Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give help that is needed to remove the barriers to learning. The relationship between staff and children is always nurturing and supportive, providing a role model for all learners in school. Food is sometimes 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. Nurture support is not limited to the nurture groups, as a school the nurturing principles are embedded and practice at a whole school level, providing appropriate support for all children attending the school.


Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention run for a variety of reasons.  These may include working with learners with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are creating a barrier to learning or supporting children who are facing individual challenges at home or in school. Children are signposted to nurture, and these are then given tailored group sessions or 1:1 session depending on their needs. Each week, children from all year groups attend both in and outside the nurture rooms with known staff members. Forest schools is used as an opportunity for children to learn through practical experiences within a woodland setting. Self-esteem and confidence are key principles that are developed within Forest Schools and children are encouraged to develop inquisitive and positive relationships with the natural world and their peers.


As the children learn academically and socially, they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving. Nurture builds resilience, self-esteem and helps pupils develop strategies to manage situations that they may often find challenging. Children also can learn new skills that would not necessarily be learnt outside of school. 


The Six Principles of Nurture

Principle 1: Children’s learning is understood developmentally

Principle 2: The classroom offers a safe base

Principle 3: The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing

Principle 4: Language is a vital means of communication

Principle 5: All behaviour is communication

Principle 6: The importance of transition in children’s lives

The Six Principles of Forest Schools

Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.

Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners

Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Principle 5: Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Principle 6:  Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning. A learner-centred pedagogical approach is employed by Forest School that is responsive to the needs and interests of learners.

Staff are well trained and regularly monitor children’s progress to ensure that they are engaged in activities that develop their skills and help them grow in confidence. Staff provide many and varied opportunities for children to develop their speech through careful questioning and a range of interesting activities. Children are safe and happy and play well together.

Ofsted 2017

Twitter @primary_Ba

View Twitter