We believe that the safety, security and happiness of the children in our care is our prime responsibility and that once they feel safe, secure and happy they can become successful learners.
We believe that the children need the security which comes from a well-controlled and well ordered environment.
We believe that the personal, social and emotional aspects of each child’s development are of paramount importance, both for their present welfare and happiness and for their future as good citizens.
We recognise that children’s behaviour may reflect their emotional well-being and will therefore treat every child as an individual when determining the best strategies to support behaviour.
We believe that very young children are essentially ego-centric and that developmentally, they may find it difficult to see beyond their own wants and needs. They may have little idea that their actions impinge on others or that other people have feelings too.
We believe that every child should be encouraged to develop the skills of self-control and an understanding of the needs and feelings of others.
We encourage the children to take responsibility and make decisions for themselves and believe that this is crucial if the children are to develop self-control.
We do not label a child as ‘naughty’, we prefer to try and understand what the child is telling us by their behaviour-is there a problem at home? Are we not meeting their needs at Nursery?
Under no circumstances will physical punishment or harsh verbal chastisement of any child be allowed. Shouting should only be used in cases of danger to gain the child’s attention.
At Pastures Way Nursery School we aim to ensure that:
- Every child feels safe, secure and happy.
- Every child is treated as an individual in supporting their social and emotional needs.
- Through our Values Curriculum children learn about and express different values such as a sense of fairness, justice, honesty, truthfulness, care and respect.
- All children are taught about what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and why.
- The adults working within the nursery model appropriate behaviour for the children at all times
- The adults treat the children and each other with care and respect.
- Parents are informed and consulted about their child’s development, including social and emotional
- That staff and parents work together in support of their child
- Every child is assisted to develop appropriate feelings of self-esteem and is given every opportunity to establish effective relationships with others.
- No child or adult should ever feel afraid of or threatened by another child and steps will be taken immediately to remedy any such situation in whichever way is decided most appropriate.
- The children are supported in naming their feelings and learning emotional literacy by being taught ‘Signs for Feelings and Behaviour’ and ‘Signs for Big Feelings’ by the staff,who use the signs themselves on a daily basis.
Parents are treated as partners with staff, working together in support of their child
We emphasise this at our initial parents evening and emphasise the need for parents to inform us of any little thing which may be worrying their child. However, we will not tell parents about every little behaviour issue, most of which will be entirely appropriate for children of this age, as they learn to share, take turns, be kind to their friends and so on. We will share the information with parents only if the behaviour is consistent so we can work together to change it.
The ‘rules’ of the nursery are made clear to all the children
We tell the children what we want them to do not what we don’t want them to do and we include the reasons for them, e.g. ‘We walk inside because you may bump into other children and hurt them”
All the nursery staff work together to present a unified and consistent approach to behaviour
The majority of staff have undertaken ‘Signs for behaviour and feelings’ training and this is being used with the children on a daily basis, with songs and stories and in real life events. This will help our children to develop their sense of empathy and enable them to name their feelings. We believe that ‘feelings’ can be frightening for young children, particularly when they can’t name them. By giving them names, it enables the child to ‘own’ those feelings and be less anxious about them. Discussion of how we can change these feelings and improve matters should encourage the child to reflect. Some strategies may involve general classroom management. For example, strategic placing of the furniture may be enough to prevent the children running in the nursery.
All staff will take a positive approach to discipline, rewarding and praising good behaviour.
We aim to catch children being good by giving attention to the children demonstrating desirable behaviour and praising them e.g. “That was kind, you helped me by carrying the box.”
We use proximal praise (praising children close by to highlight desired behaviour to another child) e.g. “I can see…is listening really carefully”
We encourage the children to develop the skills needed to self-regulate
Self-regulation is described as such:
“Emotional and behavioural self-regulation contributes to young children’s growing independence. It is this growing ability to control their own feelings and behaviour that eventually allows a child to become more skilled in their relationships with children and adults, for example, when playing together or making decisions together. In the preschool years, children’s self-regulation skills are still developing and can often go up and down. Being able to consistently regulate their own feelings and behaviour is a major task for a young child. By school age, children become more flexible and are better at regulating their own emotions and actions. When children learn to self-regulate they have stronger friendships and relationships with others, are more able to pay attention and learn new things and deal better with the normal stresses and disappointments of daily life”
Taken from: “How self-regulation difficulties affect children” www.kidsmatter.edu.au
When two children are struggling to solve a disagreement we support them to use conflict resolution techniques. Using these four steps:
- If two children are fighting over who rides a specific bike in the garden, the staff member will talk quietly to both children to help de-escalate the issue
- She will ask them both, “What can we do to make this better?” and listen to their answers
- She will help them come to a fair and sensible resolution, such as, “We can take turns at riding it once round the garden and then give it to the other person” or “I will ride the blue bike and you can ride the red bike, then we can swap”. She will suggest ideas if necessary but remain an equal partner in the discussion, not the lead.
- She will congratulate them for making a ‘good choice’ and stand back and observe whether the children abide by their solution.
As children get older they learn the value and meaning of sorry but younger children are still developing an understanding. Because of this we never ask the children to say sorry to each other. We think about The Three Sorrys’, feeling, saying and showing. To say sorry we must first feel it so we talk to children and identify that they might be feeling sorry or that they look like they are feeling sorry. We recognise and describe the emotion of sorrow so children can begin to understand it.
We recognise that the above positive approaches to behaviour may not be successful with all of the children all of the time and that in order to protect staff and children we may need to provide extra support for a child’s behaviour. When this is the case the key person will work closely with the family and SENCO, the child will be observed to look closely for reason and triggers and then a behaviour plan will be written. Behaviour, support strategies and interventions will be put in place, recorded and monitored.
Sometimes it will become necessary to ‘contain’ a child who is distressed or being physically aggressive – to themselves, another child or a staff member. Under no circumstances will force be used. This behaviour will be dealt with:
a) Calmly and sensitively
b) By talking to the child quietly
c) Taking them to a quiet corner or space or by asking the children around them to leave
d) Sitting with them whilst they calm down
e) Every time ‘Containment’ has to be used, it MUST be written down and reported to the Senior Leaders so the procedure can be reviewed with regard to that specific child. Parents/carers must also be told. A behaviour plan may have to be written for that child in liaison with the parents so that everyone knows what to do in case of further issues.
A number of staff have been trained in ‘Manual handling’ of a child, but this would only be used in extreme circumstances.
• Special Needs
• Positive Handling & Restrictive Physical Intervention Policy
• Health and Safety
A final thought:
Children Learn What They Live
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns what envy is
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself
If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal
If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity
If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth and justice are
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and in those around him
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live
If you live with serenity, your child will live with peace of mind
With what is your child living?
Dorothy Law Nolle