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Achieving Positive Behaviour

Our Aim

At Little Wombatz we aim to work towards an environment in which children can develop self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement. We understand 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. We believe in promoting and nurturing positive behaviour and are committed to teaching children how to behave in socially acceptable ways and to understand the needs and rights of others.


Our Objectives

Personal, Social and Emotional Development is a core element of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS states that “children must be provided with support which will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others; respect for others; social skills and a positive disposition to learn.” At Little Wombatz, in line with the EYFS, we aim to provide appropriate opportunities for all children to develop taking in to account children’s previous experiences and developmental stages. In our setting we believe in order to behave in socially acceptable ways and to understand the needs and rights of others children should:

  • Be encouraged to have respect for themselves and treat other people with respect, kindness and tolerance
  • Speak appropriately and politely and be encouraged to use good manners, such as ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’
  • Be good listeners and display a level of self-control during circle and story time
  • Begin to understand how to be fair by sharing and taking turns
  • Look after the toys and resources available to them and take care of the Little Wombatz environment
  • Be aware that there are different rules for playing indoors and outdoors, such as only walking inside and not shouting
  • Have self-confidence and high self esteem


Our Approach

To support children’s development the staff at Little Wombatz will:

  • Provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children, parents and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy
  • Use a firm but calm approach when dealing with behaviour and strive to ensure that all rules are applied consistently so that the children feel secure in knowing what is expected of them.
  • Help children to be polite by encouraging exchanges such as “Good morning” or “Thank you”
  • Help children to be fair when playing games and sharing the toys, trying to make sure there are enough resources so that a child does not have to wait too long for their turn and using a sand timer as an aid to taking turns when necessary.
  • Give lots of praise and attention for efforts and achievement and reward behaviour that we want such as kindness and a willingness to share. Rewards will be immediate, meaningful to the child, small and varied from time to time. They may include verbal praise such as “Thank you for picking up toys”, a smile, a ‘thumbs up’, a sticker or the opportunity to perhaps choose a story or special activity.
  • When handling inconsiderate behaviour we will help children to find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of development. Such solutions might include for example, acknowledgement of feelings, an explanation as to what was not acceptable and what the child should have done or said when they got it wrong. It will always be made clear to the child that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome.
  • Create a secure learning environment where all the children feel valued and welcome as part of the Wombatz community. Help them to develop their self-esteem by encouraging their attempts and interests and giving time to listen to each individual child.
  • Ensure that the setting, equipment and resources are in good order
    • Communicate with parents when the children have achieved during the day either verbally or through the blog but also involve parents when there is a cause for concern over a child’s behaviour.
    • We have a named person who has overall responsibility for issues concerning behaviour. In our setting this is Monique Cooper. We require her to

–          keep her/himself up-to-date with legislation, research and thinking on promoting positive behaviour and on handling children’s behaviour where it may require additional support;

–          access relevant sources of expertise on promoting positive behaviour within the programme for supporting personal, social and emotional development ; and

–          check that all staff have relevant in-service training on promoting positive behaviour. We keep a record of staff attendance at this training.

  • Not use techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children.
    • We use physical restraint, such as holding, only to prevent physical injury to children or adults and/or serious damage to property. Details of such an event are brought to the attention of our setting leader and are recorded in the child’s personal file.  The child’s parent is informed on the same day.
    • 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.


Unacceptable Behaviour

We understand that children misbehave because they have not learnt how to react to feelings and needs in acceptable ways. The most common needs and feelings that can trigger unacceptable behaviour are: attention, boredom, curiosity, imitation, self-preservation, independence, anger, frustration, anxiety, fear excitement and anticipation. Our children are very young and will display a range of behaviours at this age, most of which is to be expected for their age and in particular when they are new to our setting. Staff expect to deal with behaviour such as inappropriate shouting out, having a ‘tantrum’, snatching and walking away at tidy up time etc. However, at Little Wombatz we will not accept the following behaviours from children or adults:

  • Use of rude, inappropriate or unkind language
  • Hitting, kicking, biting, spitting or other such physical responses
  • Racist or sexist remarks
  • Any behaviour which is intended to cause hurt, offence or intimidation to another person


Our Approach for Managing Unacceptable Behaviour

In cases of serious misbehaviour we will make clear immediately to the child the unacceptability of the behaviour or attitudes by means of explanations rather than personal blame. Little Wombatz staff will always attempt to use non-confrontational language e.g. “When sand is thrown….” instead of “When YOU throw sand….” and will be careful to label the behaviour not the child e.g. saying “I don’t like it when….” or “It’s not okay to…..” Any repeated or persistent behaviour deemed as unacceptable will be recorded on an ABC form (See appendix 1). This will highlight what triggered the child to behave in an inappropriate manner, the behaviour that they displayed and how the situation was dealt with. The child’s Key Worker will inform the child’s parent(s) when they are collected. If the unacceptable behaviour continues the child’s Key Worker and the Manager or Designated Person for Behaviour Management in partnership with the child’s parents will try to find out why the child is behaving this way and then decide on the best strategies for supporting the child. In some cases this may involve an ICP (Individual Child Plan) or Behaviour Care Plan with specific targets related to behaviour


Little Wombatz Behaviour Steps


  1. 1.    Explanation
  • Explain to the child in a firm yet calm voice what is expected of them, keep it short
  • Encourage them to make it better
  • Re-join the child in an activity
  1. 2.    Reminder and Warning
  • Remind child of expected behaviour as above
  • Warn that if the behaviour continues they will be moved
  1. 3.    Moving
  •  Move the child to an activity close to you and away from others involved
  • Sit child quietly for a short period (it could be 30 seconds to 3 minutes) and encourage them to think about their behaviour. Sand timers can be used.
  • Encourage the child to apologise if appropriate at a level they feel comfortable with
  • Re-join the child in to an activity of their choosing.

If a child bites another child then a slightly different approach will be taken to reassure the bitten child. In this case the following will apply:


Behaviour Possible Reasons for behaviour Possible Adult Responses Other considerations
  • Possibly teething
  • In relation to turn taking/ sharing issues
  • Lack of personal space
  • Over excitement/ affection
  • Limited communication/ language skills
  • Sensory seeking
  1. Say ‘Childs name Stop/ no biting…(signs will support this) ” in a firm but calm voice (follow with what the child should have done instead e.g. “use words”, “waiting”, “say stop” “say help”etc.)
  2. Give lots of comfort to bitten child with minimal attention on child who has bitten (make sure someone is keeping an eye on them)
  3. Engage in an appropriate activity with minimal fuss, praise as soon as playing appropriately and specifically praise appropriate behaviour in response to known triggers.



As quick as is appropriate after the incident, support the child who bit to practice the skill they needed to use instead of biting e.g. turn taking, waiting, saying stop using words that the child can model.Support with regular turn taking activities/ games saying “my turn, Harry’s turn…” praise waiting, asking for a turn, giving a turn to another child. If child attempts to snatch say “(child’s name) waiting”  with sign and then repeat “Harry’s turn then….turn.” pointing to children- activities could include building a tower, playing skittles, getting ball in hoop, doing a puzzle.


Support language development (look at www.slc.cambridgeshire.nhs.uk/ for specific activities)