Nurture Provision at Grimes Dyke
The Den Nurture Group
Nurture Group takes place in the The Den every afternoon. This year, the nurture group is for selected children in Year 3 and 4. The Den was purposefully set up for nurture in September 2015. It is run by Mrs. Chapman with support from Miss O’Brien. Both staff are trained and qualified in ‘Working in Nurturing Settings’ which is supported by Nurture Group Network.
Nurture group rooms are carefully arranged to include the best of both classroom and home furniture. They are designed to be warm and welcoming in order to provide a consistent, predictable and safe place for children. Nurture group rooms are set up to be a bridge between home and school or nursery, where missed learning opportunities are addressed according to the individual profile of needs. The Den is therefore set up with a table which is used for sharing meals as well as art and craft work, a carpeted area for talking together in circle time, sharing books and games together, a kitchen area for easy preparation of afternoon snack and play resources suitable for a variety of age ranges. The Den will also have access to the outdoor area, the pond and a garden and is enjoyed by the children throughout the year.
What is the purpose of the nurture group?
There is much research evidence that “A child can only learn when they feel happy and safe to do so”- and children’s learning is most effective when they have a sense of emotional well-being, good self-esteem and a feeling of belonging to their school community. The Den provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience.
Our nurture group is a small class of around eight pupils. Its composition is carefully well thought-out to create a balanced and functional group. The nurture group is part of the school’s Inclusion and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) provision. Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to re-visit early learning skills, promote and support their social and emotional development.
The Den is a place of learning, but less focus on the curriculum and more on developing social and emotional skills.
The seven principles:
- We need to feel safe and secure in our setting
- Our learning is understood developmentally
- We learn through exploration, play and leisure activities.
- Secure attachment will develop our self-image and self-awareness
- Nurture facilitates language and communication skills
- All behaviour is communication
- Change is managed in a planned and sensitive way
Before children attend nurture provision parents are informed by letter and requested to sign a permission slip.
Which children attend Nurture Group?
Children may attend sessions in the Nurture Group for specific reasons, for example:
- Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends
- Quiet, shy, withdrawn
- Find it hard to listen to others or join in
- Disruptive towards others
- Find it hard to accept losing a game
- Find it hard to share and take turns
- Find it a bit difficult to settle into class
- Low self esteem
- Poor relationships with adults in school
- Family illness or break-up
How will the nurture group help my child?
Nurture group will boost confidence and self-esteem and provide children with the extra help sometimes needed to improve social skills and independence for example:
- To join in
- To sort out difficulties they may be having
- To listen and to concentrate
- To share and take turns
- To accept losing a game
- To build up friendships with their classmates
- It gives them a chance and helps to encourage a more positive attitude
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 be in Nurture Group for?
Children attend for a period of 2-3 terms. However we ensure that the children do not miss special assemblies, swimming, guests in school, outings or anything else that may be different from the normal routine of the week.
Are parents/carers involved?
We like to consider our door is always open and therefore welcome parent/carers to visit and join the sessions at any time. Special event invitations are sent out to join us for example; open afternoon or simply for afternoon tea and a chat.
An afternoon in Nurture Group
A typical two hour afternoon session in The Den would include the following:
The children are brought from their classes after registration with a member of staff.
The afternoon starts with the staff greeting the children as they arrive; there is usually a daily challenge offered. They do this at their own level, for example find out something new about a person in the group. A new challenge is chosen each day.
Next is into the sofa area for talk time. These sessions offer children a chance to speak/sing in a safe structured non – threatening way, explore thoughts and feelings and listen to others. The children are invited to share any news that they might have and the afternoon agenda/targets are discussed so that they know exactly what to expect.
The next part of the afternoon is a planned activity focusing on the skills the children need to work on eg taking turns, discussing and role playing a situation, learning anew game to share with friends.
Then the children move onto more guided activities may include painting, making or baking. Here the children are given an opportunity to complete a task which they can feel proud of and to work co-operatively with others in the group.
Throughout the session the children work on their individual social and emotional targets and are reminded what they have to work on back in class.
There are many opportunities for the children to enjoy a game together or listen to some relaxing music with a cushion and a soft toy, to comment on enjoyment and feelings, to ask questions and to listen attentively.
Towards the end of the session is when the children have a drink and snack. This is usually squash or tea with toast, biscuits, crumpets a sandwich or a piece of fruit and of course a cake when it is someone’s birthday. The ‘snack’ time is at the heart of this practice when the children and adults sit together and share food and talk. Before and after snack time the children are given roles to assist in the setting up and clearing away helping them to develop responsibilities to carry out their jobs making them feel important and part of a team.