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East Preston Infant School

East Preston Infant School

Therapeutic Thinking: Our Approach to Positive Behaviour

Therapeutic Thinking:

Our approach to supporting children's emotional literacy and positive behaviour

At EPIS we are a committed to a ‘Therapeutic Thinking’ approach to behaviour, which complements our ethos to ‘be the best that we can be’. Our emphasis is on teaching and promoting pro-social behaviour that enables all children to achieve their potential and develop academically, socially and emotionally, thereby approaching the children’s development with a holistic mind-set. We have high expectations of all our children, both in relation to their education, and for their behaviour.

Therapeutic Thinking starts with building caring and empathetic relationships, where staff know the children well and treat them as individuals. It also involves the creation of a positive classroom by providing a calm and safe learning environment, in order that children feel more secure and are better able to regulate their emotions. This, in turn, supports children to be ready for learning.

Staff promote pro-social behaviours through the development of positive relationships with the children, building self-esteem through recognition and praise, providing positive learning experiences, and developing emotional literacy to support self-regulation.

You can find out more about how we promote and acknowledge pro-social behaviours within our Therapeutic Behaviour policy.

What are pro-social behaviours?

Prosocial behaviour is defined as behaviour which is positive, helpful and values social acceptance. It benefit’s other people or society as a whole. At East Preston Infant School we apply a consistent approach which supports all children to have behaviours for learning and pro-social behaviours that benefit the school and wider community.

Children need to be taught to behave in a way which is pro-social and we recognise that this can be challenging for some. Where this is the case we personalise their learning about pro-social behaviours and our responses to their unsocial or antisocial behaviours, whilst they develop the strategies and tools needed for them to be able to regulate and respond in a pro-social way.

A ‘Therapeutic Thinking’ approach is not about treating everybody the same, it’s about giving equity to achieve equality.

Equality is about treating everybody the same regardless. Equity is about giving everyone what they need to be successful.

We aim to provide equality by providing the same prosocial experiences for all children and equity by differentiating support and resourcing to remove any barriers.

You can find out more about how we respond to unsocial and antisocial behaviours within our Therapeutic Behaviour policy.

Click on the links below to find out more about our approach

Bullying - A Definition

In recent years the term bullying has frequently featured in the media and, as a result, unkind behaviour is often mistakenly labelled as bullying. Incidents of bullying are extremely rare in young children and the minor conflicts that arise between them are seldom premeditated.

Bullying is a wilful, conscious desire to persistently and systematically hurt, threaten or frighten someone else. Rough play or occasional fights can be mistaken for bullying and so it is important for everyone to understand what is meant by the term.

We take all concerns about poor behaviour very seriously and investigate them thoroughly.  Below is a definition of bullying taken from our Anti-Bullying Policy (the full Policy can be viewed below):

Bullying can be defined as repeatedly:

  • hurting others on purpose
  • making others do things they do not want to do
  • hurting the feelings of others

Bullying can be:

  • Physical – hitting, kicking, taking belongings
  • Verbal – name calling, insulting, making offensive or racist remarks
  • Indirect – spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social group

Bullying is not tolerated. If a report of bullying should occur, or if a parent, or child, expressed concerns to the headteacher or another member of staff, the following procedures would be applied:

1. All reports or concerns would be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

2. The school would establish a monitoring programme to observe and assess the situation and all relevant staff would be informed.

3. If anti-social behaviour, or bullying was observed, the agreed Behaviour Management procedures would be applied immediately. Parents would be consulted and informed of the action taken.

4. In very extreme cases, if an incident of bullying could not be resolved by applying the Behaviour Management procedures, this would then be referred to the school governors and the West Sussex guidelines, for exclusion of the child to be considered.

The West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board (WSSCB) has a website which has sections for parents and carers as well as children and is packed with information and advice including how to cope with bullying and online abuse. Click on the link to be redirected to their