Chatham Nursery School Birth to Five

Behaviour Policy


Young children need to learn appropriate behaviour in the same way as they learn other things in their lives. Young children need guidance to build good habits and patience when things go wrong. It is important we are clear about the kinds of behaviours we want children to learn and that our expectations of children are appropriate. The child’s parents are a key source of information and insight about their child. Children will learn from important people in their lives.

Long Term aims 

  • To support growth in self-esteem.
  • To treat themselves and others with respect.
  • To be able to give and receive friendship and affection.
  • To be able to express their feelings in ways which are acceptable to others.
  • To contribute positively to the groups of people with whom they live-their family, nursery and the wider community.

We acknowledge that for some children nursery is the first step into the wider world beyond home. This unfamiliar environment will challenge young children’s behaviour skills. The nursery provides support for children by offering a safe and secure environment with adults who aware of what is developmentally appropriate and who will model, guide and monitor behaviour.

The Rules of the Group 

Rules are few, clear simple and agreed with the children.

Example might be:

  • We must always care for other people, their feelings, and there property.
  • We must be kind and polite to everyone adults and children
  • We must take care when on outdoor apparatus and never push

Chatham Nursery School Birth to Five Behaviour Policy

The organisation of the nursery environment will support this 

  • Children know what is expected of them
  • There is enough space for children to move freely and pathways around areas are clear
  • There are stimulating, open ended activities, interesting activities to engage children
  • There are quiet spaces so that children may withdraw from the room
  • The layout of the room allows children to play with of small number of children.
  • There are sufficient key resources so that children do not have to wait, share all the time.
  • The routines follow a consistent yet flexible pattern. Each room having a pegged timeline of events.
  • Our routine has provision for long periods of uninterrupted play.
  • Our routine balance quiet and more active times.
  • Our routine allows children time for indoor/outdoor play
  • We are aware when children are tired, cold or hungry as this may affect their behaviour
  • Resources are accessible so that children may choose

Adult- child interaction when conflicts occur 

  • All adults show sympathy for children labelling their emotions for them and ensuring they know that having strong feelings is alright.
  • All adults get down to child’s level
  • All adults give time and space so that all children’s contributions can be listened to and valued e.g. approach calmly, gather information from the children, restate for them, ask them for solutions, support them to carry this out.

Behaviours that cause concern 

Some kinds of behaviour may indicate that a child has an underlying problem, in which case plenty of clear accurate observation needs to be carried out.

Several kinds of behaviour give cause for adult concern

  • Age inappropriate behaviour e.g. tantrums, biting, sexual awareness.
  • Disruption or damage to other children’s activities.
  • Physical or verbal abuse-priority must be given to the victim.
  • Quietness-may need to be given extra adult attention or to be given support to join in the play of others.
  • Attention seeking behaviour. Children who seek attention are not getting enough of it. Any attention from an adult is better than none so they may try to get this by negative behaviour. We must try to ‘catch them being good’ so that adult attention is given as a result of positive behaviour.

Supporting change 

In an atmosphere of support and encouragement, children can be helped to change their behaviours

  • It must be clear to the child that it is the behaviour that is unwelcome and not them.
  • Efforts must be made to recognise and praise a child’s achievement.
  • All children must know that if things go wrong there will be an adult there to support them.
  • Children must know that if a mess is created it must be cleared up even if the adult supports this at first.
  • If a child is angry or upset a short time away with an adult will help the child come to terms with the situation.
  • It may help to complete ABC format to ascertain triggers and consequences for the behaviour and plan for the child. Ensure all staff and parents know about this and respond consistently.
  • Using ‘when ‘and ‘then’ giving the child a way out of the situation.
  • Children must be empowered to say, ‘no I don’t like that’.

Working with parents 

Parent’s insights are really important when these are added to staff observations they give a complete picture of the child at home and nursery. A joint play plan can be drawn up together which supports both the nursery and the parents\carers.

Additional help 

Sometimes the efforts of the staff and parents may not be sufficient to help a child. The behaviour may be an indicator of additional needs. Referral to outside agencies with the agreement of parents\carers may be necessary.


At Nursery we want to help all children to develop their full potential in all areas. This includes giving lots of opportunity to develop their social skills in a supportive environment. Within this secure and nurturing framework both adults and children are free to grow and develop happily, with high self-esteem, confident, independent and emotionally strong.

Additional resources 

More Happy than sad

Seven steps to conflict resolution


Monitoring and review 

This policy was agreed and implemented on 15th December 2020 and is due for review December 2021