Clyde Nursery and Children's Centre


Relationship and Positive Behaviour Policy

This policy complies with Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006

Relationship and Positive Behaviour Policy


This policy document has been written to inform all those who work within the school or who have contact with it :- families, staff, governors, representatives of the L.A., visitors and members of the local community of Clyde Nursery School’s approach to Behaviour Management.

This policy has been produced by all members of staff, represents whole school reflection on our practice and our ongoing developing understanding of young children’s social and emotional development and our understanding of behaviour.

We note that the new SEND code of practice 0-25 (2014) has removed ‘behaviour social and emotional’ category of Special Educational Needs (SEN) replacing it with ‘social, emotional and mental health’. This puts much greater emphasis on the underlying needs of children young people and moves away from the labelling of behaviour itself as SEN.

This policy supports and informs our practice, and as a working document, it is open to review and modification in the light of the needs of the school, families and children.

Clyde Nursery School aims to provide a happy, welcoming, relaxed, stimulating, calm, and safe environment in which the diversity of social and cultural backgrounds of our school community are valued, respected and celebrated.

Central to this provision is our commitment to working in partnership with all parents and carers. We have high expectations of positive and cooperative behaviour and of mutual respect and support for one another. We expect all adults in school (staff, volunteers, students, parents and carers) to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.

Our school’s ethos of respect includes all interactions within school - between adults and adults, adults and children, children and children. Respect includes caring not only for one another, and their property, opinions and creations, but also for equipment, surroundings and living things.

What underpins positive behaviour and how do we support children’s social and emotional development at Clyde?

We believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met and where there are clear and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour. At this young age, all children are learning how to interact with the world, and developing the social skills they need to make positive relationships with their peers and with adults and need to feel safe and secure, valued and listened to. This is expressed in child friendly intentions:

  • I look after myself / keep myself safe
  • I look after other people / keep others safe
  • I look after the environment around me

These statements help us to ensure we have a consistent approach to children’s behaviour, as they make clear to adults and to children what is acceptable and what is not. Across the school it is therefore clear what behaviours we are helping children to develop and what behaviours we need to challenge.

Clyde Nursery School has a whole school approach to meeting children’s social and emotional needs through:

  • A focus on welcoming families and ensuring that children’s home and cultural backgrounds are reflected in our school environment to support children’s sense of belonging, self-esteem and confidence
  • Home visits offered to all new families
  • Each child having a key person in order to focus on relationships and ongoing communication with families
  • Our personalised curriculum in order to meet individual needs (based on our understanding of children’s stages of development, schematic play, learning styles and interests)
  • Collaborative play opportunities involving cooperation, negotiation and sharing which supports children’s development and understanding of relationships.
  • Clearly communicated and consistently reinforced boundaries and expectations for all
  • A collaborative approach to identifying difficulties and putting strategies in place for individual children.

We understand that children are best able to manage their behaviour when they have secure attachments and have experience of positive relationships, and when they are feeling safe and valued. Our practice at school can have a positive impact when we provide a nurturing, caring environment, attuned and responsive relationships with children and work collaboratively and sensitively with families. It is important for children to know that adults will always listen to them, will support them in making relationships and in dealing with difficult situations, including if they are upset by or hurt by another child.

Understanding what lies behind negative behaviour

During their time at Clyde, children will develop their social skills, behaviour and self-control. Some children, however, struggle to follow routines, may use physical actions that can injure others in their interactions, or unkind words that can upset others. During these times, children may need additional individual support to keep themselves, others and the environment safe.

At the heart of our approach to tackling these unacceptable behaviours is a recognition of the importance of understanding what is at the root of difficult, challenging or unusual behaviour. We need to work with families to understand what makes children tick and what they find tricky, what may trigger their challenging behaviours and what the child is struggling with. The key person also plays a valuable role in this process. We recognise behaviour as communication, perhaps an expression of underlying feelings that children cannot yet manage, understand or express in other ways. Behaviour difficulties can often reflect an unmet need e.g. communication difficulties, social interaction difficulties, emotional and anxiety. Children’s home lives, previous experiences, their relationships and the security of their early attachments, feeling tired, hungry or unwell, housing conditions – all issues beyond a child’s control - can all have an impact on children’s well-being and affect their behaviour development.

Some children may struggle to manage the busy, stimulating school environment, finding it overwhelming or confusing, and may find even small changes in routine or familiar adults very unsettling.

In addition, staff are mindful at all times that changes in a child’s behaviour, or distressed behaviours, can also be an indicator of abuse and will follow their responsibilities in relation to our safeguarding policies and procedures in keeping children safe.

What strategies and approaches do we use to support children’s behaviour development?

At Clyde, we believe in leading by example and children will see adults treating each other and children with respect and creating caring relationships which promote care for one other, and a safe environment. We also draw upon a wealth of positive strategies for handling inconsiderate behaviour which are matched to individual children’s needs, level of understanding and stage of development.

  • Adults being consistent, supportive and persistent and making sure that they follow through on promises and agreements.
  • Adults support children to reflect on the impact of their own actions and to make amends – e.g “what can we do to make it better?” following a Restorative Justice approach
  • Adults modelling the behaviour and language of social interaction – such as turn taking and sharing, saying please and thank you and negotiating skills.
  • Reinforcing positive behaviour by taking all opportunities to reward children with attention and praise (appropriate to their understanding and ability to accept this).
  • Visual support to understand and follow routines and what is going to happen next, with visual timetables, ‘now and next’ boards and using the phrase “when … then”.
  • Visual prompts to support positive behaviour and expectations – listening, looking etc
  • Using tone of voice and facial expressions, together with simple language, to support children’s understanding of how we feel about their actions.
  • Additional adult support at key times e.g. going into group time, arriving or leaving nursery and meal times
  • Providing ‘tidy up’ opportunities outdoors if tidy up time in the classroom is too difficult to cope with.
  • Opportunities for physical, large scale play outdoors in natural environment.
  • Access to calmer, quiet spaces to reduce anxieties.
  • Access to areas where children and adults can sit together comfortably – cushioned area, sofa etc
  • Warm and caring adults, who are responsive to children’s emotional needs, offer cuddles, asking “Do you need a cuddle/hug?”
  • Resources such as feelings books and social stories,
  • Supporting children’s independence and ability to feel safe, secure and in control of themselves in a social environment – saying “Stop it – I don’t like it” in response to the actions/behaviours of others.
  • Alternative opportunities for children who find large gathering time distressing or difficult to cope with e.g. helping adults to set up classroom, smaller group times etc
  • Children encouraged as role models with planned partnering so that they can support each other.
  • Use of Involvement and Well Being observations– as both an indication of children’s needs and as a means of reflecting on how successfully we are meeting these needs.
  • Use of ‘2 choices’ strategy to enable children who have a need to be in control, to comply with adult requests
  • Sand timers to support turn taking and sharing skills.
  • Offering experiences to specific children which they may find emotionally calming – singing, music, What’s in the box? activity.
  • Access to additional resources for children with particular sensory difficulties e.g. ear defenders, weighted blanket.
  • Ongoing communication with parents with an emphasis on building positive and constructive relationships, with support of key person.

We do not use negative language such as ‘naughty’ or ‘silly’ to describe the child as it serves only to label that child. The approach outlined above promotes positive behaviour, the development of positive relationships and social interaction. At the same time it guides our strategies for tackling negative behaviours.

Managing negative behaviour

It is with this understanding that we will always intervene in response to actions that endanger the child herself / himself, or others, or damage equipment/resources.

  • Adults intervene immediately to keep children safe and support positive resolution, drawing upon our understanding of the individual child, consistent whole school expectations, and using agreed strategies.
  • Supporting a child’s emotional regulation is an essential part of our behaviour management, mental health and wellbeing approach to working with children in school.
  • We may also support children to find quiet spaces to calm and regulate which involves acknowledging feelings, and supporting children to gain control over their feelings and feel calmer. When calm staff will explain what was not acceptable about the child’s behaviour, so that they can learn a more appropriate response, or talking about the impact their actions have had on others
  • Staff will then support children in making amends. This encourages critical thinking, problem solving and development of skills in sharing, mediation and reflection. In making amends we do not require children to say ‘sorry’ although this may happen, instead we would encourage children to show care and consideration for anyone they have upset or hurt.
  • Where a child may have hurt another child, we will support them to use “kind touch” which involves one child giving the other a gentle touch or stroke on the arm or hand as a way of making amends. This also supports children to develop a sense of empathy and regret which simply saying sorry does not do
  • If a child’s continued actions present a possible risk to themselves, others or environment, the class teacher/team and SENCO will consider the best strategy to meet the child’s needs, and the needs of the rest of the class. This process involves parents/carers so the school and family can work together in partnership to understand the root of the child’s needs. –
  • Concerns are always shared with parents and carers and we will always ask about strategies that may be used at home.
  • If despite a consistent approach and additional strategies, a child’s behaviour continues to be of concern, the Assistant or Deputy Head or SENCO will support the class team in collaborative problem-solving process.
  • The SENCO may seek the advice of outside professionals such as the school’s link Educational Psychologist or other professionals e.g. Drumbeat Outreach Service for children with social communication and interaction difficulties. Any referrals will require parents’ involvement and consent.
  • A Team Around the Child/Family may be established, involving all professionals supporting a family – this meeting will help ensure that there is a consistency of approach and in the support being offered to the family.
  • Where families feel that they need additional help in managing their children’s behaviour at home then a referral for family support may be made.
  • Children’s individual needs and the strategies being tried will be shared with the whole school staff team to ensure a consistent approach.


Given the age and stage of development of our young children, we understand that some negative behaviours, if not addressed may escalate and be more closely identified with bullying behaviours.

Our ‘stop it, I don’t like it’ approach to empowering children is an important strategy. We are always committed to supporting children in developing positive relationships with one another and will always intervene, in a collaborative way, when additional and extra support and attention is needed by individual children.

Early intervention and understanding the whole picture for each child is fundamental to addressing these difficulties and to support children to develop positive and respectful relationships and to support their interactions. Behaviours which impact or hurt others are never ignored and strategies are shared with the whole staff team to enable consistency and overview.

Physical restraint

Physical restraint is not a form of behaviour management that is acceptable in the school.

In a situation where a child is in such a state of distress that he/she may be endangering him/herself or another child then it may be necessary for the adult to offer protective care to the child until they regain control of themselves.

This would be reported to the parents at the earliest opportunity and recorded in school. The Headteacher has been trained in safe restraint techniques.

Exclusion from school

We have high expectations of reasonable behaviour from all our pupils in school and have clear strategies for the management of unacceptable behaviour. We take into account each individual’s level of development and understanding and involve parents and carers at all levels.

We recognise that there are categories of behaviour used for exclusions in primary school, and accept that exclusion is the ultimate sanction available to us. It would always remain the absolute last action that we would wish to take, but if there was a threat to the health, safety or wellbeing of any child or adult from a child’s behaviour then we would consider carefully all our options.

We recognise that in order to create a uniformity of approach across the authority, Clyde Nursery School does need to be aware of the criteria used for exclusion throughout the authority. We promote this continuity of approach within a spirit of partnership with all our parents and carers, whose support we respect and value, for the benefit of the whole school community.

Policy ratified by Governing Body- 23 February 2022

Policy will be reviewed in February 2023