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Managing Behaviour

Promoting positive behaviour

Positive behaviour is located within the context of the development of children’s personal, social and emotional skills and well-being. A key person who understands children’s needs, their levels of development, personal characteristics, and specific circumstances, supports this development. This ensures children’s individual needs are understood and supported. Settling into a new environment is an emotional transition for young children especially as they learn to develop and master complex skills needed to communicate, negotiate, and socialise with their peers. Skills such as turn taking and sharing often instigate minor conflicts between children as they struggle to deal with powerful emotions and feelings. During minor disputes, key persons help children to reflect and regulate their actions and, in most instances, children learn how to resolve minor disputes themselves. However, some incidents are influenced by factors, requiring a strategic approach especially if the behaviour causes harm or distress to the child or others. These situations are managed by the SENCO/key person using a stepped approach which aims to resolve the issue and/or avoid the behaviour escalating and causing further harm.

This is an unsettling time for young children. Educators are alert to the emotional well-being of children who may be affected by the disruption to their normal routine. Where a child’s behaviour gives cause for concern, educators take into consideration the many factors that may be affecting them. This is done in partnership with the child’s parents/carers and the principles of this procedure are adhered to

The setting manager/SENCO will:

  • help staff to implement procedure, Promoting positive behaviour in their everyday practice
  • advise staff on how to address behaviour issues and how to access expert advice if needed

Rewards and sanctions

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

Children are never labelled, criticised, humiliated, punished, shouted at or isolated by removing them from the group to be left in ‘time out’ or on a ‘naughty chair’. If a child is distressed or causing harm to others, it may help to remove them from the immediate environment where the incident occurred. They should be taken to a quiet area by their key person for up to 5 minutes to help them calm down. If appropriate, the key person can use this time to help the child reflect on what has happened. Physical punishment of any kind is never used or threatened which could adversely affect a child's well-being. If staff become aware that another person has given corporal punishment to a child, they follow  Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults procedures. Physical intervention to safeguard a child/children must be carried out as per the guidance in this procedure.

Step 1

  • The setting manager, SENCo and other relevant staff members are knowledgeable with, and apply the procedure  Promoting positive behaviour.
  • Unwanted behaviours are addressed using an agreed and consistently applied approach to deescalate situations
  • Behaviours that result in concern for the child and/or others must be discussed by the key person, SENCo/setting manager. During the meeting the key person must use their all-round knowledge of the child and family to share any known influencing factors such as a new baby in the family, child and/or parental illness, underlying additional needs to help place the child’s behaviour into context.
  • Appropriate adjustments to practice must be agreed within the setting. If relevant, a risk assessment should be carried out.
  • If the adjustments are successful and the unwanted behaviour does not reoccur or cause concern then normal monitoring can resume.

Step 2

  • If the behaviour remains a concern, then the key person and SENCo must liaise with the parents to try to discover possible reasons for the behaviour and to agree next steps. If relevant and appropriate the views of the child must 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 setting manager/SENCo must suggest using a focused intervention approach to identifying a trigger for the behaviour such as the ABC approach, i.e. Antecedents – what happened before; Behaviour – what was the behaviour observed; Consequences – what happened after the event.
  • If a trigger is identified, then the SENCo and key person must meet with the parents to plan support for the child through a graduated approach via SEN support.
  • Aggressive behaviour by children towards other children will result in a staff member intervening immediately to stop the behaviour and prevent escalation using the agreed initial intervention approach. If the behaviour has been significant or may have a detrimental effect on the child, the parents of the victim of the behaviour and the parents of the perpetrator must be informed. If the setting has applied a physical intervention, they must follow the guidance as set out below. The designated person completes  Safeguarding incident reporting form and contact Ofsted if appropriate. A record of discussions is recorded and parents are asked to sign.
  • Parents must also be asked to sign risk assessments where the risk assessment relates to managing the behaviour of a specific child.
  • If relevant, actions for dealing with the behaviour at home are agreed with parents and incorporated into the action plan. Other staff are informed of the agreed interventions and help implement the actions. The plan must be monitored and reviewed regularly by the key person/SENCo until improvement is noticed.
  • Incidents and intervention relating to unwanted/challenging behaviour by children must be clearly and appropriately logged on  SEN Support - Action plan.