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What is a Nurture Class?. Early Years Conference Wed 13 th Feb 2013. Belinda Tomasik - DHT Shieldhill Primary School Carole Roberts – Nurture Family Support Worker. Voice on the Table.

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what is a nurture class

What is a Nurture Class?

Early Years Conference

Wed 13th Feb 2013

Belinda Tomasik - DHT Shieldhill Primary School

Carole Roberts – Nurture Family Support Worker

voice on the table

Voice on the Table

Introduce yourself to your group and share a positive childhood memory with the other people at your table (a time when you felt nurtured)


What does a

child need?


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs







secure attachment
Secure Attachment

Majority of children have experienced life in the

context of secure relationships. Adult is:-

  • Readily available
  • Sensitive to the child’s signals
  • Responsive when protection or comfort is sought
  • Consistent
  • Reliable
  • Predictable in their response
  • Secure base for the child to explore from and return to
secure attachment1
Secure Attachment

A securely attached child learns

positive internal models of how

Adults are-

  • predictable
  • responsive
  • interested in them
secure attachment2
Secure Attachment

Children also develop positive internal

models of themselves as

  • worthwhile
  • interesting
  • lovable
  • loved
secure attachment3
Secure Attachment

Children learn that -

  • exploration is safe
  • adult will check on their well being and safety so they don’t have to worry
  • learning is interesting
attachment still face experiment
Attachment – Still Face Experiment


insecure attachment
Insecure Attachment

Difficulties in the attachment process

arise when the care giver is not

consistently available or responsive

  • Child becomes uncertain that their needs will be met
  • Defences are learnt in order to give protection from disappointment or hurt
how can a nurture class help
How can a nurture class help?

The nurture class setting attempts to

meet the needs of insecurely attached

children by:-

  • providing reliable and consistent adults
  • predictable and clear interactions
  • routines and boundaries
  • developmentally appropriate curriculum
  • specific attachment figures
  • challenge to their negative

internal models

nurture classes in falkirk primary schools
Nurture Classes in Falkirk Primary Schools

August 2012 five primary schools

participating in Nurture Class pilot

  • Nethermains Primary School (existing group)
  • Bainsford Primary School (existing group)
  • Sacred Heart RC Primary School
  • Westquarter Primary School
  • Easter Carmuirs Primary School
which children benefit from a nurture class provision
Which children benefit from a Nurture Class provision?

Nurture group provision will be

considered for children who are

underachieving for

  • social
  • emotional
  • behavioural reasons
which children benefit from a nurture class provision1
Which children benefit from a Nurture Class provision?

This includes children who:

  • Are very restless, cannot listen, behave impulsively or aggressively
  • Are withdrawn or non responsive
  • Have difficulty relating to others
  • Family history suggests that they may be educationally at risk
thought shower
Thought Shower
  • What kind of circumstances may have caused these difficulties in young children?
what is a nurture class1
What is a Nurture Class?
  • Class of 6-8 children within a mainstream school
  • Always supported by 2 adults

(teacher and SLA)

  • Time spent in mainstream for planned activities
a typical day in a nurture class
A Typical Day in a Nurture Class

9.10 – 9.40

  • Collect children from mainstream class
  • Welcome
  • Feelings Cards
  • ‘The big picture’
    • Visual Timetable
  • Helpers for the day
  • Calendar/Weather Chart etc.
11.00 – 11.30
  • ORT
  • Active Literacy Activities
  • Writing Activities

11.30 – 12.00

  • Active Maths/Number Games
  • Heinemann Maths etc.

12.00 – 12.15

  • Review Learning and Social Targets
  • Preparation for p.m. session (in mainstream class)
  • Working with older children

e.g. Social Skills Group

  • Supporting children in class
  • Meetings with parents or other professionals
  • Visits to other groups
  • NCC time
which children can benefit from being in a nurture class
Which children can benefit from being in a Nurture Class?
  • Children who have missed out on early experiences that promote good development (Primary 1, 2 or 3)
  • Children who have not learned to make trusting relationships with adults (attachment)
  • Children who have not learned to relate appropriately to other children

These children will find it extremely

difficult to settle in school.

what does a nurture class look like
What does a Nurture Class look like?
  • Separate classroom within the mainstream school in which children can access learning in different forms.
  • The room has furniture that would be found in many homes: a dining area, kitchen, a sofa and resources suitable for a variety of age ranges as well as usual classroom furniture
what does a nurture class look like1
What does a Nurture Class look like?
  • Children will be able to learn through similar experiences to those that they experience at home: cooking, sharing breakfast, reading and playing together
  • Room can be used by other classes when appropriate
the role of the adults
The Role of the Adults
  • Understand the gaps in development
  • Engage with the children at the stage they have reached
  • Offer emotional acceptance and focused teaching
the role of the adults1
The Role of the Adults
  • Assess learning needs and address barriers to learning
  • Great emphasis on language – everything is explained
  • Provide supportive and nurturing role models that the children observe and begin to copy
the role of the adults2
The Role of the Adults
  • Food, the most fundamental expression of care, is shared at ‘breakfast’ with much opportunity for social learning, helping children to attend to the needs of others.
planning and review
Planning and Review
  • Each child within the group has a IEP (Form 4) which takes into account Language, Maths and PSD
  • The results of the Boxall Profile highlight the most pressing areas for development and a plan is devised to address these
  • IEPs are reviewed on a termly basis and class teachers and parents will be made aware of progress
  • Careful consideration needs to be given to the level of support a child may need during their reintegration to mainstream
  • Individual planning with class teacher and parents
  • Graduation ceremony/party
  • Come back for visits occasionally if required
parental involvement
Parental Involvement

Parental involvement is fundamental throughout the Nurture Group process. The parents’ permission is essential if the child is to be included in the group.

  • Parents will have an opportunity to become involved in:-
  • target setting for their children
  • following through any initiatives/targets at home
  • informal activities e.g. breakfast
  • meetings with NG staff and Family Support Worker
family support
Family Support
  • Engage with parents as a home/school link
  • Parenting styles
  • Guidance
  • Supportive listening ear
a nurturing school1
A Nurturing School

Discussion Activity:

In small groups, pick one of the themes

and discuss ways of making your own

setting more nurturing.

  • Relationships
  • Teaching & learning
  • Behaviour
  • Physical environment
  • School organisation
  • Partnership working
  • Fostering resilience
  • Leadership
  • Staff Style/ approach
  • Morale