Behaviour policy

The Governors at Golborne Maxilla endorse the guiding principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework in establishing a Positive Behaviour Policy. They believe that children benefit from being regarded as unique, being able to develop positive relationships, accessing enabling environments and with the understanding from practitioners that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

At Golborne Maxilla we believe that a positive behaviour policy creates a stable environment where children feel confident and secure to explore all the opportunities within the nursery. We set high expectations of behaviour through encouraging and praising positive behaviour. Such a policy helps children to develop:
• Self respect and growing self esteem
• Social behaviour including consideration and empathy for others
• The ability to control their behaviour
• Social skills enabling them to negotiate and problem solve with their peers
We encourage good behaviour and reward it with specific praise such as ‘good listening’, good sharing’ and believe that this enforces the positive aspects of acceptable behaviour. We encourage children to respect themselves, each other, adults and property. We apply simple rules fairly and consistently and aim to provide a In the case of a particular concern we always discuss ways forward with parents.

Children learn that:
• Hurting each other or calling names is unacceptable.
• We all share the same space and need to think of others.
• We co-operate with each other at work and play.
There are clear expectations for what is right, wrong and why

Establishing boundaries
Our simple 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:
• We use our ‘Golden Rules’
• 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 centre and everything in it.
• listen carefully.
• move around safely by walking indoors
• try to “use our words”
• respect and value our differences.

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 centre community needs to have a clear understanding of the consequences of acceptable/unacceptable behaviour e.g. safety/danger.

Procedures for encouraging positive behaviour

• Warm and supportive relationships underpin all our strategies.
• We help children to develop social skills eg. how to join groups or engage in an activity with others.
• We help children to develop respect for themselves and others.
• The focus is on the positive e.g. “please walk” rather than “don’t run!”
• Children should be given the reasons for rules, in language they can understand
• We “catch children being good” and give specific praise e.g. “thank you for sitting and listening.”
• Children imitate and copy the behaviour of adults and their peers. They may also imitate what they see on TV. Therefore all adults in the centre are expected to lead by positive example.
• Conflict is avoided, where possible, by careful planning of the environment, time-tabling and resourcing. We provide high adult child ratios so that children do not need to misbehave to gain adult attention.
• Staff actively prevent, and are sensitive & committed to dealing with, the labelling of children by adults or peers.
• It’s important to acknowledge a child’s feelings and help her/him to express them in an acceptable manner. Physically challenging and emotionally satisfying activities are provided to help children “let off steam”.
• We acknowledge that change may be gradual.
• Tomorrow is a new day – unacceptable behaviour is dealt with immediately, not carried over to the next day.
• Children find out what is rewarding by experimenting and noting the reaction they get. Behaviour is often reinforced by attention – both praise and criticism.

We reinforce desired behaviour by:

• verbal praise, which is specific e.g. “well done for picking up that tissue and putting it in the bin”
• gestures – thumbs up, smiling, stroke/pat on the back, hug, eye contact.
• peer group praise eg. applause at whole group time
• immediate awards – stamps, stickers (gold stars), certificates, drawing smiley face
• actively teaching it eg. at whole group time– “……… is the behaviour we like”
• actively using role play, books, puppets etc. as support.
• We always pass on good news to parents.

Guidance for dealing with challenging 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 a 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.

– If unacceptable behaviour continues further intervention by the adult reminds children that it must stop. Adults remain calm and patient in reinforcing appropriate boundaries whilst ensuring that the situation is dealt with swiftly and firmly.

We do not rely on sanctions, these are used when all else fails. Children under 3 are removed from the situation for a minute or two until they are able to manage themselves. The need to express feelings of frustration is acknowledged. Older children may be taken to the Headteacher or another senior staff member, or restricted from playing in a certain area for a specified length of time.

Our consistent behaviour management approach

The following strategies are always applied with the child’s age and stage of development in mind, e.g. explanation or demonstration of what the child needs to do in language they can understand.
Relatively minor: Staff member reminds the child of appropriate behaviour and the child behaves appropriately e.g. if running, child goes back and walks.
Towards another child: Children are encouraged to use words to resolve conflicts e.g. “you….” “I feel….” “I want you to…” or “Stop, I don’t like it.”
If this does not achieve the desired result then the child tells an adult. The staff member concentrates on the child who is upset or hurt, to ensure they are ok, and keeps the child who upset them at the scene, then establishes what happened. Responses may be invited from other children present. The adult models a problem solving approach, and ensures that the child makes amends as appropriate.
– Actions speak louder than words – we don’t always insist on the word “sorry”
– Staff are quietly insistent and may move the child away from an “audience.”
– Doing a shared task can be a successful way forward for the children involved
Consequences of unacceptable behaviour
1. Make amends if appropriate e.g. clean up sand
2. Time out – “thinking time” – child must sit down for 1 minute (timer may be used), staff member clearly states to the child why and for how long. If the child moves, he/she must go back and time is restarted. When time is up, child is then to tell adult why they had thinking time, adult to remind child of their choice to “reoffend” or not, and resulting consequences. Adult supports child’s understanding of the situation and states 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?”
2nd incident that day – as above, but 3 minutes thinking time
3rd incident that day child may be sent to the Headteacher, or the most senior staff member on site.
The above stages may not apply if the incident is of a severe or extreme nature e.g. significant deliberate harm to another child – in this instance the child may be sent immediately to the Headteacher.
Depending on the nature of the incident, the child’s behaviour may be discussed with parents. We inform parents of a pattern of challenging behaviour in a planned way e.g. having monitored, at the end of the week.

If the above strategies are ineffective, or children have a consistent pattern of infringement, this will be discussed at children’s meetings and other action considered/taken e.g. omitting a stage above or devising a learning support plan to meet the child’s individual needs.
This policy goes hand in hand with ‘Safeguarding Policy’ and ‘Consistent Handling’ Procedures.

Unacceptable procedures in managing behaviour

These should never be used and must be reported immediately to the Head Teacher if seen. Such conduct would result in disciplinary procedures being implemented which could lead to staff dismissal.

Under no circumstances do we:

Use any form of physical punishment, including smacking, pinching, poking or rough handling.
Use any other humiliating or frightening punishment including shouting, offensive language, name calling or isolation
Label or criticise the child rather than the behaviour or compare a child unfavourably to others.

Bullying and harassment

We take bullying and/or harassment very seriously at Golborne and Maxilla Children’s Centre. Bullying and harassment involve the persistent physical and verbal abuse of one person or group of people by another person or group. It is characterized by intent, often planned and accompanied by an awareness of the impact of the bullying or harassing behaviour.
A child who is bullying and/or harassing has reached a stage in their cognitive development where he or she is able to plan to carry out premeditated distress to another.

Approved March 2019

Term dates



Autumn Term 2019

  • term starts – Thursday 5th September 2019
  • half term break occurs – Monday 21st October to Friday 25th October 2019
  • back to school from half term – Monday 28th October
  • last day of term – Thursday 19th December


Spring Term 2020

  • term starts – Wednesday 8th January 2020
  • half term break occurs – Monday 17th February to Friday 22nd February 2020
  • back to school from half term Monday 24th February 2020
  • last day of term Friday 3rd April 2020


Summer Term 2020

  • term starts – Tuesday 21st April 2020
  • half term break occurs – Monday 25th May to Friday 29th May 2020
  • back to school from half term – Monday 1st June
  • last day of term – Friday 17th July 2020



Autumn Term 2020