Pelton Community Primary School have a ‘Nurture Group’ every afternoon to support and target pupils with social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive learning needs.
The word ‘nurture’ has a specific, meaningful and purposeful connotation; it describes the children’s needs, the nature of the help provided and the learning experiences involved. The class is therefore referred to as the Nurture group but may in school have a different name that the group itself chooses.
What is the Nurture group?
Nurture groups are inclusive, educational, in-school resource for mainly primary school children. The Nurture group is intended to target children whose emotional, social, behavioural and cognitive learning needs cannot be met fully in mainstream class.
Their difficulties are markedly varied, often severe, are a cause of underachievement and may sometimes lead to exclusion from school. The children who attend Nurture will typically have grown up in circumstances of stress and adversity, and may have problems with trust and self esteem.
The aims of the Nurture group is to build the basic and essential learning experiences normally gained in the first stages of life. This is done in small groups with staff trained in social and emotional development. Children usually attend nurture group for a few sessions a week for around half a term where they are given skills and experiences which will allow than to better cope with a large class situation.
Nurture group principles:
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
- It is understood that all behaviour is a communication.
- The classroom offers a safe space.
- Nurture is important for the development of self esteem.
- Language is vital means of communication.
- The importance of transition in children’s lives in understood.
(Lucus et al., 2006)
Class teachers will complete an internal referral form that they have completed with parents. Alongside this, the staff will complete a Boxhall profile assessment on the child. Class teachers will meet with Nurture staff and the co-ordinator at the beginning of the process to consider the child’s specific needs that are identified on the Boxhall profile. The programme will be designed around the groups identified needs.
The class teachers will meet with all key staff to discuss progress and impact of the individual child’s learning. The transition back to mainstream class will be carefully planned and documented on the transition referral form which will be shared with parents.