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
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
Principles of Forest Schools
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.
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.
3: Forest School
aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering
resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
4: Forest School
offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the
environment and to themselves.
5: Forest School is
run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and
develop their professional practice.
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.