means of explanations rather than personal blame.



Children under three years


·        When children under three years old behave in negative ways we recognise that the strategies for supporting them will need to be developmentally appropriate and differ from those for older children.

·        We recognise that babies and very young children are unable to regulate their own emotions, such as fear, anger or distress and require sensitive adults to help them do this.

·        Common negative behaviours of young children can include tantrums, biting, fighting etc. Staff will remain calm and patient, offering comfort and support to manage intense emotions and talk about their feelings to promote understanding and resolving of their issues.

·        If negative behaviours are reoccurring frequently we try to find out the underlying cause or trigger factors- such as a change to circumstances at home or a change of carers. Sometimes a child has not settled in well and the behaviour may be the result of separation anxiety.

·        We focus on ensuring a child’s attachment figure in the setting, their key person is building a strong relationship to provide a sense of security for the child and their family.



Rough and Tumble Play/Fantasy Play


Young children often engage in play that has aggressive themes, such as superhero play. Some children appear pre-occupied with these themes, but their behaviour is not necessarily a pre-cursor to hurtful behaviour or bullying; although it may be negative at times. This can be managed successfully 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 kind 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 violent dramatic strategies eg blowing up and shooting, and that themes often refer to goodies and baddies and as such offer us good opportunities for us to explore concepts of right and wrong.

·        We are able to engage in play with the children and offer and suggest alternative story lines for the heroes and baddies making the most of the opportunity to encourage lateral thinking of exploration and dealing with conflict.



Hurtful Behaviour


We take hurtful behaviour very seriously. Most children under the age of five will at some stage hurt or say something hurtful to another child, especially if their emotions are high at the time, but it is not helpful to label this behaviour as bullying. For children under five, hurtful behaviour is momentary, spontaneous and often without cognisance of the feelings of the person whom they have hurt.


·        We recognise that young children behave in hurtful ways towards others because they have not yet developed the means to manage intense feelings that sometimes overwhelm them. Our role is to support them in achieving the ability to manage these feelings effectively.

·        We recognise that young children require help in understanding the range of feelings they experience. We help children recognise their feelings by naming them and helping children express them, making a connection verbally between the event and the feeling at a level appropriate to their understanding.

·        We help children to learn to empathise with others, understanding that they have feelings too and that their actions impact on others feelings.

·        We help young children develop pro-social behaviour, such as resolving conflict over who has the toy.

·        We are aware that the same problem may happen over and over before skills such as sharing and turn taking develop. Children will need repeated experiences with problem solving, supported by patient adults and clear boundaries to establish this skill.

·        We support social skills through modelling behaviour and through activities, drama and stories. We build self-esteem and confidence in children, recognising their emotional needs through close and committed relationships with them.

·        We help a child to understand the effect that their hurtful behaviour has had on another child. We encourage children to say sorry where it is clear that the children understand the concept and wish to say sorry to the person they have hurt.



·        When hurtful behaviour becomes problematic, we work with parents/carers to find a solution together.

·        If the negative behaviour continues the behaviour co-ordinator (Laura Bellerby) or special educational needs co-ordinator (Donna Reid) may become involved to support the displayed behaviours and explore the possible reasons and triggers behind these behaviours. Making the appropriate referrals as required.