Giving a high profile to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is at the heart of a successful school. At St John’s we pride ourselves on being a setting with Nurture School trained staff. Mrs Walker, Mrs Richardson and Mrs Ashworth have a vast amount of experience and deliver the highest quality provision.
About Our Nurture Group
Welcome to our Nurture Group.
Our aim is to provide a short-term focused intervention which addresses barriers to learning caused by social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Not all children are ready to meet the social and intellectual demands of school life and may find it hard to cope in their mainstream class full time. Research shows that a child is able to learn best when they have strong self-esteem, a sense of belonging and resilience. We aim to help the children overcome those barriers to learning and equip them with the skills they need to become effective learners in school.
The children attending Nurture group spend the morning sessions in their mainstream classroom. Nurture Group sessions take place four afternoons per week, Monday to Thursday between 1.00pm and 3.00pm. The children are collected by the Nurture room staff following afternoon registration, and returned to their classrooms for the end of the school day.
Our Nurture room is located in the Romero Centre. It includes a range of different spaces to reflect the combination of a domestic and more formal learning environment. Our Nurture room provides a warm and welcoming environment for our children, including a kitchen area for preparation of snacks and cooking activities. The table area is used for sharing snacks as well as for focused learning activities. The room includes a quiet area with bean bags, cushions and books. A work area with literacy and mathematics equipment A general area with jigsaws, bricks, games and role play. Our Nurture room also has an enclosed garden, where the children are able to enjoy outdoor activities, and games. There is an area for planting and growing where the children are involved in gardening activities.
The children’s levels of achievement are raised by carefully targeted teaching and learning opportunities. The Nurture group curriculum includes elements of the National Curriculum, but is adapted for the developmental stage of each child. Great attention is paid to the use of language, with high levels of child/adult inter-actions, everything is explained and nothing is rushed. The focus is as much on the emotional relationships of the group, as it is on the formal curriculum, ensuring each individual child is attended to and feels safe in the classroom. The task of the staff is to make the children feel accepted and valued, to engage them in learning and in the life of the class thus helping them to relate to each other, to share adult time and help develop positive relationships with each other.
The Nurture group sessions are carefully structured, with the same predictable routine each day. These routines enable the children to feel secure and safe.
Each session begins with circle time, where the children have opportunities to develop a wide range of skills and attitudes such as confidence, self-esteem, talking and listening. It is also used to address certain issues such as positive attitudes to learning, emotional literacy, behaviour management and positive social interaction. After circle time the children are directed to work on their curriculum, which is adapted from the work of their mainstream class. Children work either individually with staff or in small focus groups. After work has been completed there is time for social interaction and free play. Before the end of the session the children and adults sit together at the table for snack time. The children have the opportunity to practice their social skills, helping to serve each other, and work together to tidy away afterwards. The sessions end with story time, stickers, rewards and prizes. The children are then escorted back to their class for the end of the school day.
The Nurture group has a visit from the Trust’s nurture dog, Arlo, each week. The children take turns in caring for Arlo, which includes feeding, grooming, and helping to look after him. There are plenty of opportunities for the children to enjoy playing with Arlo.
The Nurture group staff keep in close contact with the children’s class teacher about their progress. A Boxall profile is used to assess children’s needs and to help the nurture group staff set Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) targets, which are addressed during each nurture group session. The children’s progress is monitored regularly, and half-termly review meetings take place with the Nurture group staff, the child’s class teacher and the school SENDCO.
Staff are in regular contact with parents through an ‘open-door’ policy. A scheduled drop-in for parents is arranged each half-term.
More on Nurture Groups can be found here.