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Hi,

I dont know if anyone can help. In our nursery we have a lovely morning session. Most children are on task and operate independently. The children are progressing and make me feel that everything is wonderful.

 

Then comes the afternoon!!!!

 

We have an extremely high ratio of boys to girls. At least 6 of these boys display extreme behaviours such as weeing on other children, wiping mud all over coats, shouting incoherently everytime asked to do anything, 3 are from a local childminder group and they are used to ganging together to get their own way (if they are not fighting). We have three other children with SEN and with support and one new girl just empties everything on the carpet (compost, porridge, water, flour, playdoh etc), or she cuts anything she can get hold of, as soon as no-one is looking, and displays no emotion when spoken to. We have a lot of children with very poor speaking and listening skills including 4 who actually cannot be understood unless we know the context. It is extremely difficult as we seem to be looking out for particular children all the time and the actual teaching and learning is coming second. In group time it is more about behaviour management than doing activities. We have a behaviour management policy but it doesnt seem to help much when we have so many to deal with. I really feel that the children who are good and who listen are really losing out as we are having to devote too much time to undesirable behaviour. This is made worse when we can see what it is like in the mornings. This is the worst cohort we have ever had as far as the number of children and the range of poor behaviour is concerned and we are struggling to get on top of it. There are some times when all the children are on task but there is still a lot more noise - which I can cope with. But more often than not we are monitoring and finding things for certain children to do.

 

Can anybody help?

Sue

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Guest tinkerbell

If the children are having a good morning session what is triggering the bad behaviour in the afternoon?

Have they lost their concentration after trying hard to be good in the morning?

Are they winding up over the lunch hour?

I teach R/yr1 and the lunch time the dinner ladies do bring in my boys who have been fighting etc .This upsets me cos they do try hard in class in the morning.Once I have sorted them out we do try and have a positive start to the afternoon , its my year1 boys who are very physical.I sometimes think lunchtime is too long to be outside without 'focused' activities.I have just asked the class3 teacher (yr3/4) if some of his children could buddy up with my boys to help them play nicely at lunch.....first day today aparantly my boys were not really keen on the help.

Plan B I may do some sort of reward for good lunch time eg 5 mins on the computer.?

Susie i know you are nursery but I think your problem is universal when the balance of boys tips the equilibrium .My problem has just started because my 3 yr1 boys were ok I had them sorted until a new yr1 boy joined us 2 weeks ago...he fights,lies,puts things in his pockets and has upset the whole class.he pushes past and the others retaliate and now my other 3 are beginning to join in especially at lunch time when I am not there.

Good luck Tinkerbellx

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Good luck Susie.

 

I agree with Tinkerbell though, i think that this is a universal problem. You get one or two more 'energetic' children (usually boys - no sexisim intended!) and the rest follow. Boys do seem to club together and copy each other.

 

I;m in a nursery with a group along those lines, two very 'energetic' boys, and four or five who copy the behaviour and you end up telling off half the group, whilst the rest are waiting beautifully. Very dificult situation.

 

Do you use any reward methods? Star charts, star tree, stickers, star board for parents to see who has been good, etc ...

 

If you have tried/ are trying in vain with rewarding and promoting the good behaviour why don't you call in your local Early Years consultant/SENCo and ask them for some advice, i've always found the East Dorset ones brilliant for support and guidance!

 

Anyway, am off to bed, have taken eight children on a bus trip this afternoon and am exhausted! Was great fun though :D:o

 

Good Luck,

 

Lu

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Tinker bell we have different children in the morning and the afternoon as they are part time. I know what we are providing is stimulating and varied which is shown by the calm and purposeful activity in the mornings. It's just that a lot of the afternoon children seem to just enjoy throwing things about or generally being disruptive. We have done all the usual rewards/sanctions, involving parents etc but this year just seems to be especially difficult.

 

We seem to have so many this year already on the SEN register and I dont think most of these issues are necessarily SEN (except speech issues but we all know how long it takes to get speech therapy) There are just a lot of strange behaviours

 

We do have some money in the pot for training so I might see if we can get someone in to discuss the specific issues we are facing. Our part time (non teaching) head teacher is also part time at the local infant school so it will be in her best interests to support us now as she will have them all next year in her reception class lol

Thanks for replying

Sue

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Would you be able to split the children? Could some of the more disruptive change to morning sessions? Are you in a setting where you could chanel their energies into more physical activities, with adult supervision? I was with a group of boys a few days ago who were being told off for throwing the play food, so I gave them a couple of baskets and some small cushions, we added some paper and pens to record who had got a 'basket' and everyone was happy. :D

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Susie, I'm not sure I have any answers. But if this particular group of children need a lot of work with behaviour and PSE type issues then you should not feel that you are not teaching them anything. Other learning can not take place until they are secure.

 

I have always found the dynamics of the afternoon group to be different from the morning, children are tired, and the overload of boys always changes the dynamics of the group too. What have these children been doing in the morning? (you probably dont know that but the fact that you say 3 children are with a childminder maybe that they are not being active?) Can you change what you are offering to meet their needs, perhaps in a more physical way? Can you split your group so that the children who are ready to listen can have some time on their own?

 

Good luck.

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It does sound a particularly difficult cohort - makes our last year's sound quite good!

 

I think it's quite correct about it being a universal problem when there's a significant gender imbalance, especially of boys. I did some study on gender a while ago & I'd make 2 comments:

 

1) That they're of an age when they're exploring their gender role, & it will be coloured by things like peer group and role models :o

2) That power - and the desire for it - is significant, especially for boys. They'll fight to establish a hierarchy.

I don't mean to be crude, but the weeing on others' property reminds me of tomcats' territorial behaviour!

 

I don't have any answers other than to suggest you could possibly let the little girl work through this phase by providing materials it was Ok to tip out. I guess that will be difficult to address in a group with so many individual needs.

 

If it were me, I'd go back to my EYSS/Area SENCO, because last year she did us an in-house training session when we had a really difficult bunch, to ensure we had a consistent approach. It was in our own time, but there was no charge as it was part of her remit.

 

You have my full sympathy!!

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oh poor susie I dont envy you! xD

 

the way you discribe the children it make me wonder if the children have eaten loads of sweets and pop at lunch? unfortunatly you have no control over something like that!

 

I've had difficult behaviour in the past but never so many in one session it doesnt matter how many policies or years expereince you have each case is different and leaves you feel like pulling your hair out, I can imagine it is really draining.

 

last term we had a "gang" of girls (they were the oldest ready to go up to school and full of themselves) we did tackle some of our problems by identifying the ring leader and tackling her behaviour and watched the ripple affect on the rest of the gang but their behaviour wasnt any where near as bad as your problems you discribe.

 

keep up the good work and dont let the little b***ers grind you down :o they will eventually leaving for school

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Here's some more information. Most of our afternoon boys are born June onwards and so are very young (but they will still be going to reception this year). The childminders children are taken all over the place every morning and they walk every where and so they are shattered and grumpy when they come to nursery. One child with SEN has autism, another has multiple needs but these both have support. But another is functioning at the level of less than an 18 month old and although we have been informed that support is coming we are not likely to get it before Easter.

 

We have lots of things for the little girl to tip that's the problem, the sand ends up in the train boxes, the compost on the carpet in the home corner, the water well everywhere, the buttons in the compost tray etc. She has had very little experience of things at home and I think she just gets carried away. When we went on the home visit she was jumping on and off the coffee table and mum and dad did nothing. She loves cutting out but then starts cutting other children's pictures up whilst they are still working on them!

 

I actually had a really good day today. Two of my worst boys got stickers as they tried really hard and didnt hide under tables and didnt hurt anyone and they were soooooo pleased. I said to their mums "wow **** got a sticker today, make a fuss, show them how pleased you are" and they did!!! 6 children were off today including the little girl who had a temperature (shame) and another boy with potential ADHD was also away. Most of the other difficult ones were here but it was so much more manageable. More like a normal class lol.

 

I normally manage day to day but I think things just got to me this week. I have looked at their assessments and observations from when they started and all the children have made huge progress. So I am taking heart from that.

Thanks everyone for listening

Sue

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My Nursery set up is the same as yours and we have similar problems. We have different children in the afternoon and morning classes but they are both a mix of the same ages of children. We always find that the afternoon class is much more "lively" than the morning children. This has got to be partly due to the fact that the children are more tired, especially if they have been busy with their parents childminders in the morning. Also, as Alison says, you don't know what they've eaten during the morning - diet does have an incredible effect on some children's behaviour.

 

Another factor that we've discussed is that of course the staff may not be at their freshest in the afternoon. Maybe we react differently to the afternoon children if we too are more tired. We tend to repeat the activities in the afternoon that we've done in the morning. Maybe subconciously we're are not quite as enthusiastic second time round. We did try introducing new activities for the afternoon session and then repeating that session the following morning for the morning children and we definitely noticed a difference with how children responded. However the effort of changing all the activities in a very short lunch-time as well as fitting in our own lunch meant that this didn't last long.

 

I've often said, I would love to swap the two classes (morning and afternoon) just for a week to see if we did notice any differences in behaviour. I'm sure we would.

 

Jackie

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I have often thought the same as you Jackie - how interesting it would be to swap the morning and afternoon sessions.

I seem to have it the other way round in my nursery, but with a slight twist: I have a very lively group in the morning - though this is mostly down to 2 boys. I have been slightlly concerned about them for some time, wondering about ADHD & aspergers, but on reflection don't think it is either; will be keeping an eye. One boy is the eldest in the nursery, yet demonstrates extremely immature behaviour; he hates adult instruction & screams, shouts & makes stupid noises when told something he doesn't like, e.g. 'tidy up time'. The other child finds it very difficult to cope in group or whole-class situations unless it's on his terms. He will talk, get up & play with toys & annoy other children during story times, and when you ask him to please sit quietly - it's time to have lips closed, he will say "I'm talking to X!" or will simply shout or scream at the adult. He always gets out loads of toys, but doesn't put them away when finished with them, & is fascinated by putting everything in the water tray, which is really frustrating. Sometimes my NN lets him her with whatever she's doing - but this is when he's wondered off from the task & on the one hand I feel relieved that I don't have to keep speaking to him & stopping what I'm doing with the other children, but I'm also aware that this is giving in to him & in a way he is being rewarded for his bad behaviour. Luckily NN asked me this week which of the two boys I could tolerate more; I said one and she said she could tolerate the other, so I think that's something at least.

 

On the a.m/p.m split, I find that the afternoon children are far calmer, with no particularly lively characters, BUT, I get far less out of my p.m. children with regards to their learning. An example of this would be any time we start a new topic, when we brainstorm with the children what they already know. I have not done anything differently with the morning children, but they are far more able to demonstrate good knowledge on the topic than the p.m children. Also, any assessments show that my afternoon children just aren't making the progress that the morning childrne are. And I think it's due to the tiredness :o that was mentioned earlier for the behavioural issues.

 

Very interesting, but often quite frustrating!

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  • 11 months later...

I work in a nursery attached to a First school and we alternate our sessions so that all children get a turn at mornings. We alternate weekly and find that it works. We still have a more difficult group but it is easier when they are in mornings for them aswell as us!

:o

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What an interesting idea Claire - I too work in a school nursery and have read this post with interest as the afternoon children always have a different characteristic to the morning group.

 

How do your parents react to/ cope with the set-up? I can imagine some of our parents who work would find this difficult, also some children who have older siblings in school are happier when they can be dropped off at same time as older child.

 

However would love to explore other options for organisation, particularly as we always have a much higher uptake for our morning sessions.

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I have GOT to print off this thread and read it out at our staff meeting tomorrow - we have EXACTLY the same problems with our afternoon children, it's a constant talking point. I'll continue to follow this discussion with much interest and try to contribute at some stage!!

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It must be a universal thing as our AM children are also very well behaved and calm.

when the afternoon cjildren come in there is so much noise and mayhem and seem much more difficult to handle. you would think if they were tired they would be calmer(we often have children who lie on a big chair and fall asleep).

we have spent a lot of afternoons concentrating on the basics eg getting children to pick things up, not hit each other and to encourage them to calm down.

hopefully things wont have sllipped with them having a wek off. :)

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