We are nurturing!
What is a Nurture group?
Our nurture group is a school-based intervention run by two members of staff with up to eight pupils. Our aim is to replace missing early experiences by developing positive pupil relationships with both teachers and peers in a supportive environment. Effective nurture group practice follows the six principles of nurture.
We work closely with class teachers to identify children who need additional support by recognising barriers to learning. We use the Motional assessment tool to highlights pupils who may require to be in the nurture group based on their social, emotional, and mental health needs.
Our group aims include:
- Improve children’s listening and concentration skills
- Encourage willingness to join in
- Improve self-esteem and confidence
- Promote positive relationships with others
- Develop the skills needed for learning and life
- Develop children’s ability to manage and talk about feelings
Why is Nurture important for pupils at Grampound Road?
At Grampound Road our Nurture groups are designed to address the social and emotional needs that can hamper pupils’ learning. The group is designed to help children develop vital social skills, to develop confidence and self-respect, to take pride in behaving well and in achieving and to enable them to access mainstream learning with confidence.
In our nurture groups, there is a special emphasis on language development and communication: nothing is taken for granted and everything is clearly explained by the staff, with the help of demonstrations and physical gestures. Pupils are given the time they need to both listen and be listened to.
Our Nurture groups are also designed to give pupils vital opportunities for social learning – for example by encouraging them to share food at ‘snack time’ and to help other pupils in the group. The friendly, supportive relationship between our two members of staff is also itself an important source of learning – a model for the pupils to observe and copy.
How do we implement Nurture sessions?
- Class teachers complete a motional class assessment, which can highlight a particular child that might need an intervention.
- A conversation happens with the class teacher and the nurture leader.
- The teacher will make a referral to the nurture leader to discuss their target.
- The nurture leader will contact parents/carers to invite the child to the group and explain the reasons why we feel this would support their child.
- We would then set the target with the child and the child would begin the 6 week programme.
- At the beginning and end of the programme we complete a motional assessment of each child and the children complete a questionnaire. These assessment tools help us to measure progress. We also write some case studies.
- At the end of the programme the children apply the social, emotional and behavioural skills to help them progress with their learning in the classroom.
What does a session look like?
The nurture programme typically lasts for 6 weeks, 1 afternoon per week. Here is an example of a session:
Children show and say how they are feeling using the emotion cards. Children choose the cards that represent how they are feeling and they talk to each other in turn. Good listening and communication makes each other feel valued and gives them an opportunity to speak. Some children are less confident so having a card that others can see helps with their confidence.
We use a variety of resources, such as; conversation cubes, Uno, feelings bingo or role-play feelings.
ACTIVITY FOR THE DAY
We have a focus for the session. An example is,
Growth Mindset-What is growth Mindset? How do we identify our individual growth Mindset? Can we change our growth Mindset? Growth Mindset quiz to look at individual Mindset.
We use a variety of resources, in this session we used a power point on growth Mindset with discussion throughout. We made a display in the nurture room on growth Mindset and we made a 3D brain to show fixed and growth Mindset.
Free play-We have plenty of resources in the nurture room to encourage free play. An example of this is the children made a role-play café. Another example is they used characters to tell a story in the sand.
SET THE TABLE
Each child has a role in setting the table, and then we offer a self-service snack. This encourages social connections and conversations as a group.
The story is typically linked to our focus of the session. We have a nice collection of books based on social and emotional themes.
The children reflect on their targets and focus on their personal progress towards reintegrating into class. They talk about the people in the group that were good listeners and those who showed good focus in the group.
Tidy up countdown from 10. Re-group to say how they are feeling at the end of the session.
The nurture leader completes an evaluation sheet, which is shared with the class teacher
How does Nurture help pupils to achieve?
- Improved learning skills
- Improved behaviour
- Positive change to social and emotion function at home
- Positive attachment to school and staff
- Better self-esteem and self-worth and confidence
- Better developed emotional literacy
- Improved attendance
- Improved academic performance