|Promoting positive behaviour
We believe that children and adults flourish best in a safe and ordered environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them and children are free to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else.
We aim to work towards a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement, which enables children to enjoy and achieve, and make a positive contribution to the community of which they are a part.
In order to achieve this:
§ We will ensure that EYFS guidance relating to ‘behaviour management’ is incorporated into relevant policy and procedures;
- Joeys has a designated staff member for behaviour management who will attend appropriate training;
- Rules governing the conduct of the group and the behaviour of the children will be discussed and agreed within Joeys and explained to all newcomers, both children and adults;
- All staff and volunteers in Joeys will ensure that the rules are applied consistently, so that all children have the security of knowing what to expect and can build up useful habits of behaviour;
- All staff and volunteers will try to provide a positive role for the children with regard to friendliness, care and courtesy;
- Staff and volunteers in Joeys will praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share;
- We will take positive steps to avoid a situation in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.
§ 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) and/or 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 remains a concern then the key person and SENCO 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 behaviour coordinator 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.
All incidents and intervention relating to unwanted and challenging behaviour by children should be clearly and appropriately logged.
§ 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 the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) or 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)
§ 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. The intervention will be recorded as soon as possible within the child’s file, which states clearly when and how parents were informed.
§ Corporal (physical) punishment of any kind should never be used or threatened.
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 and will consider whether notifying the police if appropriate.
§ 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 adult’s 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.
§ 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.
Bullying is a behaviour that both parents and practitioners worry about. Bullying is a deliberate, aggressive and repeated action, which is carried out with intent to cause harm or distress to others. It requires the child to have ‘theory of mind’ and a higher level of reasoning and thinking, all of which are complex skills that most three-year-olds have not yet developed (usually after the age of four along with empathy). Therefore, an outburst by a three-year-old is more likely to be a reflection of the child’s emotional well-being, their stage of development or a behaviour that they have copied from someone else.
.Young children are keen observers and more likely to copy behaviours, which mimic the actions of others, especially the actions of people they have established a relationship with. These are learnt behaviours rather than premeditated behaviours because children this young do not have sufficiently sophisticated cognition to carry out the type of bullying an older child can do. Unless addressed early, this type of pre-bullying behaviour in young children can lead on to bullying behaviour later in childhood. The fear is that by labelling a child as a bully so early in life we risk influencing negative perceptions and expectations of the child which will impact on their self-image, self-esteem and may adversely affect their long term behaviour. This label can stick with the child for the rest of their life.
It is unlikely that Milnthorpe Family Centre would consider an exclusion from nursery however, in the event of a child demonstrating repeated inappropriate behaviour, procedures are in place should we need to consider exclusion, and they are as follows:
- Recorded verbal warning to child and parents/carers from the manager.
- Letter given to child’s parents/carers indicating the nature and level of concern, and the possible consequences. Parents/carers will be encouraged at all stages to discuss the matter with the manager.
- If the setting has to resort to sending a letter home twice in a period of two months, then the manager will consider an exclusion from the setting. This can take the form of a fixed term e.g. 3 days (based on the child’s regular booking) OR a permanent exclusion – this would only be considered as an absolute last resort, where it is felt that the safety of the child concerned, other children at the setting, or staff, were at risk.
Challenging unwanted behaviour from adults in the setting
§ Joeys 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.
Signed on behalf of
Milnthorpe Family Centre Directors
Katie Smyth (Manager)
Reviewed August 2018