Behaviour policy

Acorn Children’s Club emphasises children’s freedom as much as possible. We aim to provide a warm, relaxed, stimulating and orderly environment for children to feel comfortable within their surroundings and within their own self. In doing this the diversity of social and cultural backgrounds, the feelings and views of all children, parents and carers will be valued and respected.

Whilst freedom is emphasised, at Acorn we believe in the importance of setting boundaries that children must understand and follow, for their own safety and for that of all the children attending the club. We aim to do this in a way which will help each child develop a sense of the consequences of their behaviour.

Any restrictions on the child’s natural desire to explore and develop their own ideas are kept to a minimum. We always praise and reinforce positive behaviour before using sanctions. When it is necessary to use sanctions, any sanctions given take into consideration the child’s age and stage of development.

What we do to promote acceptable behaviour

  1. We make clear our expectations of behaviour with our Golden Rules.
  2. We praise good behaviour privately and publicly.
  3. We promote respect for each other and equipment.
  4. We set good standards through our own example.
  5. We give rewards such as stickers, certificates and sometimes treats and outings.

Worker’s responsibilities

  1. To treat all children fairly and with respect.
  2. Listen to and value the feelings of all children staff and parents alike.
  3. To help raise the children’s self esteem independence and self value.
  4. To support the children to make the right choices.
  5. To help children become aware of the consequences of their behaviour. To encourage good behaviour
  6. To recognise that each child is an individual and be aware of that child’s needs.
  7. To foster good relations with parents/carers and other site users.
  8. Be aware of factors that contribute to different behavioural patterns.
  9. To have a positive and friendly attitude and be positive role models.
  10. To handle any behavioural issues in accordance with the clubs confidentiality regulations.

Child’s Responsibility

Children should:

  1. Treat staff and other children with respect.
  2. Take responsibility for their behaviour and actions.
  3. Listen to and follow the instructions of Acorn Staff.
  4. Co-operate with other children and adults.
  5. Take care of the club’s equipment and surrounding environment.
  6. Be responsible for their belongings. Acorn cannot be responsible for children leaving their belongings at the club.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour

  1. Physical aggression: hitting, kicking, smacking, biting, slapping or any other form of physical harm, damage to equipment or toys.
  2. Verbal aggression: swearing or verbal abuse.
  3. Anti-social or discriminating remarks: name calling, bullying, teasing or any other act of discrimination.
  4. Intimidation or manipulation: child to child, adult to child or child to adult.

Golden Rules

  1. We are gentle, we do not hurt others
  2. We are kind and helpful
  3. We listen
  4. We are honest
  5. We work hard
  6. We look after property

What we do when a rule is broken

  1. Every child should be talked to respectfully.
  2. When an incident is between two or more children, each child will be listened to and allowed to express their feelings.
  3. All feelings are accepted but some behaviour may not be. This must be made clear to the children.
  4. Children will be given a verbal warning if they break a golden rule.
  5. If the behaviour continues after the verbal warning, a five or ten minutes (as seen as appropriate by the staff) ‘time out’ will be given to children when deemed necessary (egg timers may be used). This gives a child time to reflect on their behaviour or to calm down when feelings have got out of control.
  6. Staff should make sure they are monitoring children at ‘time out’.
  7. If a situation arises whereby a child is in such distress that their behaviour is endangering themselves or any of the other children then a member of staff may offer the child protective care. This would be recorded and reported to the parent at the earliest opportunity.
  8. In the event of persistent misbehaviour. The child should be referred to the manager or deputy.
  9. Incidents that are felt necessary to be reported to parents will be written down on a white incident report form and staff will discuss with the parent/carer on collection. In the event that a child receives five incident forms in one term, then parents will be expected to meet with Acorn staff to discuss the behavioural problems.
  10. Serious incidents, such as violent behaviour, will be written on a red incident card and given to the parent on collection. If a child receives two of these cards then the parent will be expected to meet with the staff to discuss the behaviour.
  11. These meetings may result in a child being excluded from the club temporarily or permanently.


We take bullying very seriously. Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children. It is characterised by intent to hurt, often planned, and accompanied by an awareness of the impact of the bullying behaviour.

If a child bullies another child or children:

  1. We show the children who have been bullied that we are able to listen to their concerns and act upon them;
  2. We intervene to stop the child who is bullying from harming the other child or children;
  3. We explain to the child doing the bullying why her/his behaviour is not acceptable;
  4. We give reassurance to the child or children who have been bullied;
  5. We help the child who has done the bullying to recognise the impact of their actions;
  6. We make sure that children who bully receive positive feedback for considerate behaviour and are given opportunities to practise and reflect on considerate behaviour;
  7. We do not label children who bully as ‘bullies’;
  8. We recognise that children who bully may be experiencing bullying themselves, or be subject to abuse or other circumstance causing them to express their anger in negative ways towards others;
  9. We recognise that children who bully are often unable to empathise with others and for this reason we do not insist that they say sorry unless it is clear that they feel genuine remorse for what they have done. Empty apologies are just as hurtful to the bullied child as the original behaviour;
  10. We discuss what has happened with the parents of the child who did the bullying and work out with them a plan for handling the child’s behaviour; and
  11. We share what has happened with the parents of the child who has been bullied, explaining that the child who did the bullying is being helped to adopt more acceptable ways of behaving.

Parent/Carer’s Responsibilities and Code of Conduct

  1. To be aware of the rules and expectations of the club.
  2. To share information with staff on your child’s development, health and wellbeing.
  3. To let us know if someone else is collecting your child and give them a password.
  4. To collect your child on time – if you are going to be unavoidably late then please contact the club to let them know
  5. To direct any worries, concerns or complaints to the club’s coordinator/deputy, arranging a meeting if required
  6. To make your children aware of what is acceptable behaviour.
  7. To encourage independence and self-discipline.
  8. To show interest in what their children do.
  9. To foster good relations with the club.
  10. To support the club in the implication of this policy.

Please refrain from:

  1. Shouting at, smacking or physically punishing your child, or any other children, whilst in the club.
  2. Using inappropriate language or displaying aggressive or threatening behaviour towards the staff, children or other parents/carers either in person, or on the phone, text message, email or in writing.
  3. Collecting your child after the consumption of alcohol, medication or other substances that have affected your judgement or responses.
  4. Discussing sensitive issues within hearing distance of your child, or other children.
  5. Taking photos or video recordings of children, other than your own.