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Promoting Positive Behaviour

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Managing behaviour

Providers must have and implement a behaviour management policy and procedures.

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 staff can help identify and address triggers for the behaviour and help children reflect, regulate and manage their actions. 


Staff will:

  • attend relevant training to help understand and guide appropriate models of behaviour;

  • keep up-to-date with legislation, research and thinking on handling children's behaviour;

  • implement the setting’s behaviour procedures;

  • access expert advice, if necessary;

  • 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 require all staff, volunteers and students to use positive strategies for handling any conflict or unacceptable behaviour.

  • We handle children's unacceptable behaviour by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children's ages and stages of development - for example distraction, discussion or by withdrawing the child from the situation.

  • We familiarise new staff with the pre-school's behaviour policy and the golden rules.

  • We praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share by adding names to the kindness rainbow or a star.

  • We 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.

  • We never send children out of the room by themselves.

  • We never use physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking. Children are never threatened with these.

  • We do not use techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children.

  • 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/carer is informed on the same day and signs the Incident Book to indicate that he/she has been informed.

  • We do not shout or raise our voices in a threatening way to respond to children's behaviour.

  • We work in partnership with children's parents. 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.

  • We will 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).

Initial intervention

  • We address unwanted behaviours using the agreed and consistently applied approach . If the unwanted behaviour does not reoccur or cause concern then normal monitoring will resume.

  • 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. If the behaviour reoccurs then we will place the child on the thinking chair after the second warning.

  • We use the star, sun and cloud behaviour system which is a visual chart where the children’s names are displayed and moved according to behaviour. Every child starts on the sun at the beginning of each day.

  • First warning: “Please don’t do that again, we do not like that sort of behaviour at Sparklers.”

  • Second warning:” If this behaviour continues you will have to sit on the ’thinking chair’.”  Childs name is moved to the cloud.

  • If the behaviour is repeated the child/children will sit on the thinking chair until the sand timer runs through.  Childs name is moved to the thunder cloud. Parents will be informed at the end of the day.

  • A member of staff will then speak to the child and ask them,( or explain to them) why they have been put o the thinking chair.

  • The child will be reminded of acceptable behaviour and shown the golden rules.

  • If the incident is more severe, e.g. injury to another child or damage to equipment, the child will be immediately removed from the situation and put on the thinking chair and their name put straight onto the thunder cloud. Parents will be informed at the end of the day.

  • Behaviours that result in concern for the child and/or others will be discussed between the key person, and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCO) or/and supervisor. 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.

Focused intervention

  • 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.

If the behaviour continues to reoccur and remain a concern then the key person and SENDCO should liaise with parents to discuss possible reasons for the behaviour and to agree next steps. If relevant and appropriate, the views of the child relating to their behaviour should be sought and considered to help identify a cause. If  a cause for the behaviour is not known or only occurs whilst in the setting then the SENDCO will suggest using the ABC method to identify a trigger for the behaviour.

  • 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, this 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.

  • If a trigger is identified then the SENDCO 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 SENDCO until improvement is noticed

  • If, despite applying the initial intervention and focused intervention approaches, the behaviour continues to occur and is of significant concern, then the behaviour coordinator and SENDCO will invite the parents to a meeting to discuss external referral and next steps for supporting the child in the setting.

  • We may make referrals to the Behaviour Support Team where necessary.

  • It may also be agreed that the Early 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 (1.2). It may also be agreed that the child should be referred for an Education, Health and Care assessment. (See Supporting Children with SEN policy 9.2)

  • 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.

All incidents and intervention relating to unwanted and challenging behaviour by children should be clearly and appropriately logged.

Use of Rewards and Sanctions

  • All children need consistent messages, clear boundaries and guidance to intrinsically manage their behaviour through self-reflection and control.

  • Children

  • Children should never be labelled, criticised, humiliated, punished, shouted at or isolated by removing them from the group and left alone in ‘time out’. 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. The intervention will be recorded as soon as possible within the incident book and parents are required to sign it to acknowledge they have been informed.

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


We take bullying very seriously. Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children. It is characterised by intent to hurt, often planned, and accompanied by an awareness of the impact of the bullying behaviour.

If a child bullies another child or children:

  • we intervene to stop the child who is bullying from harming the other child or children;

  • we explain to the child doing the bullying why her/his behaviour is not acceptable;

  • we give reassurance to the child/children who have been bullied;

  • we help the child who has done the bullying to recognise the impact of their actions;

  • we make sure that children who bully receive positive feedback/praise when they display acceptable behaviour.

  • we do not label children who bully as ‘bullies’;

  • we recognise that children who bully may be experiencing bullying themselves, or be subject to abuse or other circumstances causing them to express their anger in negative ways towards others;

  • we help the children who bully to say sorry for their actions but do not insist that they say sorry unless it is clear that they feel genuine remorse for what they have done.

  • we discuss what has happened with the parents of the child who did the bullying and work out with them a plan for handling the child's behaviour; and

  • we share what has happened with the parents of the child who has been bullied, explaining that the child who did the bullying is being helped to adopt more acceptable ways of behaving.

Challenging Behaviour/Aggression by Children Towards other Children

  • Any aggressive behaviour by children towards other children will result in a staff member intervening immediately to challenge and prevent escalation.

  • If the behaviour has been significant or may potentially have a detrimental effect on the child, the parents of the child who has been the victim of behaviour and the parents of the child who has been the perpetrator should be informed.

  • The designated person will contact children’s social services if appropriate, i.e., if a child has been seriously injured, or if there is reason to believe that a child’s challenging behaviour is an indication that they themselves are being abused.

  • The designated person will make a written record of the incident, which is kept in the child’s file; in line with the Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults policy.

  • The designated person should complete a risk assessment related to the child’s challenging behaviour to avoid any further instances.

  • The designated person should meet with the parents of the child who has been affected by the behaviour to advise them of the incident and the setting’s response to the incident.

  • Ofsted should be notified if appropriate i.e., if a child has been seriously injured.

  • Relevant health and safety procedures and procedures for dealing with concerns and complaints should be followed.

  • Parents should also be asked to sign risk assessments where the risk assessment relates to managing the behaviour of a specific child.

Challenging Unwanted Behaviour from Adults in the Setting

  • Settings will not tolerate behaviour from an adult which demonstrates a dislike, prejudice and/or discriminatory attitude or action towards any individual or group. This includes negativity towards groups and individuals living outside the UK (xenophobia). This also applies to the same behaviour if directed towards specific groups of people and individuals who are British Citizens residing in the UK.

  • Allegations of discriminatory remarks or behaviour including xenophobia made in the setting by any adult will be taken seriously. The perpetrator will be asked to stop the behaviour and failure to do so may result in the adult being asked to leave the premises and in the case of a staff member, disciplinary measures being taken.

  • Where a parent makes discriminatory or prejudiced remarks to staff at any time, or other people while on the premises, this is recorded on the child’s file and is reported to the setting manager. The procedure is explained and the parent asked to comply while on the premises. An ‘escalatory’ approach will be taken with those who continue to exhibit this behaviour. The second stage comprises a letter to the parent requesting them to sign a written agreement not to make discriminatory remarks or behave in a discriminatory or prejudiced manner; the third stage may be considering withdrawing the child’s place.

Further Guidance

  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (DfE 2014)

  • Behaviour Matters (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2016)

  • CIF Summary Record (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2016)

This Policy was adopted by Sparklers Pre-School


Sarah Hodges

Role of Signatory:

Pre-School Supervisor

Issue Date:

September 2023

Next Review Date:

October 2024

This Policy was approved by Sparklers Pre-School Committee


Sarah King

Role of Signatory:


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