Our Nurture Group takes place in The Orchard. The Orchard was purposefully set up for Nurture in October 2014

Nurture Group rooms are carefully arranged to have the best of both classroom and a home environment. They are designed to be warm and welcoming in order to provide a consistent, predictable and safe place for children. Provision should be of a high quality and link to curriculum activities, just as any classroom there are areas for sharing stories, circles times and for completing tasks, there is an additional area for hosting ‘toast time’ where children are able to sit as a group to share a meal. Within the Orchard there is also a quiet area for children to use for thinking time or for finding their own space.

The group is run by staff who are qualified in ‘The Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups’.

What is the purpose of a Nurture Group?

The Nurture Group is a small class of 10-12 pupils. The children are carefully brought together to make a balanced and functional group. The Nurture Group continues the ethos of an already nurturing environment within Ashleigh School and provides inclusion for all children promoting PSHE provision. Therefore the children are supported within The Orchard to raise their emotional well-being, self-esteem and have a sense of belonging to the school community. 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

The Nurture Group Principles:

  1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom/school offers a safe base
  3. Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem
  4. Language is understood as a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. 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 or break up
  • Bereavement
  • Find it hard to share and take turns
  • Find it hard to settle into class
  • Friendship difficulties – keeping/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  • Quiet, shy, withdrawn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 then take place with the School Inclusion Manager and Nurture staff. A Boxall Profile 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 a place for their child to attend The Orchard.

How will the Nurture group help your child?

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 losing a game
  • To build friendship with their classmates
  • Gives opportunities to talk about and understand their feelings
  • To work on curriculum based activities from their classrooms.
  • To experience and practice the development of positive relationship

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.

How long will my child attend the Nurture Group?

Currently The Orchard runs four afternoons a week. A child may attend for 1-4 terms. However we do 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 each child usually follows the curriculum being carried out in their class.

Are parents/carers involved?

Yes we like to feel there is an open door policy where parents/carers can come and chat with the class teacher or the Nurture staff with regard to their child. So that you have an opportunity to see how we work in Orchard, you will be invited to special events such as craft afternoons where you will also be able to take part in our more regular daily events.

What does and afternoon in Nurture look like?

Children follow a structure and routine that is clear to both staff and children which includes group listening and speaking, work tasks usually from their teacher, individual and shared playing and social skills. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement and praise.

Within the session we share Toast Time together – a chance to talk around the meal table, listen to each other, take turns to speak and practice using manners.

Taking part in a game, sometimes board games or team games, to encourage turn taking and coping with losing.

Circle time and sharing news – taking part and listening, sharing in a small group to build self-esteem and confidence.

Use of our PATHS programme which is used to discuss and understand our feelings.

Role play and drama – communication, listening to other ideas, taking on the role of different characters.

Cooking / Stories / puppets / music.

The Orchard is a place where we want to see children have the opportunity to grow in confidence and become engaged and be successful learners in their classrooms and the school community.