Emily Fox Task 4 – Behaviour Children need clear, consistent boundaries.

They will have to keep testing out boundaries that are not clear or consistent: they will check to see if it is still there, or if it can be moved; they will check to see if all the adults are keeping this boundary or only one. It is best to have just a few boundaries agreed to by everyone as a team, if at all possible. It helps the children to feel secure. When boundaries are set they need to be explained to the children. If a child oversteps the boundary, it is important that the child does not feel worthless or disliked for what has been done. This is avoided by criticising the child’s actions rather than the child themselves. Children often model themselves, both consciously ad unconsciously, on the adults around them and copy what they say. Teachers need to be very careful what messages they give to children through their own behaviour. In particular, they should try to avoid any activity that might encourage stereotyping. Stereotyping is the expectation people may have of themselves and others, based on age, gender, race or disability. Stereotyping can damage children’s development and self-esteem in many ways. It can stop children from achieving their full potential, because they believe that they can or cannot do something because of a stereotype. For example, gender stereotyping can make children behave in certain ways that they think is expected of them: girls are always expected to be caring and gentle, boys boisterous and adventurous.

Theories on Behaviour. Different people have different theories on how children learn to behave. The three most common are: -Behaviourist Theory -Social Learning Theory -Self-fulfilling Prophecy Theory Behaviourist Theory. Developed by B.F.Skinner, based on the idea that if good behaviour is recognised and rewarded, children will learn that it is acceptable and will repeat it. Rewards are called Positive Reinforcers and can be things such as attention from teachers, praise, a treat, a sticker and so on. However, children can sometimes use unacceptable behaviour to attract attention – this should be ignored. This is called Negative Reinforcement. Good behaviour = praise, attention, treat = Good behaviour Social Learning Theory. Developed by Albert Bandura, suggests that children learn to behave by watching and copying what happens around them. Self-fulfilling Prophecy Theory. Suggests that the way adults think about their children will influence how the children behave. This theory holds that negative labelling of children can be harmful.

Parents and teachers can help children to learn and show ‘wanted’ behaviour by: -staying calm -creating a positive atmosphere and environment where children can see and feel that they are important and valued -being a good role model -praising and rewarding wanted behaviour and ignoring unwanted behaviour -having realistic expectations of children, depending on their age and stage of development -being consistent in what is acceptable and unacceptable -setting clear guidelines and boundaries about what is acceptable -letting children know they are loved, unconditionally -being consistent in using any sanctions -treating all children equally Handling unwanted behaviour. It takes a long time for children to learn how to control their feelings and to ‘behave’, it is sometimes impossible for them to do so. Often, sudden changes in children’s lives can affect their behaviour – sometimes it may be something as simple as tiredness. How much their behaviour is affected will depend on their age, their level of understanding and the attitudes and support of the adults around them.

Positive images. Children need positive images of themselves to be reflected in the social behaviour of the staff in the setting. Discriminatory practice by children or adults that gives children negative labels of any kind, even if these are not conveyed directly to the child, but in the way that the staff talks about the child, damages social and emotional development, and results in difficult behaviour and poor social skills. This means that expressions of anger and frustration, tiredness or hunger through temper tantrums and aggressive acts by a child need to be dealt with sensitively by staff. Managing children’s behaviour. Children often do not realise when they are doing something unacceptable. They need help in order to understand when something is inappropriate. There are three main approaches to behaviour management.
1.

Using punishment as revenge. This unacceptable approach means that ‘what you do to me, I will do to you’. I.e. if you hit me, I will hit you. Children who are often smacked often then hit other children, usually those younger or smaller than themselves. They are imitating the fact that big adults smack small children.

2. Using a deterrent in order to manage children’s behaviour. This can be seen as ‘emergency action’. A deterrent will put someone off doing something. There are various ways of putting children off doing things that we do not want them to do. -Behaviour Modification. The adult may say to the child, ‘If you open that cupboard, you will not have any sweets’. This is negative reinforcement: the punishment or threat of it puts the child off. On the other

hand, the adult might say, ‘If you don’t open that cupboard, you can have some sweets’. This is positive reinforcement: it rewards good behaviour. The child does the right thing in order to get the reward. The problem here is that the child is doing the right thing only to get the reward, and not because they believe in what they are doing. Adults can certainly encourage children to do what they want them to do through giving rewards and positively reinforcing what they do. The problem is that this does not make them think about why they want to do things; it doesn’t have a longterm effect. Time Out. The adult might say to the child, ‘If you scribble on the books again, you will have to sit on the “Time Out” chair.’ This may work in a classroom but in a different situation, i.e. staying with grandparents; it may not put the child off drawing on the walls. It only deters the child from scribbling in the books at school, where the “Time Out” chair is. Sometimes children are punished some time after the event, i.e. ‘You disrupted the class this morning so you can’t go out to play after lunch’. This only works with older children as younger ones do not connect what they did earlier with what is being done to them now.
3.

Managing children’s behaviour in ways which focus on reform. The kind of behaviour-management strategies which help children to develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and morally are those which focus on reform. Revenge does not work.

Deterrents do not have lasting effects once they wear off: they only contain the situation. They do not move the child on in development and learning. For example: Jody hits Amanda. The adult says to Jody, ‘Amanda is crying because that hurt’. ‘What happened? She took your toy? Did you Amanda? (Amanda nods) Next time Jody, try saying ‘It’s mine’ Then she will know how you feel’. This approach signals to Amanda that she must not snatch a toy, but it also allows her to find a way out with dignity. It also gives Jody the words she needs to use instead of hitting. It rejects what both children did but does not reject either child. It helps both children to have some ideas of how to tackle the situation next time. This is punishment as reform, and it will help the children both to think about moral matters and to develop self-discipline. It helps the children to look at the result of what they do. Research shows that from about 3 years of age, children begin to feel guilt and shame about the things they do. The way adults respond to what they have done will lead to either positive or negative self-esteem. Children learn from their relationships with adults and other children who are close to them, gradually widening the circle of people who can help them to learn socially. However, they cannot learn about social behaviour if they do not understand what is done to them. That is why a focus on reform rather than on revenge or deterrent is more effective long-term. The social behaviour of children and the social behaviour of adults who work with them. -Children need to understand, express and deal with their feelings

-They need to develop positive relationships with people -Children feel things deeply, and they need a great deal of help in coming to terms with their emotions. Feelings are hard to deal with -Helping children to express and deal with their feelings constructively and positively is probably one of the most important things an adult can do if children are to feel they matter and are valued and respected -Remember to work as a team and decide together on what is unacceptable behaviour and how to deal with it. Behaviour policies should always use positive images of the child as a starting point. Negative images, for example that of a bully, can be made positive through visualisation techniques. The bully then becomes a child who needs help to become assertive without being aggressive -It is important that adults working with young children be guided by a child’s personality. What helps one child might not help another. Every child is different -Adults need to remember that all children need: -personal space -one-to-one attention -friends -to feel part of the group -to feel secure

The extracts which follow are taken from Northlands Junior School’s Policy for – ‘Positive Behaviour’. At Northlands Junior School we aim to follow the principles with regards to promoting good behaviour and discipline -That the school should provide a safe, welcoming and challenging environment where pupils, staff and parents feel their contribution is valued; -That the relationship between pupils, parents and staff is based on mutual respect and consideration both of which are crucial to good behaviour and discipline; -That pupils are enabled to take full advantage of the educational and social opportunities available and have a high but realistic expectation of themselves; -That the ethos of hard work, expectations and ambition of staff for pupils will raise achievement; -All members of the school community work towards achieving the above aims. What We Do To Encourage Good Behaviour -We make clear our expectations of good behaviour -We discourage unsociable behaviour by promoting mutual respect -We encourage children to take responsibility for their own actions and behaviour -We set through example standards of behaviour

-We praise good behaviour both privately and publicly -Maintain a whole school system of sanctions and rewards. The school aims to develop self-esteem in all children. Staff praise children regularly and encourage them to be positive about their own and each other’s achievements. Praise is highly motivating providing it is not easily earned. Staff use a whole school system of credits and credit cards which leads to Golden Time to acknowledge good behaviour. Outstanding work, actions or achievements are recognised by entry in the ‘Gold Book’ which is shared with the whole school every Friday. Children need opportunities to develop and understand the consequences of their actions and its impact on others. They are helped to reflect on their own behaviour and to develop an understanding of the feelings of others. Strategies we use in the classroom to promote positive behaviour -Careful about seating arrangements-who sits with who -Try and defuse situations as soon as they start -Flexibility in terms of planning, making changes if for example the mood/weather conditions are bad -Getting to know the children – ‘how to’ and ‘how not to’ handle a particular child -Having a sense of humour -Encouraging an acceptable noise level -Setting the children time limits to complete work, get changed etc. -Selecting behaviour to be changed – ignoring bad behaviour -Interacting with children personally

-Using other adults effectively -Strategies to gain attention i.e. ‘Give me 5’ Strategies We Use When A Child Misbehaves Most children respond to the above ethos and the supportive caring environment which the school provides. However, occasionally a child’s behaviour causes disruption and affects adversely their own education and that of other children. If a child displays inappropriate behaviour consistently, consultation is arranged between the Headmaster, class teacher and parents, so that an attempt can be made to correct the matter. Parents are asked to support the school and some form of a ‘behaviour diary’ or telephone/weekly meeting system may be used in the rare cases where a problem persists. It may also be appropriate for a ‘behaviour plan’ to be drawn up. In extreme cases, children who persistently misbehave at lunchtime may be excluded for the period of the lunch break. A fresh start every day Children who have been in trouble will be given the opportunity to make a fresh start every day. It is important for them to know that the trouble of the previous day will not be held against them the following day. Golden Time Golden time is a reward for keeping the Moral values that are central to the school’s ethos. These are displayed around the school and in classrooms. They are referred to throughout the school, in assembly and by all members of the school community. The Gold represents emotional wealth and well being.

PSPs/Positive Handling Plans Pupils whose behaviour continues to be challenging/disruptive over a period of time should be (with their parent’s agreement) placed on a PSP/IEP and for there to be close liaison between home, school and outside agencies. A CMP may also be written by all staff concerning a particular individual. Strategies used to manage their behaviour will be discussed and agreed with the SENCO, Deputy Head, class teacher/s, pupil and the pupils’ parents. If it is considered that a pupil may need to be restrained due to their behaviour difficulties then a Positive Handling Plan should be discussed and agreed with parents. Other Issues Pupils with Special Needs with behaviour which at times is not acceptable The support given includes:-being given assistance in the classroom -an understanding by the class teacher and LSA of the needs of the child -where appropriate, the use of individual behavioural programme for school -where appropriate, the use of individual behavioural programme for home/school -where appropriate, the use of a behavioural chart -close collaboration with parents

-involving outside agencies, Educational Psychologist, Child and Family Consultation Services, Social Services -use of mentors -use of a CMP Strategies for Recording and Reporting Records of Development in Behaviour kept for each child may contain:-a record of progress recorded for the appropriate period -notes of meetings with parents -a record of incidents -individual behaviour plans

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