Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy


Our nursery believes that children flourish best when they know how they are expected to behave. Children gain respect through interaction with caring adults who show them respect and value their individual personalities. Positive, caring and polite behaviour will be encouraged and praised at all times in an environment where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their surroundings.

Children need to have set boundaries of behaviour for their own safety and the safety of their peers. Within the nursery we aim to set these boundaries in a way which helps the child to develop a sense of the significance of their own behaviour, both on their own environment and those around them. Restrictions on the child's natural desire to explore and develop their own ideas and concepts are kept to a minimum. 

We aim to:

  • Recognise the individuality of all our children and that some behaviours are normal in young children e.g. biting
  • Encourage self-discipline, 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
  • 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 are 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
  • Have a named person who has overall responsibility for issues concerning behaviour.

The named person Sharon Nicholson for managing behaviour will advise other staff on behaviour issues and along with each room leader will keep up-to-date with legislation and research and support changes to policies and procedures in the nursery; access relevant sources of expertise where required and act as a central information source for all involved; attend regular external training events, and ensure all staff attend relevant in-house or external training for behaviour management. A record will be kept of staff attendance at this training.

We recognise that codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures and staff are required to be aware of this and respect those used by members of the nursery.  

Nursery rules are concerned with safety and care and respect for each other. Children who behave inappropriately by physically abusing another child or adult e.g. biting, or through verbal bullying, will be required to talk through these actions and apologise where appropriate. The child who has been upset will be comforted and the adult will confirm that the other child's behaviour is not acceptable. It is important to acknowledge when a child is feeling angry or upset and that it is the behaviour we are rejecting, not the child.


When children behave in unacceptable ways:

  • Physical punishment such as smacking or shaking will be neither used nor threatened, however it may be necessary to use restraining action in an emergency to prevent personal injury and protect the safety of other children and staff. This will only take place by staff who have been appropriately trained to do so
  • Children will not be singled out or humiliated in any way. Staff within the nursery will re-direct the children towards alternative activities. Discussions with children will take place respecting their level of understanding and maturity
  • Staff will not raise their voices in a threatening way
  • In any case of misbehaviour, it will always be made clear to the child or children in question, that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome
  • How a particular type of behaviour is handled will depend on the child’s age, level of development and the circumstances surrounding the behaviour. It may involve the child being asked to talk and think about what he/she has done.  It may also include the child apologising for their actions
  • Parents will be informed if their child’s behaviour is unkind to others or if their child has been upset. In all cases inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with in nursery at the time. Parents may be asked 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 or child guidance counsellors
  • Children need to develop non-aggressive strategies to enable them to stand up for themselves so that adults and children listen to them. They need to be given opportunities to release their feelings more creatively
  • Confidential records will be kept on any negative behaviour that has taken place. Parents will be informed and asked to read and sign any entries concerning their child
  • If a child requires help to develop positive behaviour, every effort will be made to provide for their needs
  • Through partnership with parents and formal observations, staff will make every effort to identify any behavioural concerns and the causes of that behaviour. From these observations and discussions an individual behaviour modification plan will be implemented
  • In the event where a child’s behaviour involves aggressive actions towards other children and staff, for example hitting, kicking etc. the manager should complete risk assessments identifying any potential triggers or warning signs ensuring other children and staff safety at all times. In these instances it may be that the child is removed from that area until they have calmed down and/or restraining techniques are used by trained staff
  • Children will be distracted from the negative situation and supported in a different activity or environment, if necessary for their own well-being and that of others in the group.


Children need their own time and space. It is not always appropriate to expect a child to share and it is important to acknowledge children's feelings and to help them understand how others might be feeling.

Children must be encouraged 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.

Any form of bullying is unacceptable and will be dealt with immediately. At our nursery, staff follow the procedure below to enable them to deal with challenging behaviour:

  • 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 need to be helped to understand that using aggression to get things is inappropriate and they will be encouraged to resolve problems in other ways
  • Our staff are encouraged to adopt a policy of intervention when they think a child is being bullied, however mild or harmless it may seem
  • Staff are ready to initiate games and activities with children, when they feel play has become aggressive, both indoors or out
  • Any instance of bullying will be discussed fully with the parents of all involved, to look for a consistent resolution to the behaviour
  • If any parent has a concern about their child, a member of staff will be available to discuss those concerns. It is only through co-operation that we 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.

By positively promoting good behaviour, valuing co-operation and a caring attitude we hope to ensure that children will develop as responsible members of society.