The Willows (Nurture Provision)
We have worked closely with the Jigsaw centre to develop and open a nurture provision at Kensworth. It is a small group of between 6- 8 children.
Nurture groups are now in over 1500 schools in the UK and give children the skills to do well at school, make friends and deal more confidently and calmly with the trials and tribulations of life, for life.
Nurture groups are developed around six principles of nurture:
- Learning is understood developmentally
- The classroom offers a safe base
- The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
- Language is a vital means of communication
- All behaviour is communication
- The importance of transition in the lives of children and young people.
Nurture groups are founded on evidence-based practices and offer a short-term, inclusive, focused intervention that works in the long term.
Two members of staff run The Willows. The children will attend the nurture group but remain an active part of their main class, they will continue to register in class, and in the mornings complete literacy (or Read Write Inc) in their sets and maths as they do already. They will spend 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 group runs on a Thursday and Friday afternoon. The children are from a mix of year groups. Their class teachers provide the planning for the term and the nurture staff adapt learning activities that the children complete whilst in nurture. This means they will come across the same topics that they would be seeing in class, just in a smaller group. By being in nurture children do not miss out on learning opportunities, they gain more attention and time from the adults in the group.
The Nurture group assess' learning and social and emotional needs and gives whatever help is needed to remove the barriers to learning. There is great emphasis on language development and communication. Nothing is taken for granted and everything is explained, supported by role modelling and demonstration. The relationship between the two staff, always nurturing and supportive, provides a role model that children observe and begin to copy. 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 more responsive to others feelings, learn self-respect and take pride in achieving. This is especially important at times of transition, for example moving up a year group or changing schools. The nurture group gives children time to reflect on the time in their current class and start to explore worries or concerns about a forthcoming change.
Nurture groups have been working successfully for more than 40 years in the UK and now in other countries including Canada, New Zealand and Romania, and have been praised, supported and recommended by organisations such as Ofsted.
We review each child’s needs and wishes as the term progresses, some children may spend longer in nurture than others. Each child is unique and we will be guided by them, in consultation with you.
Our Nurture staff are available if you need to speak to them, please just ask for Mrs Rooney or Miss O'Hara.