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Picking up and moving unruly children.

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Coffeeandcake1, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. He everyone,
    I am moving to Reception this coming year. Very excited about the move & can't wait to get stuck in with the playdo, sand etc!
    Firstly, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who comments & creates threads on the forums - reading other people's posts this summer has been a hugely invaluable souce of info.
    Secondly, I have one BIG worry which is about how to handle children who flat out refuse to follow instructions. We have no nursery in our school, so the children come in a little 'untrained.' As we are one form entry there is quite a lot of pressure to quickly bring their behaviour up to the standard expected.
    The current reception teacher (whose advice I would usually trust implicitly) has told me that sometimes children will refuse to do things such as go to time out (rather glamorously called the 'thinking corner') / come in at the end of play and that no amount of sanctions will move them. In such a case she will pick them up and move them herself.
    Not being used to working with such little children the idea of moving a child by force fills me with concern. However, perhaps it is different for the little uns? Perhaps its all part and parcel of communication & discipline? Would you pick a child up and move them if they refuse to go?
    Hope I can get the take of some experienced practioners on this topic,
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Yes, a thorny one. You need to get advice from your HT, because if you do handle a child it needs to be in accordance with school and LA policy. There should be a policy covering physical intervention at your school. Read the EYFS (in statutory section) about behaviour management. I believe that allows physical intervention if child is in danger of harming themselves or others. But check it up. I have picked up a child (v. young - nursery class) who refused to go into dinner, after trying various other strategies. Then I wrote down what happened in the incident book, and told parent at home time. I was confident that this child would not wriggle, or kick, or run back into the class.
    Problem is that it can escalate things -eg carry child to time out, child then won't stay there, what next?
    Another problem - protect yourself - from allegations, and from possible physical injury. Even a small child can cause a lot of damage when kicking and hitting out.

  3. Your alternatives:
    TA to watch child outside or wherever, making sure child is safe. Talk quietly to child later. Inform parents at home time.
    If things are really bad inform senior staff - it might be necessary for them to make a decision about calling parents in. Repeated bad behaviour - discuss with SENCO (keep a diary of incidents).
    Give child choices eg Go to thinking chair or sit next to TA.
    Continued refusal, "You haven't done what you have been asked to do. We will talk about it later when you are calm". If necessary move other children away from child, change your plans (calmly) to remove any threat to discipline/ order. Go back to it later quietly and in privacy, make sure child does as asked then. If not, go back again later until child has complied.
    Make sure rules in the classroom are clear and known to all children and appeal to rules rather than trying to use anger (if you see what I mean). The rule say that if you do x, then y happens. Ask the other children about the rule - what do they think should happen next - this can sometimes take the wind out of 'offender's' sails.
    Have an arrangement with another teacher about bringing a child to their class if necessary (of course, if child refuses to go, you still have to deal with it - but it can be useful as part of any choice you offer).
  4. Thanks Thumbie,

    You've just summed up all of my concerns exactly! The previous teacher is fantastic with behaviour management and I usually trust her judgement completely but as you say, these things have a way of escalating (and if you're unlucky, of blowing up in your face!)
    As you say, perhaps time to ask the HT to clarify exactly what she would advise/sanction. I asked her before the summer and she was very vague and rather avoided the question. Will try to pin her down a bit more & ask for a copy of the Behaviour policy.
  5. PS - thanks for the suggested alternatives. They all sound very sensible & much more in keeping with what I have experience of in KS1 & KS2!
  6. Personally I wouldn't handle a child at all. Your school and head might say one thing but if she/he pulls away and hurts themselves you'll yourself friendless very quickly. Would you 'move' a year 6 child against their will? For your sake just let them sulk it out afetr all they are only 4.
  7. hurny

    hurny New commenter

    I agree with Thumbie's advice about the school policy.
    This is a very difficult situation as the government have been a bit wishy-washy as to what we can legally do.
    Here's a document about using reasonable force, but it is only 'advice', not law.
    My school's policy is only the people who have received team teach training should be handling children and only in situations where the child will harm him/herself, others or equipment.

  8. Thanks everyone, I was worried that I was being over cautious but as you say, this seems to be an issue where you have to tread carefully. It sounds like force or restraint should only be used in really quite extreme situations, not just because someone's having a strop.
    And as you say, I would never dream of picking up a Year 6 or trying to move them by force (unless they were a danger to themselves or others) as it would just seem like the wrong way to resolve the situation (plus they are usually very heavy!)
  9. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    We do it in pairs holding one armpit and arm each and sort of walk them to it. Saves your back and less likely to trip and hurt child. The only choice we we give them is the "right one" ie if you dont do as I ask you will go on time out etc if you do as I ask we will all be happy and get to do fun things now are you going to make the right choice? Thank you for making the right choice. It's all done very calmly and with calm but firm voices. If you do go down the route of watching a child not coming in from play etc, which I have done but in my setting is very time and adult consuming due to the numbers and extremes of EBD children we have, there has to be a consequence even if they eventually come in.
    I have to say that we get far quicker results with physically moving to time out if need be rather than the watching or negotiating methods. They quickly learn you mean business. Obviously there has to be staff training and a policy and procedure guidance. A child with EBD using the less physical methods typically took a term or more to settle, now they generally take 2 weeks.
    I agree that it should not be used for strops etc but extreme behaviour. We use an egg timer on our time out and it is switched over when the child has stopped stropping. We find our children decide themselves when they are back in control of their emotions and will turn the egg timer over themselves to start when they have calmed down. They then usually come and tell us when it has finished and ask if they can go and play or even go upto the child they have smacked to say sorry without prompting. My children are nursery but the reception and KS1 teachers employ the same methods.
  10. fulloffun

    fulloffun New commenter

    I have been teaching reception children for many years and last year was the 'worst' as far as children starting school who would not do as they were asked.(small school children come from 10 different feeder settings).eg,One particular child would lie on the floor when the rest of the class were sitting listening to a story ,he would then want to be 'first' and sulk by lying down across the walk way if he was not chosen......you can ignore this behaviour and we (myself and TA) did for quite a while but the behaviour needs to be changed,for the child and the rest of the class so cajoling .enticing etc we have done it all.BUT there have been times when his refusal to do has resulted in myself or TA or HT moving him physically.
    I have a carpet square for time out and generally I only have to look at a child and point at the carpet square with a sad look on my face for them to know they have 4 mins time out...or I lead them there holding their hand.
    You say thatyou would usually trust the current reception teacher implicitly ,well I am sure she does what she needs to do,the Ht will be well aware of what she is doing too...I tell my HT exactly what is going on and ask for her to get involved with children whose behaviours are not what we want.
  11. If you are going to follow advice of above two posters please make sure you have full backing of HT, and that it is written down as a matter of policy. Also, please look at EYFS for what it says about handling children, make sure the HT is also aware of it. Do not take the responsibility on yourself. Do not tell the HT after the event, make sure there is clear understanding from the word go (although still tell them afterwards as well).
  12. My advice would be to keep a written record each time you have to physically move a child. You might want to ask about some PPI training and you should always make sure that there are 2 of you (ie have a witness) You must make sure that you cover yourself at all times!!
  13. I think an important thing to consider with this type of bad behaviour in Early Years is would it be accepted higher up the school and the answer is probably 'no'. I put up with outrageous behaviour last year from one particular child the problem being that advice about how to deal with her was scant and seemed to excuse her behaviuor because of her age; which I do understand but a child who you begin to pussyfoot around because you just can't take another full blown episode; who kicks you so hard that you need an x-ray to determine if your badly bruised hand is actually broken and who deliberately thows brick, chairs and scissors at you is intolerable.
    I'm not a soft touch or inexperienced but SLT didn't feel the behaviour policy was appropriate for such a young child and refused to believe that a 3 year old could not be managed by firm words and a calm but determined approach. It was only when I refused to deal with the refusals and associated threatening behaviour and brought them down to deal with itthat I got any support and a policy was developed that respected staff and children.
    I suppose what I'm trying to say is that trying to respond to each individual child's needs is sometimes counter productive and a good detailed and well thought out policy that sets out what is acceptable and what is not and consequences BEFORE you meet the challenging child is essential.
  14. Ibuzzybea

    Ibuzzybea Occasional commenter

    it's a pickle of a situation to unpick sometimes, esspecially when it's the "done thing" in a setting. Here is the EYFS standpoint on it (sorry if someone has already posted the statement.
    "Physical intervention should only be used to manage a child?s behaviour if it is necessary to prevent personal injury to the child, other children or an adult, to prevent serious damage to a property or what would reasonably regarded as exceptional circumstances. Any occasion where physical intervention is used to manage a child?s behaviour should be recorded and parents should be informed about it on the same day." Reference: Statutory Framework for the EYFS page 28. May 2008
  15. We had a fantastic training day with the guys from http://www.team-teach.co.uk/.It really opened my eyes up to how to restrain a child and how we shouldn't put ourselves in danger let alone the children.
  16. Ah, thanks everyone,
    Lots of different opinions but the important thing is that I can see its not a simple issue, which gives me confidence to go and see the HT and our Learning Mentor (who is from the PRU and is usually very up on the legal side of things, as well as having a bit more idea than the HT about what actually goes on in classrooms) at the start of term and discuss it with them without feeling totally green. If you'd have laughed me off the forum I'd have known I was making a fuss over nothing! Am still hoping the problem doesn't arise though, and its reassuring to know that some teachers have never / only rarely found it to be an issue which arises.

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