Watchfield Primary school is committed to creating a nurturing and inclusive community for all. We believe that pupils’ emotional and social development is essential for them to progress academically. Our focus on nurture extends to all members of the school community. We feel that in order for all pupils to feel safe and engage with high quality learning, it is important to invest in Wellbeing and Mental Health support for all.
What is nurture?
Nurture is a tried and tested way of relating to children that helps them develop vital social skills, confidence and self-esteem, and become ready to learn.
The concept of nurture highlights the importance of social environments – who you are with and not who you are born to – and its significant influence on social and emotional skills, wellbeing and behaviour.
The nurturing approach to education offers a range of opportunities for children and young people to engage with missing early nurturing experiences
giving them the social and emotional skills to do well at school and with peers, and to develop their resilience and self-confidence. It encourages pupils to take pride in achieving - addressing the social and emotional needs that can hamper learning.
Nurture in the classroom
We offer schools a range of tools and resources to address pupils’ social, emotional and mental health needs. The aim isn’t for teachers to focus on the children with the greatest needs, but to develop an inclusive, whole-class approach that allows them to access all their pupils.
Our nurturing tools and resources can be used throughout the school day (in the classroom or in small groups) to help children develop the skills they need to engage with their learning and make the most of their time at school.
These strategies could include:
· Making time for social and emotional learning, either during targeted PSHE lessons or by embedding it throughout the curriculum.
· Giving pupils the opportunity to practice their social and emotional skills, for example by encouraging them to work in pairs and groups.
· Modelling good social and emotional skills themselves, when interacting with pupils and other staff members.
· Monitoring the social and emotional wellbeing of the whole class, using assessment tools like The Boxall Profile®
The Six Principles of Nurture
Everything we do has been based on and guided by the Six Principles of Nurture.
The Six Principles of Nurture have successfully underpinned nurturing approaches for over 50 years.
1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally (stage not age)
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
What is a Nurture Group?
Our Nurture Group is a small group of up to 10 children. The children are carefully brought together to ensure a balanced and functional group. The Nurture Group continues the ethos of an already nurturing environment within Watchfield Primary School and provides inclusion for all children promoting Personal, Social & Health Education. Children are supported within The SNUG group to improve 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. Our Nurture Group is a place of learning. We follow the six principles of the Nurture Network.
Reasons children might attend a Nurture Group
• Low self-esteem
• They find it hard to listen to others or join in
• Family illness or break up
• They find it hard to share and take turns
• They find it hard to settle into class
• Friendship difficulties - keeping/making friends
• They find it hard to accept losing a game
• They may be quiet, shy and withdrawn.
In the academic years of 2023-2024 and 2024 – 2025, The Nurture group will consist of children from year 1.
A teacher might identify a child with any of the above needs. A discussion would then take place with the Deputy Headteacher 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 parents/carers and they will be given the opportunity to accept a place for their child to attend The SNUG.
How will The SNUG help your child?
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. The SNUG 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
• To talk about and understand their feelings
• To work on curriculum based activities from their classrooms
• To experience and practice the development of positive relationships
Does this mean my child is naughty?
Not at all. These sessions are designed to help children manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.
How long will my child attend the SNUG Group?
Currently The SNUG Group runs four afternoons a 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.
Are parents/carers involved?
Yes, we pride ourselves on having an open-door policy where parents/carers can come and chat with the class teacher or the Nurture staff with regard to their child. Occasionally, special events will be run for parents to come and see what their child does e.g share in toast time or story time.
Nurture UK recommend some books you can read with your children to help support the learning of the 6 principles of Nurture.
To support our Nurturing approach to education, Watchfield have a pastoral team who are availible to offer support to children and families..
The pastoral team are able to offer group and 1:1 support to children in school.
The Pastoral leader is also able to meet with parents to offer advice and signpost to support services.
If you would like to know more about our Pastoral team and how they can help, please take a look at our Pastoral page.
Together we act as a team around each child to support the Children of Watchfield to SOAR