The behaviour of children at Griffin House is typically excellent. Whilst we, of course, do have instances of typical playground difficulties and school is a place where children learn how to deal with conflict and disagreement in a safe and caring environment, our children are thoughtful, considerate and kind.
A great deal of thought and effort goes in to creating an environment at Griffin House, which precludes bullying and deals effectively with issues that arise. Over the next few weeks we will share some of the practices throughout the school that create such a strong anti-bullying ethos at school, starting this week with the Early Years.
In Pre School we recognise that very young children are ‘egocentric’ which means that they put their own feelings before others, and even the most considerate child will have the occasional outburst due to frustration, anger or over exuberance.
In Early Years we support children in this area within our Personal, Social and Emotional development, to nurture and encourage the children to recognise and understand their feelings, to support them during play in managing their behaviours and to encourage them to use their ‘words’ to express their frustrations and resolve disputes. We also use story time and circle activities to develop relationships with other children using a set of resources developed by playdate pals, a useful springboard to scaffold their learning.
Mrs Lacey & Mrs Walford
In the Early Years, young children experiment with many different ways of behaving. Some good – for example, being kind to their friends, helping others, sharing – and some not quite so good – making mean faces, grabbing objects, pushing others. These unkind actions are very normal, but need to be addressed quickly so they don’t manifest into bullying.
Within the Reception day, there are lots of opportunities for the children to discuss their actions with their peers and learn about what good and bad behaviour is. Circle Time discussions happen daily, mostly at the end of each day when the children are encouraged to reflect on their day at school, but more often than not, when an incident occurs at playtime which needs addressing.
During their “P.S.E.” (Personal, Social and Emotional) lessons, the children are introduced to six “Golden Rules”:
- We work hard, we don’t waste time.
- We are honest; we don’t cover up the truth.
- We are gentle, we don’t hurt others.
- We listen, we don’t interrupt.
- We look after property, we don’t damage things.
We are kind and helpful; we don’t hurt anybody’s feelings.Each rule is introduced through a story, which is set in a school. Each story introduces a different school scenario in which the animal characters – Zelda Zebra, Gino Giraffe, Elsa Elephant, Alfred Alligator and Mona Monkey – show how and why it is important to follow the “Golden Rules”.
The rules are reinforced at assembly time, when each story is shared with the lower school. The children are encouraged to think about how they can demonstrate each “Golden rule” during the school day. Lots of positive praise and house points awarded encourages the children to reflect these rules in their daily interaction with their peers.
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