Promoting Positive Behaviour

This policy was adopted on 30 August 2022 and is reviewed annually

Policy statement

We believe that children and adults flourish best when they feel safe and secure and have their needs met by supportive practitioners who act as good role models, show them respect and value their individual personalities. Children are supported through co-regulation, where adults and children work together towards a common purpose, including finding ways to resolve upsets from stress in any domain and return to balance leading on to a path to self-regulation. The nursery actively promotes British values and encourages and praises positive, caring and polite behaviour at all times and provides an environment where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their surroundings.
We implement the early year’s curriculum supporting children to develop their personal, social and emotional development. This involves helping children to understand their own feelings and others and beginning to regulate their behaviour. We support children to do this through working together with parents, having consistent approaches, structure, routine and age/stage appropriate boundaries. We help build confidence and self-esteem by valuing all children and giving lots of praise and encouragement

To Support Positive Behaviour we aim to:

  • Recognise the individuality of all our children
  • Provide a warm, responsive relationship where children feel respected, comforted and supported in times of stress, and confident that they are cared for at all times.
  • Understand that behaviours are a normal part of some young children’s development e.g. biting
  • Encourage self-regulation, consideration for each other, our surroundings and property
  • Encourage children to participate in a wide range of group activities to enable them to develop their social skills
  • Ensure that all staff act as positive role models for children
  • Encourage parents and other visitors to be positive role models
  • Work in partnership with parents by communicating openly
  • Praise children and acknowledge their positive actions and attitudes, therefore ensuring that children see that we value and respect them
  • Encourage all staff working with children to accept their responsibility for implementing the goals in this policy and to be consistent
  • Promote non-violence and encourage children to deal with conflict peacefully
  • Provide a key person system enabling staff to build a strong and positive relationship with children and their families
  • Provide activities and stories to help children learn about accepted behaviours, including opportunities for children to contribute to decisions about accepted behaviour where age/stage appropriate
  • Supporting and developing children’s understanding of different feelings and emotions, self-regulation and empathy as appropriate to stage of development. This includes using strategies and naming and talking about feelings and ways to manage them
  • Rules governing the conduct of the group and the behaviour of the children are discussed and agreed within the nursery and explained to all newcomers, both children and adults.
  • All adults in the nursery will ensure that the rules are applied consistently, so that children have the security of knowing what to expect and build up good habits of behaviour.
  • We will take positive steps to avoid a situation in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.

Our Promoting Positive Behaviour Procedure is:

  • We never use or threaten to use physical punishment/corporal punishment such as smacking or shaking or use or threaten any punishment that could adversely affect a child’s well being
  • We only use physical intervention (where practitioners may use reasonable force to prevent children from injuring themselves or others or damaging property) or to manage a child’s behaviour if absolutely necessary. We keep a record of any occasions where physical intervention is used and inform parents on the same day, or as reasonably practicable
  • We recognise that there may be occasions where a child is displaying challenging/ distressed behaviour and may need individual techniques to restrain them to prevent a child from injuring themselves or others. This will only be carried out by staff who have been appropriately trained to do so. Any restraints will only be done following recommended guidance and training and only with a signed agreement from parents on when to use it. We will complete an incident form following any restraints used and notify the parents
  • We do not single out children or humiliate them in any way. Where children are displaying challenging behaviour they will, wherever possible, be distracted/re-directed to alternative activities. Discussions with children will take place as to why their behaviour was not acceptable, respecting their level of understanding and maturity
  • Staff do not raise their voices (other than to keep children safe)
  • In any case of challenging behaviour, we will always make it clear to the child/children in question that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome.
  • We help staff to reflect on their own responses towards behaviours that challenge to ensure that their reactions are appropriate
  • We inform parents if their child’s behaviour is unkind to others or if their child has been upset. In all cases we deal with behaviour that challenges in nursery at the time. We may ask parents to meet with staff to discuss their child's behaviour, so that if there are any difficulties we can work together to ensure consistency between their home and the nursery. In some cases we may request additional advice and support from other professionals, such as an educational psychologist
  • In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes will be made clear immediately, but by means of explanations rather than personal blame.
  • We support children in developing non-aggressive strategies to enable them to express their feelings and emotions
  • We keep confidential records on any behaviour that challenges that has taken place We inform parents and ask them to read and sign any incidents concerning their child
  • Through partnership with parents and formal observations, we make every effort to identify any behavioural concerns and the causes of that behaviour. From these observations and discussions, we will implement an individual behaviour modification plan where a child’s behaviour involves aggressive actions towards other children and staff, for example hitting, kicking etc. The manager will complete risk assessments identifying any potential triggers or warning signs ensuring other children’s and staff’s safety at all times. In these instances we may remove a child from an area until they have calmed down.
We recognise that children need their own time and space and that it is not always appropriate to expect a child to share. We believe it is important to acknowledge each child’s feelings and to help them understand how others might be feeling.
At our nursery, staff follow the procedure below to enable them to deal with behaviour that challenges:
  • Staff are encouraged to ensure that all children feel safe, happy and secure
  • Staff are encouraged to recognise that active physical aggression in the early years is part of the child’s development and that it should be channelled in a positive way
  • Children are helped to understand that using aggression to get things, is inappropriate and they will be encouraged to resolve problems in other ways
  • Staff will initiate games and activities with children when they feel play has become overly boisterous/aggressive
  • We will ensure that this policy is available for staff and parents and it will be shared at least once a year to parents and staff
  • Staff and parents are also welcomed to review and comment on the policy and procedure
  • If any parent has a concern about their child, a member of staff will be available to discuss those concerns. Working together can ensure our children feel confident and secure in their environment, both at home and in the nursery
  • All concerns will be treated in the strictest confidence.


We encourage children to recognise that bullying, fighting, hurting and discriminatory comments are not acceptable behaviour. We want children to recognise that certain actions are right and that others are wrong.
Bullying takes many forms. It can be physical, verbal or emotional, but it is always a repeated behaviour that makes other people feel uncomfortable or threatened. We acknowledge that any form of bullying is unacceptable and will be dealt with immediately while recognising that physical aggression is part of children’s development in their early years. Staff will intervene when they think a child is being bullied, however mild or harmless it may seem and sensitively discuss any instance of bullying with the parents of all involved to look for a consistent resolution to the behaviour.
By positively promoting positive behaviour, valuing co-operation and a caring attitude, we hope to ensure that children will develop a positive sense of self, have confidence in their own abilities, make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These will provide them with a secure platform for school and later life.

Relevant Forms

Incident Record Form.pdf
Incident Record Form
Physical Intervention Record.pdf
Physical Intervention Form