The importance of good manners

22nd Apr 2013
The importance of good manners

It has been reported today [22/04/2013] that the Education Minister believes that children in nurseries are not taught how to behave and that nurseries in the UK breed a generation of toddlers with no manners. In this blog post Allison Winship, our Head of Childcare, explains why manners are such an important part of the curriculum at Kids 1st and what we do to instil positive behaviour in our children.


At Kids 1st we offer a curriculum that allows the children to be independent and make choices for themselves but this is also carefully balanced with structure and routine. We feel it is important that the children understand what is expected of them and the relevance of listening to the staff and following instruction.

A day at Kids 1st is structured so the children have adult led activities as this focuses their attention and encourages their listening skills. We teach the children about respecting their environment and each other. Our staff are positive role models and encourage the children to say please, thank you, hello and goodbye and to give consideration to others.

At Kids 1st traditional values are instilled from an early stage and our meal times are a social occasion where both staff and children come together. During this time table manners are encouraged; this includes the correct use of cutlery, polite conversation and understanding what is expected whilst seated at the dining table.

In our pre-school classes we have devised a set of ‘10 promises’ which reinforce positive behaviour. These include being kind to each other, looking after property and listening to the adult. In the event of negative behaviour being displayed, this is dealt with swiftly giving the children an opportunity to reflect upon what they have done but ultimately improve their behaviour. This system is successful as we are consistent in this approach and the children begin to understand that they have boundaries they must not cross.

Whenever the children are seated in a group we maintain their attention by requesting that only one child speaks at a time whilst everyone else listens. This encourages the children to understand exactly what is expected of them whilst at the same time valuing and respecting the opinions of others.

At Kids 1st we firmly believe that we have a responsibility to ensure the children in our care are equipped with the necessary skills that prepare them for school and their later life and we believe that good manners play a key role in this.