Behaviour policy

Statement of intent

Our school believes that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met, where there are clear and developmentally appropriate expectations of their behaviour.


We aim to teach children to behave in socially acceptable ways and to understand the needs and rights of others. The principles guiding management of behaviour exist within the Early Years Foundation stage for supporting personal, social and emotional development (PSED).


All staff have responsibility for supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development, including issues concerning behaviour.

We expect the Head teacher and the senior leadership team to:

  • Keep her/himself up to date with legislation, research and thinking, promoting positive behaviour and responding to children’s behaviour where additional support is required.
  • Access relevant sources of expertise on promoting positive behaviour.
  • Ensure that all staff have relevant in-service training on promoting positive behaviour; a record of staff attendance at this training is kept.
  • We expect 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 familiarise new staff and volunteers with the setting’s behaviour policy and its guidelines for behaviour as part of our induction process, and expect them to apply these consistently.
  • We recognise that approaches for interacting with people may vary between cultures and require staff, students and volunteers to be aware of and respect those used by members of the setting.
  • We work in partnership with children’s parents and carers to address recurring and inconsiderate behaviour, using our observation records to help us to understand the cause and to decide jointly how to respond appropriately.

Establishing boundaries

Our simple rules, known as our ‘golden rules’, are explained to children and are based on the principles of a happy, safe, secure and productive environment for all. Children are encouraged to:

  • Take turns and share as appropriate to their stage of development (we may use timers to support this).
  • Care about each other – we don’t hurt anybody’s feelings.
  • Help each other.
  • Look after the nursery and everything in it.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Move around safely by walking indoors.
  • Try to “use our words”.
  • Respect and value our differences.
  • There are clear expectations for what is right, wrong and why.


SELF-DISCIPLINE is what we aim for – behaving well is not simply “doing as you’re told.”

Children need the security of clear boundaries – fair rules, which are consistently kept by each member of staff and applied to all children. To be effective, the whole school community needs to have a clear understanding of the consequences of acceptable/unacceptable behaviour e.g. safety/danger.

Strategies for supporting children

  • We expect everybody to listen to children.
  • We expect everyone to speak to children in a positive tone.
  • We support each child in developing a sense of belonging in our school, so that they feel valued and welcome.
  • We support each child in developing self-esteem, confidence and feelings of competence.
  • Warm and supportive relationships underpin all our strategies.
  • We support social skills through modelling behaviour, activities, drama and stories.
  • We praise and acknowledge and actively promote desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share as a way of encouraging all children to develop these behaviours.
  • We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for inconsiderate behaviour.
  • We ensure that there are adequate toys and resources and sufficient activities available by careful planning of the environment; so that children are meaningfully occupied without the need for unnecessary conflict over sharing or waiting for turns.
  • We are aware that skills such as sharing and turn taking, take times to develop.
  • We encourage children to ‘use their words’, to inform staff about upsetting incidents and also to learn to say ‘no’.
  • We focus on the positive e.g. ‘please walk’ rather than ‘don’t run’.
  • We only pick children up in circumstances where deemed necessary e.g. to remove a child from danger.
  • We recognise that some very young children may not have the necessary language or find dealing with their emotions, such as fear, anger, distress, difficult to regulate. They may have tantrums, fight or bite and may require sensitive adults to help them deal with these emotions and to resolve issues.
  • Feelings will be discussed and the unacceptability of the behaviour made clear.   Children are encouraged to explain what happened in their own words and use their words to resolve conflicts. To achieve this, suggestions for working towards a better pattern of behaviour are given and empathy is encouraged between all the individuals involved. e.g. “you….” “I feel….” “I want you to…” or “Stop, I don’t like it.”
  • We recognise that some children engage in fantasy play that involves rough and tumble, superhero or weapon play. This type of play is normal for young children and is acceptable within limits. If this play becomes inconsiderate then appropriate adult intervention and support will be used.
  • We expect all staff, students and volunteers to use positive strategies for handling any inconsiderate behaviour by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the child’s ages and stages of development. We expect staff to teach internal discipline rather than use external discipline to control behaviour.
  • Language used, focuses on the desired behaviour rather than the negative e.g. ‘please remember to have kind and gentle hands when you are playing with your friends’.
  • Solutions may also include acknowledgement of feelings e.g. ‘I can see that you are feeling cross and angry because you would like a turn with the car’.
  • Explanations are given as to what was not considerate e.g. ‘I can see that you would like a turn but pushing is not kind and it hurts’.
  • Solutions are suggested to help resolve conflict and to gain control of feelings, such as, ‘when you have calmed down/stopped crying you can ask for a turn offering a sand timer, saying when the timer has finished it will be your turn’. Support through modelling is encouraged when the timer is finished, saying ‘can I have a turn now please’.
  • If necessary the child will be removed from the situation and will be given the choice of returning and resuming the activity appropriately.
  • Sometimes it may be appropriate to take a child by the hand and move the child either out of harm’s way or away from an area of conflict. Due to the nature of some of the children’s difficulties, it is occasionally necessary to lift or carry a child. This will always be in the child’s best interest or for the protection of other children and never as a form of punishment.


We reinforce desired behaviour by:

  • Verbal praise which is always specific, e.g. ‘well done for picking up that tissue and putting it in the bin’.
  • Gestures- thumbs up, high 5, smiling, eye contact.
  • Actively teaching it e.g. at whole group time…’is the behaviour we like’; having weekly golden rules assemblies.
  • Peer group praise e.g. applause at whole group time and ‘Praise You’ certificates.
  • Actively using role play, books, puppets etc. as support.
  • Through circle time activities.
  • Through focused learning opportunities twice a year during induction. PSE is the main topic.
  • We always pass on good news to parents.

Guidance for dealing with inconsiderate behaviour

  • It is always the action rather than the child that is considered unacceptable.
  • Staff use intervention, reminders, evasive action, distraction etc. to reinforce appropriate behaviour.
  • Re-direction – moving to another activity or adult support to manage the activity without conflict.
  • A clear and short, simple explanation of why the behaviour is unacceptable. Adults speak calmly, firmly and confidently to gain control.
  • All adults are aware of and respect varying cultural expectations regarding interactions between people and must not, for example, expect eye contact with children who would consider this impolite.
  • For some children with additional and different needs ‘behaviour is communication’ and in order to understand the behaviour it is pertinent to examine what the child is trying to communicate. In such cases it is not bad behaviour but impaired communication.
  • Adults will not raise their voices in a threatening way and must at all times remember that the child who is behaving inappropriately is in need of support.
  • Where conflicts arise between children, adults model a problem solving approach, gathering information, restating the problem and seeking / suggesting solutions.
  • Recurring problems with inappropriate behaviour are shared with parents and colleagues. After detailed observations, staff may have a specific meeting to discuss further individual strategies in conjunction with the child’s parents/carers.


Our consistent positive behaviour approach


  • Children may be given a very short period (no more than 5 minutes) of ‘thinking time’ or may be removed from a group or activity if their behaviour is disrupting other children or threatening their safety. This may be sitting on a chair/floor away from the activity or group; in more disruptive or challenging situations it may be necessary for them to have their time out in the head teacher’s office. A sand timer will be used to show the child when the time out has finished.
  • When the time is up, the adult supports the child to reflect why they had time to think, whilst supporting the child’s understanding of the situation and what they need to do next time in positive terms e.g. ‘if you want a turn on the bike, use your words and say can I have a turn’.
  • We take hurtful behaviour very seriously. In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, or intentional aggressive and hurtful behaviour, we make clear immediately the unacceptability if the behaviour and attitudes, by means of explanations rather than personal blame.
  • Aggressive incidents will be logged in the school incident folder and all parents are informed of the particulars of the incident.
  • We will make every effort to discuss with parents any incidents that occur on the same day and work together with them to address any issues to try and prevent incidents such as this reoccurring.
  • Incidents of racial abuse or bullying will be logged in the school incident folder.
  • We work in partnership with children’s parents to address reoccurring, inconsiderate behaviour. Parents are regularly informed by their child’s key person, about all aspects of their child’s behaviour. We use observations and analyse behaviour to understand the cause. We use ABCC charts (Antecedent, Behaviour, Consequence and Communication) to record this. We are consistent in our approach and with appropriate responses. This may include involving other professionals from other agencies and implementing individual learning plans, individual risk reduction plans or risk assessment management plans.


Strategies to bear in mind when supporting the behaviour of children with additional needs.

  • Always allow a child time to process an instruction /request – having gained their attention first; say it once, pause and then repeat the request.
  • Always warn of change or finishing or relinquishing; e.g. ‘nearly time to finish, 5…4…3…2…1…finish’ (plus visual cue /gesture).
  • Encourage the child to ‘give’ or go where you want them to saying ‘it’s time for…’ In some situations there may be a need to be flexible i.e. don’t feel you have to battle – leave it for team brain storming later – avoid ‘meltdown’.
  • Be aware of the physiology of stress – meltdown to ‘primitive brain’ leads to release of adrenalin and endorphins (fight or flight) and a lack of ability to ‘think straight’.
  • Always specifically redirect to appropriate behaviour – e.g. if a child is hair pulling saying ‘no’ or ‘don’t’ is unhelpful. Say ‘hands down’ or ‘let go’ – if a child is not processing language well – a calm physical prompt may be necessary.
  • Be aware of channels of attention – children develop from single channel (own agenda) to being able to process several things at once (own and others agenda), some children may have difficulty with channels of attention.
  • Be aware of the fragility of learning – this is the reason for repetition /over learning. Children with additional and different needs may appear to know or learn but without consistency and repetition retention may be patchy and fragile or in fact not even learnt but merely echoed. This is true of all areas of development including PSE.
  • Be aware of sensory integration – all the building blocks of all the senses need to be in place for confident and competent learning ( see, hear, touch, smell, taste AND kinaesthetic, vestibular and proprioceptive).
  • Be aware of the environment – remove or cover distracting items, ‘barricade’ areas , place child appropriately e.g. near the front if hearing impaired, ensure walkways are clear for physically /visually impaired children.
  • Create a team approach – children with Additional & Different needs can be the most de-skilling of children to work with – in a stressful situation there should be:AGREED procedures /strategies (whole staff approach);
  • SENSITIVITY to the needs of the child and to the support required by the adult involved.
  • ONE person for the child to be responding to (child will be single channel /in fight or flight mode);


Staff use professional knowledge and judgement in situations involving physical contact with children. Working with such young children means that physical contact can occur in a variety of circumstances, e.g. comforting a distressed child, holding a hand on a walk, giving a child a ‘side on’ cuddle as means of comfort or praise.

Physical intervention

Positive handling techniques will be used in all situations requiring physical restraint or intervention by staff. This may be needed in serious circumstances e.g:

To prevent a child from harming her/himself or others

To stop a child causing physical damage

The Head teacher and Senior Leadership team may be authorised to use physical restraint in some form. Training is given at appropriate levels; staff are reminded not to put themselves in danger.

Physical contact is never a punishment. The intervention is necessary as an act of care and control. The degree of force must be in proportion to its consequences, depending on age and circumstances. Every effort should be made to secure the presence of another member of staff; confrontation and escalation should be avoided (staff may be required to demonstrate that their intervention was reasonable and proportionate).

A professional witness will be in attendance at all times. (See appendix A – Acceptable Forms of Intervention).







Appendix A – Acceptable forms of Intervention at Golborne and Maxilla

There are occasions where staff will have cause to have physical contact with pupils for a variety of reasons, for example:

  • To comfort a child in distress (as long as this is appropriate to their age)
  • To gently direct a pupil
  • For curricular reasons (e.g. Drama, Yoga, Physical activities)
  • In an emergency to avert danger to the pupil or pupils
  • In rare circumstances, when physical restraint is warranted

In all situations where physical contact between staff and pupils take place, staff must consider the following:

  • The pupil’s age and level of understanding
  • The pupil’s individual characteristics and history
  • The location where the contact takes place (it should not take place in private without others present)

Physical contact is never made as a punishment, or to inflict pain. All forms of corporal punishment are prohibited. Physical contact will not be made with the participants neck, breasts, abdomen, genital area, other sensitive body parts, no pressure is applied on joints.

We use physical restraint, such as holding, only to prevent physical injury to the child themselves, other 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 the Head teacher and are recorded in the ‘School Incident Folder’. The child’s parents are informed, where ever possible, on the same day.

Serious behaviour management issues, and how these have been dealt with, will be reported to the Governing Body within the termly Head Teacher’s report.

Should parents or carers be unhappy with any aspect of Golborne and Maxilla Nursery School’s behaviour management procedure, they should discuss the problem with their keyworker in the first instance. Anyone who feels unable to speak to their keyworker or is not satisfied should speak to the Head teacher. In the event of making a formal complaint, parents/carers should follow the procedures in the ‘Complaints Policy’.


Behaviour Policy Addendum Covid-19 Addendum

This addendum has been added in line with DFE guidelines schools reopening 1st June 2020.

This addendum will take affect from 1st June 2020 and will be reviewed July 2020.

We have reviewed the behaviour policy with the view of children returning to Golborne and Maxilla. We wish to include the following.

During the Covid-19 pandemic we will ensure that:

  • There is sufficient resources so that children do not need to share. (page 2 of current policy)
  • We will not pick children up in any circumstances with the exception of removing the child from a hazard or extreme danger. (page 2 of current policy)
  • In the uncommon event of a child’s bite. Children MUST wash the affected area with soap and water for 20 seconds and if blood drawn use of PPE essential. Parents must be informed immediately. (page 3 of current policy) See Covid-19 Risk assessment under the section ‘Hand Washing’.
  • ‘Fantasy play’: social stories will be shared with children in circle time to support their imagination, without holding onto their friends. (page 3 of current policy)
  • Children who have been given ‘thinking time’ will not be taken to the HT office. Our consistent behaviour approach will be dealt with within the bubble (their allocated group) (page 4 of current policy)
  • Acceptable forms of behaviour- See Covid-19 Risk assessment under the sections ‘Safeguarding, Social distancing of staff and children’. (page 7 of current policy)
  • Children will follow School rules, hygiene and hand washing protocol. See Covid-19 Risk assessment under the section ‘Hand Washing’.
  • Guidelines on pupils socialising- Children will remain in allocated ’bubble’ for the foreseeable future.
  • Moving around the school as per specific instructions, yellow room, soft play, S&L room; and the parent’s room are out of bounds.
  • Children will play in these allocated areas: Pink, Green, Purple, Black and White rooms; and both gardens. Play will not be permitted in the remaining rooms.
  • Expectations around sneezing and coughing (catch it, bin it, kill it, avoiding touching mouth, nose and eyes with hands. See Risk assessment under the section ‘Hand Washing’ and Policy Covid-19 under the section ‘How to stop infection spreading’.
  • Regular sessions with a focus on hygiene, coughing, spitting and spread of germs will take place to support children’s understanding. See Policy Covid-19 under the section ‘What children will do’.
  • Children will tell an adult if feeling unwell. They will use their words and express their feelings. SEND children will use visuals to facilitate communication. See Policy Covid-19 under the section ‘What children will do’.
  • Shared equipment will be frequently cleaned using antibacterial spray. Drinking bottles-will be labelled and provided by parents. See Policy Covid-19 under the sections ‘PPE provision in schools during Covid-19’, ‘What Parents will do’ and ‘what children will do’.

Approved and adopted by the Federated Governing Body Review Due: May 2021 (this may be reviewed sooner to reflect DFE guidelines)    Andrew Steel, Chair of Governors

Signed:       ratified by FGB   Date: 25th May 2020___________





Term dates

Autumn Term 2020

  • term starts – Thursday 3rd September 2020
  • half term break occurs – Monday 26th October to Friday 30th October 2020
  • back to school from half term – Tuesday 3rd November 2020
  • last day of term – Friday 18th December


Spring Term 2021

  • term starts – Wednesday 6th January 2021
  • half term break occurs – Monday 15th February to Friday 19th February 2021
  • back to school from half term Tuesday 23rd February 2021
  • last day of term Wednesday 31st March 2021

Summer Term 2021

  • term starts – Tuesday 20th April 2021
  • half term break occurs – Monday 31st May to Friday 4th June 2021
  • back to school from half term – Monday 7th June 2021
  • last day of term – Thursday 22nd July 2021


Autumn Term 2021

Inset days for this academic year to be confirmed


  • term starts – Wednesday 1st September 2021
  • half term break occurs – Monday 25th October to Friday 29th October 2021
  • back to school from half term – Monday 1st November 2021
  • last day of term – Friday 17th December 2021