Ashburnham Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, ME14 2JG
Mrs L Downes
‘A child learns best when they have strong self-esteem, a sense of belonging and resilience.’
Our Nurture group takes place in the Laurel Room and was started in September 2017.
The Laurel Room was carefully designed to reflect the best of both the classroom and a home environment. It was designed to be warm and welcoming in order to provide a consistent, predictable and safe place for children. To offer a balance between educational and domestic experiences aimed at supporting the development of the children’s relationship with each other and with the staff.
The group is run by Mrs Nichol SEN and Nurture Co-ordinator (Nurture Group Network practitioner) and by Mrs Tozer Family Liaison Officer, Learning Mentor and Safeguarding Officer. Both Mrs Nichol and Mrs Tozer can be contacted through the school office.
The group follows the six principals of Nurture:
• Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
• The classroom offers a safe base.
• The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing.
• Language is a vital means of communication.
• All behaviour is communication.
• The importance of transition in children’s lives.
For more information visit www.nurturegroups.org
The Nurture Group has two groups, one for KS1 and one for KS2 and runs for 1-3 terms, timescales will vary depending on each child’s individual needs. Each group consists of 8-10 children who are carefully brought together to make a balanced and functional group. The Nurture Group continues the ethos of an already nurturing environment within Sandling Primary School and to raise the children’s emotional well-being, self-esteem, resilience and sense of belonging. We provide a structured routine with clear boundaries so the children feel safe and secure.
There are many reasons a teacher may identify a child in their class that may benefit from the Nurture provision:
1: Low self-esteem.
2: Find it hard to listen to others or join in.
3: Family illness or break up.
5: Find it hard to share and take turns.
6: Find it hard to settle into class.
7: Friendship difficulties-keeping/making friends.
8: Find it hard to accept losing a game.
9: Quiet, shy, withdrawn.
When a referral is made, the teacher and teaching assistant will complete a Boxall Profile questionnaire to identify possible areas of which the child may need support. This is then analysed by Nurture staff and presented to SLT, if it is felt that the child would benefit from the Nurture Group provision the class teacher will speak to the parent/carer and they will be given the opportunity to accept a place.
Does this mean my child is naughty?
No. These sessions are meant to help them manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.
The Nurture Group runs two afternoons per week, these days are subject to KS timetables.
However, we do ensure that the children do not miss special assemblies, guests in school, outings or any other special events that the rest of their class are taking part in. The Nurture team work closely with the class teachers and the class schedules.
What does the afternoon in Nurture look like?
The group follow a structure and routine that is clear to both children and all adults, it includes group listening and speaking, sharing news, a pre-planned activity, Toast Time, cooking and stories.
All sessions start with the register, talk time and a listening game.
Each session has a planned activity which is directly connected to the areas high-lighted by the Boxall Profile. These can include role play, drama, art, music, exploring emotions and feelings and supporting each other.
Each child has the opportunity to choose a job within the group, these roles change weekly. The jobs range from taking the register to laying the table, taking the orders for toast and washing up.
Toast Time is a very important time within the Nurture Group, sharing a meal that has been prepared by the children encourages the children to talk around the table, listen to each other, taking turns to speak, to work as a team to offer support and to problem solve.
Mindfulness, where the children practice focus and listening skills.
The children will receive points at the end of each afternoon and they will be given opportunities to redeem the points for small items e.g. pencils, rubbers, note books.
At the end of the programme the children plant a living plant that is displayed outside the Laurel Room. The children can watch the plant grow and continue the connection between the Nurture Group and themselves.
The Nurture Group is a place where children can grow in confidence, become engaged and be successful learners in their classroom and school community.
To understand that it is through positive affirming relationships that children understand that they are valued.
To provide opportunities for children to express their feelings and feel that they have a voice.
To work as a team and support each other.
Parents are essential partners in promoting children’s development and learning.
The Nurture staff will work with the parents to build positive and productive relationships.
Parents are encouraged to contact staff throughout their child’s time in the Nurture to discuss their child’s progress.
Our priority is to enable our children to form positive attachments with others, to make the right choices and to understand why they make these choices, to know that they have a voice and that their voice is important, build their self-esteem and to be resiliant and reflective.