Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for around 6 children, led by a Nurture Teacher and member of support staff. Children attending the nurture group remain an active part of their main class, spending appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need, and typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms.
Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give help that is needed to remove any barriers to learning. The relationship between the two nurture staff is always nurturing and supportive, providing a role model for children. Food is shared at ‘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.
As the children learn academically and socially, they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in their relationships and in achieving.
Nurture support is not limited to the nurture room - we are making good progress towards embedding the six Nurture Principles and practice at a whole school level, providing appropriate support for all pupils attending the school.
The Principles of Nurture:
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
- The environment 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.
The Story So Far…
The Lighthouse has been running at St. Edmund's since September 2022. The children who come to The Lighthouse in the afternoon, attend every day. We have lots of time in the mornings to share news, explore number and language through fun activities and through play, to talk about our feelings and to explore new skills in free play.
The children who join us for an afternoon group would usually attend every afternoon. Each afternoon group has a different theme or themes to explore, depending on the children who attend e.g. friendship, enterprise, play, teamwork, self-esteem, loss or change.
Each child who attends The Lighthouse comes for their own individual reasons, however, it is our hope that each child leaves The Lighthouse with a bank of coping strategies and skills for dealing positively with whatever life throws at them!
The Lighthouse is set up in such a way that it resembles a ‘home’. There is a living-room area with a couch and cushions; a dining area for snack and a working area for pupils to carry out their activities. There are also lots of resources and areas to encourage play.
It is set up in this way to provide the pupils with opportunities to learn, to explore strategies and to develop skills in a calm, comforting and safe environment.
When other adults come into The Lighthouse, we hope that they are Playful, Accepting, Curious and Empathic with our children.
It’s not always an easy time in The Lighthouse – there are lots of challenging activities and opportunities set up for the children to engage with and participate in purposefully and constructively; this can be very difficult. But, each and every one of the children who attend The Lighthouse works very hard to develop their skills in this setting. Sometimes we make mistakes with this, (who doesn’t?!), be patient with us, we are still learning!