27 Jul

Book reviews by Dr Morris Charlton, Voice Regional Officer (Yorkshire), inspector and consultant

Behaviour Matters: Supporting children’s social and emotional development in the early years (2016)

ISBN 978 1 907478 26 0
Pre-School Learning Alliance  

PSLAbookThis is a timely, well-presented, comprehensive little book, of 73 pages, that will be a valuable addition to any ongoing personal and professional development programmes in an early years setting or training provider.

There are few such up-to-date and relevant books or booklets available at present. The price for PSLA members is £9.55 and for non-members £13.95, but don’t let the price put you off; as an accessible training tool this is value for money.

The book sets out to address “those influences in the early years that impact positively on the child, those that cause blips and those that have such an effect that they impact of the health and wellbeing of the child beyond the early years”.

Most importantly, the book offers guidance on how to address those behaviours that “interfere with a child’s learning, development and future life outcomes.” Inevitably, there is the caveat that one size does not fit all and an individualised planned approach for each child is required.

Behaviour Matters provides support for individual learning, supervision sessions or for whole staff professional development approaches where the issues raised in each chapter could be discussed and developed.

Each of the Chapters within the book provides a reflective summary and is accompanied by downloadable activity sheets. These sheets are accessible via an access code emailed at the time of purchase.

Chapters focus on:

  • Defining Behaviour
  • Early development
  • Relationships
  • Safeguarding and additional needs
  • A secure base
  • Encouraging social and emotional competence
  • Managing conflicts
  • Formulating strategies.

Each chapter sets the context and then it is a case of a differentiated outcome approach for each participant. I would see this book as a good structure to follow as revision for established staff and as a development tool for those staff new to the work. In addition, this is an excellent tool to ensure that internal policies are referred to, checked and updated as appropriate by staff.

Taking one Chapter in particular – ‘Safeguarding and additional needs’ – the basics are well covered with the inclusion of the Prevent requirements and reference made to supportive publications by the Pre-School Learning Alliance in addition to national documentation.

The reflective activity addresses how practitioners should respond to behaviours that indicate abuse may be occurring, how a child may use behaviour and types of assessment.

Helpfully, there is a Further Information page with web addresses for a number of organisations that address more specific issues of behaviour – ADHD, Place2B etc. There is also further information on the Pre-School Learning Alliance website.

If I could suggest one addition to each chapter, it could be an additional box in the reflective activity for personal planning or action planning.

I will certainly make reference to this booklet in any Inset that I deliver. An excellent, up-to-date, supportive training tool that is easy on the eye and readable!





The Really Useful Book of Learning and Earning (RUBLE) for Young Adult Carers

Available free from: 

The National Learning and Work Institute (England and Wales)

21, De Montfort Street Leicester, LE1 7GE . 

RUBLEFollowing on from the Young Carers article in the April/May 2016 Your Voice,  this is a helpful, comprehensive and supportive free publication for young adult carers aged 16-25. It was written to fill an information gap. The title says it all! It is a must in schools and colleges and for those working and supporting young carers. 

As with the Young Carers programme in schools, young carers have contributed to the development of the book – it gives the book authority and credibility.

Yet again, this is a book that is an easy read and easy on the eye. It’s a good size to keep on the shelves and robust in make up.


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2 Responses to “Bookmark”

  1. Richard Fraser 12. Nov, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    Update on carers in November 2016 “Your Voice”:

  2. Richard Fraser 12. Jan, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    “The lives of young carers in England” (DfE research)

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