A child learns best when they have strong self-esteem, a sense of belonging and resilience
Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for around six children, led by trained and experienced members of Monkwray Junior School. 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 after three terms.
Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give help that is needed to remove any barriers to learning. The relationship between the two nurture staff is always nurturing and supportive, providing a role model for the children. Food is shared at snack time, with much opportunity for social learning, helping children attend to the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to.
The ‘6 Principles of Nurture’
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally
We respond to the child’s developmental progress rather than what it should be at their chronological age. This is assessed using the Boxall Profile.
The classroom offers a safe base
We have organised our room so that it has a balance of educational and domestic experiences. The room is comfortable with a sofa and soft furnishings along with a table for work and a kitchen area.
- Nurture is important for the development of wellbeing
We praise the children for their efforts and help them identify their strengths and qualities through a range of tasks. Children respond to being valued and thought of as individuals – we notice and praise their achievements.
- Language is a vital means of communication
Each session starts with a “check-in” so the children can identify and discuss their feelings. We find ways to manage them. We notice and talk through many things – the adults model the use of language and encourage children to do the same.
- All behaviour is communication
We try to understand what a child’s challenging behaviour is telling us. We say that emotions are automatic reactions which we cannot choose, but the way we respond to them is a choice. We need to make the right choices in our behaviour and understand its impact on ourselves and others.
- Transition is important in children’s lives
Daily transitions between classes, from one adult to the next and from home to school are all changes in routine that can be difficult for some children. This is managed with preparation and support.
How will the Nurture group help your child?
The Nurture group will help boost confidence and self-esteem and provide children with extra strategies to improve social skills and independence, for example:
– to engage – to settle
– to listen – to concentrate
– to share and take turns – to accept losing
– to talk about and understand – to build friendships their feelings
– to experience and practise the development of positive relationships
Are parents and/or carers involved?
We like to feel there is an open door policy where parents and carers can come and chat with the nurture group staff with regard to their child. You are able to send a message using Classdojo to Mrs Lamb if you have any questions or concerns about your child and appointments can be made for a discussion if necessary. Parents and carers may be invited in to take part in craft or cooking sessions and will be invited to our ‘Celebration’ events.
What does a nurture session look like?
Children follow a structure and routine which is clear to staff and group members. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement and praise. We start each session with talk-time and we share our news while practising taking turns in speaking and listening. Following circle time, we take part in games, cooking and baking, craft activities, textiles and life-skills. During our sessions, the children have drink and snack time.
What have we been doing in nurture group at Monkwray?