Clyde Nursery and Children's Centre


Behaviour Policy-This policy is under review.

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

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This policy is addressed to both parents and staff at Clyde Nursery School.

When it comes to behaviour management we aim to work in partnership with parents to lay foundations from which children will grow into happy, self-confident, well adjusted children. The policy explains our rationale of why we have adopted certain approaches.

We believe that children and adults are happiest in an ordered environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them and children are free to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else.

As a staff body, we try to create an environment where children, parents and staff all value, respect and care for each other.  We accept the importance of adopting a positive attitude which emphasises and recognises good behaviour rather than identifying only that which is unacceptable.  We aim, therefore, to comment on and praise examples of good behaviour; this is more helpful than merely looking for and dealing with incidents of unacceptable behaviour as and when they occur.

Rules governing the conduct of the nursery and the behaviour of the children will be discussed and agreed within the nursery and out of school club and explained to all new-comers, both children and adults; Our rules are:

  1. Always walk indoors
  2. Be polite
  3. Treat others how you would like to be treated
  4. Take care of your environment

We expect everyone at CLYDE, both children and adults, to follow these rules; all staff at Clyde will ensure that the rules are applied consistently, so that children have the security of knowing what to expect and can build up useful habits of behaviour.

Staff will make sure that each child knows that they are valued

Staff will maintain a tidy and well-organised room

Staff will give children opportunities to talk about their concerns and feelings

Staff will be positive role models for the children with regard to friendliness, care and courtesy.

Staff will praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness, empathy and willingness to share;

Staff will take positive steps to avoid a situation in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.

 There will be times that children will behave in undesirable or inappropriate ways.

It is important to recognise that sometimes there isn’t time for reasoning.  Children need to recognise and adult’s authority and respond to ‘No’.

In any cases of misbehaviour, adults will always reject the behaviour, not the child.  They will never label children as bad, naughty or silly either to them, or to someone else in their hearing.

Physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking, will be neither used nor threatened.  Such behaviour from any member of staff at Clyde  would be classed as gross misconduct, which can lead to instant dismissal.

There will be few occasions that children will be taken inside the classroom if an incident of inappropriate behaviour took place outdoors.

Techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children, such as a ‘naughty chair’, will not be used. 

Children who misbehave will be given one-to-one adult support in talking about what was wrong and why and how to behave more appropriately.  Where appropriate, this might be achieved by a period of ‘cooling off’ with an adult.  If another child has been upset, they will be comforted and the adult will confirm that the other child’s behaviour is not acceptable. The practitioner will always try to find out how both children ended up in that situation.

In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes will be made clear immediately, with subsequent parental involvement.

Working together with parents

Parents will be informed if their child is persistently unkind to others or if their child has been upset.  In all cases, inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with at CLYDE 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 home and nursery.  In some cases, we may request additional advice and support from other childcare professionals.

We endeavor to deal with any inappropriate or undesirable behavior (or incident) that takes place in the nursery. The school will not share information about which children were involved in the incident, as this is considered a breach of confidentiality and data protection. The nursery will make every possible effort to notify both families individually of what has happened and discuss steps how to prevent it from happening again.

Depriving a child or forcing a child to consume food or drink and humiliating or frightening a child are also forbidden. The use of violence or abuse by a member of staff will result in disciplinary procedures.

Behaviours considered to be unacceptable/undesirable/inappropriate are:

Physical Abuse including biting, hitting, punching, pinching, scratching, kicking and pushing.

Verbal Abuse including racist or sexist remarks and name calling.

Bullying defined as persistent name calling, minor harassment (such as taking things, toys etc away from someone) and more major incidents involving physical violence or a group of children picking on one child.


Screaming, shouting, running inside the nursery building.

Destructive (improper) use of toys, equipment or materials.

Behaviour management and age appropriate expectations (for parents and staff)

When children  behave in inconsiderate ways we recognise that strategies for supporting them will need to be developmentally appropriate and differ from those for older children.

We recognise that babies and very young children are unable to regulate their own emotions, such as fear, anger or distress, and require sensitive adults to help them do this.

Common inconsiderate or hurtful behaviours of young children include tantrums, biting or fighting. Staff will remain calm and patient, offering comfort to intense emotions, helping children to manage their feelings and talk about them to help resolve issues and promote understanding.

If tantrums, biting or fighting are frequent, we try to find out the underlying cause - such as a change or upheaval at home, or frequent change of carers. Sometimes a child has not settled in well and the behaviour may be the result of ‘separation anxiety’.

We focus on ensuring a child’s attachment figure in the setting, their key person, is building a strong relationship to provide security to the child.

Rough and tumble play and fantasy aggression

Young children often engage in play that has aggressive themes – such as superhero and weapon play; some children appear pre-occupied with these themes, but their behaviour is not necessarily a precursor to hurtful behaviour or bullying, although it may be inconsiderate at times and may need addressing using strategies as above.

We recognise that teasing and rough and tumble play are normal for young children and acceptable within limits. We regard these kinds of play as pro-social and not as problematic or aggressive.

We will develop strategies to contain play that are agreed with the children, and understood by them, with acceptable behavioural boundaries to ensure children are not hurt.

We recognise that fantasy play also contains many violently dramatic strategies, blowing up, shooting etc., and that themes often refer to ‘goodies and baddies’ and as such offer opportunities for us to explore concepts of right and wrong.

We are able to tune in to the content of the play, perhaps to suggest alternative strategies for heroes and heroines, making the most of ‘teachable moments’ to,encourage empathy and lateral thinking to explore alternative scenarios and strategies for conflict resolution.

Hurtful behaviour-Why do children sometimes behave the way they do…

The main reasons for very young children to engage in excessive hurtful behaviour are that:

they do not feel securely attached to someone who can interpret and meet their needs – this may be in the home and it may also be in the setting;

their parent, or carer in the setting, does not have skills in responding appropriately, and consequently negative patterns are developing where hurtful behaviour is the only response the child has to express feelings of anger;

the child may have insufficient language, or mastery of English, to express him or herself and may feel frustrated;

the child is exposed to levels of aggressive behaviour at home and may be at risk emotionally, or may be experiencing child abuse;

the child has a developmental condition that affects how they behave.

We take hurtful behaviour very seriously.

We recognise that young children behave in hurtful ways towards others because they have not yet developed the means to manage intense feelings that sometimes overwhelm them.

We will help them manage these feelings as they have neither the biological means nor the cognitive means to do this for themselves.

We understand that self-management of intense emotions, especially of anger, happens when the brain has developed neurological systems to manage the physiological processes that take place when triggers activate responses of anger or fear.

Therefore we help this process by offering support, calming the child who is angry as well as the one who has been hurt by the behaviour. By helping the child to return to a normal state, we are helping the brain to develop the physiological response system that will help the child be able to manage his or her own feelings.

We do not engage in punitive responses to a young child’s rage as that will have the opposite effect.

Our way of responding to pre-verbal children is to calm them through holding and cuddling (if this is a behaviour that children are happy with) Verbal children will also respond to cuddling to calm them down, but we offer them an explanation and discuss the incident with them to their level of understanding.

We recognise that young children require help in understanding the range of feelings they experience. We help children recognise their feelings by naming them and helping children to express them, making a connection verbally between the event and the feeling. “Adam took your car, didn’t he, and you were enjoying playing with it. You didn’t like it when he took it, did you? Did it make you feel angry? Is that why you hit him?” Older children will be able to verbalise their feelings better, talking through themselves the feelings that motivated the behaviour.

We help young children learn to empathise with others, understanding that they have feelings too and that their actions impact on others’ feelings. “When you hit Adam, it hurt him and he didn’t like that and it made him cry”  or  “I can see you are feeling better now and Adam isn’t crying any more. Let’s see if we can be friends and find another car, so you can both play with one.” We help a child to understand the effect that their hurtful behaviour has had on another child; we do not force children to say sorry, but encourage this where it is clear that they are genuinely sorry and wish to show this to the person they have hurt.


Biting can be fairly common among children and can be a painful and frightening experience .Biting happens for different reasons:

  • Exploration-mouthing and tasting an object is something all children do. Young children don’t always understand the difference between gnawing a toy and biting a person.
  • Cause and effect,-sometimes children bite as they know they will get a reaction.
  • Attention -older toddlers may bite to get attention even if it is of a negative kind.
  • Imitation-Older toddlers love to copy others. If they see a child bite they may copy the behaviour.
  • Independance - toddlers are trying hard to become independant. Biting can be a powerful way to control others.
  • Frustration – toddlers do not always have control over their bodies and cannot always express themselves so hitting, biting and pushing becomes a way to express upset.
  • Stress – biting is a way of relieving stress and expressing feelings.

If a child continually bites staff will carry out observations to determine a cause for the situation in the hope that the cycle can be broken.  Discussions will take place between staff and parents to help identify any underlying causes.

When the incident occurs:

1) The biter will be removed from the situation whilst the child who has been bitten is dealt with.

2) Staff should talk to the biter, telling then how it is not nice to bite and that their friend is very sad. They will be encouraged to apologies.

3) Time should be spent comforting the bitten child whilst the biter receives no special treatment to show that biting is not rewarded.

4) The incident will be recorded on an accident and incident sheet (ensuring

confidentiality by not including the child’s name) and these will be signed by both children’s parents once the incident has been discussed with them in private.

For staff to remember….


Voice: Our tone of voice will convey as much information to the children, parents, staff and visitors as the words we use, so we must sound interested, warm and sincere. We also have to be mindful about the pitch, tone and volume of our voice.

Body Language: Our gestures, posture and the way in which we talk, sit and stand all send information to children parents, other staff and visitors.

Smile: People respond to a smile. Smiles are contagious and put parents, staff and visitors in a more receptive mood.

Eye-Contact: It is a way of acknowledging people, of building a relationship, establishing rapport and making parents, staff and visitors feel welcome.

If we expect to do well we will be successful

Always be polite, whatever the circumstances

Listen, show interests, be alert and observe parents, staff and visitors, give them your undivided attention.

You are there to provide a service, demonstrate that to parents, staff and visitors.

Make parents, staff and visitors feel that they matter, that they are individuals and not just one of the crowd.

Enjoy providing a service and show parents, staff and visitors that you are happy to help, put energy into it.

Policy presented to Governing body on: 16 October 2014

Policy was reviewed  on  15 June 2018 

Currently the policy is under review as the school is working towards a Relationships policy.