Behaviour Management – Policy and Practice

Statement of intent

Our pre-school believes that children flourish best when they know how they are expected to behave and should be free to play and learn without fear of being hurt or unfairly restricted by anyone else.


We aim to provide an environment in which there is acceptable behaviour and where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their environment.


We have three named persons who have responsibility for issues concerning behaviour.

We require each named person to:

  • keep her/himself up to date with legislation and research and thinking on handling children’s behaviour;
  • access relevant sources of expertise on handling children’s behaviour; and
  • check that all staff have relevant in-service training on handling children’s behaviour.  We keep a record of staff attendance at this training.

We require all staff to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children, parents and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.

We require all staff to use positive strategies for handling any conflict by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of development- for example distraction, praise and reward. [Volunteers and students should seek advice from senior staff before dealing with an incident].

We familiarise new staff and volunteers with the pre-school’s behaviour policy and its rules for behaviour.

We expect all members of the pre-school – children, parents, staff, volunteers and students – to keep to the rules, requiring these to be applied consistently,

We praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.

We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.

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.

When children behave in unacceptable ways, we help them to see what was wrong and how to cope more appropriately.

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 the Principal and are recorded in our Incident Book.  A parent is informed on the same day and signs in the Incident Book to indicate that he/she has been informed.

In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes, by means of explanations rather than personal blame.

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

We handle children’s unacceptable behaviour in ways which are appropriate to their ages and stages of development – for example by distraction, discussion or by withdrawing the child from the situation.

We work in partnership with children’s parents.  Parents are regularly informed about their children’s behaviour by their keyworker.  We work with parents to address recurring unacceptable behaviour, using observation records to help us to understand the cause and to decide jointly how to respond appropriately.


Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children.  We take bullying very seriously.

If a child bullies another child or children:

  • we intervene to stop the child harming the other child or children;
  • we explain to the child doing the bullying why his/her behaviour is inappropriate;
  • we give reassurance to the child or children who have been bullied
  • we make sure that children who bully receive praise when they display acceptable behaviour;
  • we do not label children who bully;
  • when children bully, we discuss what has happened with their parents and work out with them a plan for handling the child’s behaviour;
  • when children have been bullied, we share what has happened with their parents, explaining that the child who did the bullying is being helped to adopt more acceptable ways of behaving.