Information and Updates

Nurturing Approaches Update

June 2019

Please find our brief update on supporting the development of whole school nurturing approaches within Stirling!


Nurturing Approaches in Stirling

There are three emerging themes outlined in Stirling’s Children’s Service Plan (2017-2020):

  •  Improving children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
  •  Improving life outcomes for looked after children and young people
  •  Tackling the impact of low income on children and young people’s participation and achievement

Stirling Educational Psychology Service has developed an authority wide strategy for nurturing approaches, which contribute to these themes by providing a framework for  promoting children and young people’s wellbeing, resilience, attainment and achievement. The strategy is for:

  •  Stirling’s children and young people and their families
  • Staff within Stirling’s educational establishments
  • Staff within the wider Children’s Services, for example, social workers and staff in our local residential unit

In response to the national priorities of raising attainment and closing the poverty related attainment gap, Stirling Council’s strategy for whole school nurturing approaches has at its core a universal approach to promoting inclusive practice in all early years settings and primary and secondary schools leading to improved positive behaviours and positive relationships.

The strategy provides guidance to staff within Children’s Service on what is meant by nurturing approaches, how best to implement nurturing approaches and how to effectively evaluate the impact of these approaches on children and young people.There has been an increased focus on developing whole school nurturing approaches across Scottish authorities with the aim of supporting a wider range of children and young people and in sharing universal values and a common understanding of the nurture principles.

Our definition of nurturing approaches is based on Education Scotland’s national definition:

A nurturing approach recognises that positive relationships are central to both learning & wellbeing. A key aspect of a nurturing approach is an understanding of attachment theory and how a child’s early experiences can have a significant impact on their development. It recognises that ALL school staff (and partners) have a role to play in establishing the positive relationships that are required to promote healthy social and emotional development and that these relationships should be reliable, predictable and consistent where possible. A nurturing approach has a key focus on the school environment and incorporates attunement, warmth and connection alongside structure, high expectations and a focus on achievement and attainment.

and is based on the understanding of the 6 nurturing principles:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  • Environment offers a safe base
  • Nurture is important for the development of wellbeing
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • All behaviour is communication
  • Transitions are significant in the lives of children and young people