What is nurture?
Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for children with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are creating a barrier to learning within a mainstream class.
Each group consists of between 6 to 10 children, normally from Years 1 to 3, led by our pastoral staff. Children attending the nurture group remain an active part of their main class, spending appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need, and typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms.
Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give help that is needed to remove the barriers to learning. The relationship between the nurture staff is always nurturing and supportive, providing a role model for children. Food is shared at ‘breakfast’ or ‘snack time’ with much opportunity for social learning, helping children to attend to the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to. As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving.
Nurture sessions at Gorsewood take place in our Welcome Room.
Nurture support is not limited to the nurture group, as a school we have embedded the six principals of nurture and have a whole school approach, providing appropriate support for all pupils attending the school.
The six principals of nuture are:
1. Our learning is understood developmentally
Gorsewood recognises that we are all individuals. That means not everyone learns at the same rate or time.
It's important not to get too worried or frustrated if you get stuck at something. Try not to compare yourself to others. It’s better to be patient and kind to ourselves. Try your best and be proud of what you can do.
2. The classroom offers a safe base
In Gorsewood we work hard to ensure school is a calm, safe environment for everyone.
3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
Gorsewood recognises the importance of looking after ourselves and other people and how this makes us feel good in mind and body.
One way of doing this is showing kindness. When we are kind to other people, it makes them feel happy. It is good for your health too.
Another example of nurture making us feel good is celebrating our achievements, no matter how small they might seem. When someone tells us we've done a good job, that makes us feel positive about ourselves. That's what nurture is all about.
4. Language is a vital means of communication
At Gorsewood we listen! We encourage children to talk about how they are feeling and support children to communicate effectively.
Talking to someone you trust, like a teacher or classroom assistant, about how you feel can help them understand you and make you feel better too.
5. All behaviour is communication
In Gorsewood, we know it is not always easy to express how we feel in words. The way we behave towards other people says a lot about how we're feeling.
If someone in your class is misbehaving or not listening to the teacher's instructions, it's helpful to ask yourself:
- How might they be feeling?
- Why might they be behaving that way?
- Are they feeling angry or frustrated? Or upset?
When we try to put ourselves in other people's shoes and imagine how they are feeling, this is called empathy.
6. The importance of transition in our lives
Gorsewood recognises that transitions and change are significant in the lives of our children. We work hard to support our children and teach them strategies to deal with change.
Change happens all the time. It can be exciting but it can also be scary.
Remember, it's good to talk to people you trust about how you're feeling about any changes.