Nurture Group (Sunflower Group)
What is the purpose of a Nurture Group?
The Nurture Group is a small class of up to 10 pupils. The children are carefully brought together to ensure a balanced and functional group. The Nurture Group promotes the personal, social and emotional development of the pupils as well as academic activities that relate to classroom topics.
The Nurture Group aims to raise children's emotional wellbeing, self esteem and sense of belonging. We provide a structured routine with clear boundaries so the children feel safe and secure. The Nurture Group is a place of learning.
We follow the six principles of the Nurture Network:
- Children's learning is understood developmentally.
- The classroom/school 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.
Reasons children might attend a Nurture Group.
- Low self esteem
- Find it hard to listen to others or join in
- Family illness /separation
- Find it hard to share and take turns
- Find it hard to settle into class
- Friendship difficulties - keeping and making friends
- Find it hard to accept losing a game
- Quiet, shy, withdrawn
A teacher might identify a child with any of the above needs. A discussion would take place with the inclusion team and Nurture staff. A Boxall Profile (assessment tool) will be completed to identify possible areas of which a child might need support. If it is felt the child would benefit from a Nurture Group environment the class teacher will speak to the parent/carer and they will be given the opportunity to accept the place.
How will the Nurture Group help my child?
Children follow a structure and routine that is clear to both staff and children which includes group speaking and listening, work tasks usually linked to their class topic, individual and shared playing and social skills. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement and praise.
The Nurture Group will help to boost confidence and self esteem and provide children with extra skills to improve social skills and independence for example:
- To engage
- To settle
- To listen
- To concentrate
- To share and take turns
- To accept loosing a game
- To build friendship with their classmates
- Gives opportunities to talk about and understand their feelings
- To work on curriculum based tasks from their classrooms
- To experience and practice the development of positive relationships.
Does this mean my child is naughty?
Absolutely not! These sessions are meant to help children manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.
How long will my child attend the Nurture Group?
Currently the Nurture Group runs from The Sunflower Room for four afternoons per week. A child may attend for 1-4 terms. However, we ensure that children do not miss special assemblies, guests in school, outings or any special events that the rest of their class are taking part in. The Nurture Team plan closely with the class teachers and where possible each child usually follows the curriculum being carried out in their class.
Are parents/Carers involved?
Yes, we welcome parents/carers to come in and chat with the class teacher or nurture staff about their child. We will sometimes invite parents/carers to come and see what your child is doing and join in with shared activities.
The group is currently led by Mrs Spregg and Mrs Johnson. Mrs Spregg is qualified in 'The Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups' and both members of staff are actively involved in training with NurtureUK.
The Nurture Group has a home like feel to it and the room is split into the following areas; a living room area where we come together to share our news and develop our speaking & listening skills, a dining area where we share a snack daily - the children are involved in the preparation of the snack and setting the table including clearing the pots and washing/drying up! We have a play area including a kitchen for role play where the children can practice skills such as sharing, taking turns, developing friendships, developing language, managing and resolving conflicts and developing empathy. We have a cosy corner where the children can relax, share stories and have somewhere to retreat if they want some quiet time & we have our workstation where we take part in group and individual curriculum based tasks that relate to the topic being covered in the child's class.
What do our children think about Nurture Group?
"Before nurture group I found it hard to make friends, it helped me to feel happy inside. I feel more confident on the playground now, I play football a lot more. I've got friends now." (KS2 pupil)
"It was good being in nurture group I learned to calm down, I learned I don't need to be angry all the time." (KS2 pupil)
"I feel happy, not just happy its also relaxing because of the relaxation that we do. I feel like I belong in nurture group, I feel listened to." (KS2 pupil)
"I felt really alone and I didn't want to be around people, now I feel calm, safe and listened to. My confidence has grown a lot too I can join in with my friends on the playground now when I want too" (KS2 pupil)
"I come to school on time now and look forward to coming to school." (KS2 pupil)
"I liked the snack and trying different food that I haven't tried before, I'm finding it easier to share how I'm feeling." (KS2 pupil)
"I liked making the play dough and feeling the soft feathers, they helped me calm down." (KS1 pupil)
What our parents think...
"My child has improved so much and in so many ways. We talk more, laugh more and confide in each other more."
"My child comes out of school and happily tells me what he's been doing, he has shown a real improvement in his whole attitude to learning. I think its been amazing!"
"Nurture Group helped my child develop and maintain friendships, she is more willing to try new activities, she is much happier, calmer and more resilient. She loved going to the group it has had a hugely positive impact on her."