All Saints Nurture Group
Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for around 6 children, led by a Nurture Teacher and member of support 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 any barriers to learning. The relationship between the two 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 their relationships and in achieving.
Nurture support is not limited to the nurture room- All Saints Primary School is making great progress towards embedding the six Nurture Principles and practice at a whole school level, providing appropriate support for all pupils attending the school.
The Principles of Nurture:
· Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
· The environment offers a safe base.
· Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
· Language is understood as a vital means of communication.
· All behaviour is communication.
· Transitions are significant in the lives of children.
The Story So Far…
The Den has been running in All Saints Primary since October 2015. As well as providing Nurture Group provision for our younger pupils, we are also able to provide other types of wellbeing support in The Den for the wider school e.g. Seasons for Growth, Nurture ABC, Restorative Circles, friendship groups, Stay & Play sessions, Bookbug, parent workshops as well as 1-1 support for identified pupils.
The children who come to The Den in the mornings, attend every day except Fridays, when they get to practise all their new skills with their own class. We have lots of time in the mornings to share news, explore number and language through fun activities and through play, to talk about our feelings and to explore new skills in free play.
The children who join us for an afternoon group would usually attend for one afternoon per week. Each afternoon group has a different theme or themes to explore, depending on the children who attend e.g. friendship, enterprise, play, teamwork, self-esteem, loss or change.
Some children and parents also come in to have a chat with Mrs Aitken when The Den is free, towards the end of the school day or on Friday mornings.
Each child who attends The Den comes for their own individual reasons, however, it is our hope that each child leaves The Den with a bank of coping strategies and skills for dealing positively with whatever life throws at them!
The Den is set up in such a way that it resembles a ‘home’. There is a living-room area with a couch and cushions; a dining area for snack and a working area for pupils to carry out their activities. There are also lots of resources and areas to encourage play.
It is set up in this way to provide the pupils with opportunities to learn, to explore strategies and to develop skills in a calm, comforting and safe environment.
When other adults come into The Den, we hope that they are Playful, Accepting, Curious and Empathic with our children.
It’s not always an easy time in The Den – there are lots of challenging activities and opportunities set up for the children to engage with and participate in purposefully and constructively; this can be very difficult. But, each and every one of the children who attend The Den works very hard to develop their skills in this setting. Sometimes we make mistakes with this, (who doesn’t?!), be patient with us, we are still learning!
The Den has a Twitter page where you can follow our fun activities and hear about our learning. Our page is called The Den Nurture Room and you’ll find us @TheDenNurture
Please do get in touch via the school if there is anything that you would like to discuss about your child’s progress in The Den or if you’d like to hear more about the strategies we use and how this approach can improve emotional wellbeing and raise attainment.
From Mrs Aitken and The Den Buddies