What is a Nurture Class?

What is a Nurture Class?
Early Years
Wed 13th Feb 2013
Belinda Tomasik - DHT Shieldhill Primary School
Carole Roberts – Nurture Family Support Worker
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
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 Attachment
A securely attached child learns
positive internal models of how
Adults are• predictable
• responsive
• interested in them
Secure Attachment
Children also develop positive internal
models of themselves as
• worthwhile
• interesting
• lovable
• loved
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
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
What does this mean
in school?
Securely Attached
Insecurely Attached
Better able to learn
Feel lost and unnoticed in
a large school environment
Able to make new
attachments more readily
Internal model of being
Readily seek help when
experiencing difficulties
May set out to prove this
is the right model when
meeting new adults
More willing to share the
attention of adults
Becomes self fulfilling
May provoke unresponsive
or hostile reactions in
adults and peers
Reinforcement of their
feelings of self-doubt and
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
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?
Nurture group provision will be
considered for children who are
underachieving for
• social
• emotional
• behavioural reasons
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
• What kind of circumstances
may have caused these
difficulties in young children?
What is a Nurture Class?
• Class of 6-8 children within a mainstream
• Always supported by 2 adults
(teacher and SLA)
• Time spent in mainstream for planned
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
• 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
• Working with older children
e.g. Social Skills Group
• Supporting children in class
• Meetings with parents or other
• Visits to other groups
• NCC time
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?
• 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 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
The Role of the Adults
• Understand the gaps in
• Engage with the children at the
stage they have reached
• Offer emotional acceptance and
focused teaching
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 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
• 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
• Graduation ceremony/party
• Come back for visits occasionally if required
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
• Engage with parents as a home/school
• Parenting styles
• Guidance
• Supportive listening ear
A Nurturing School
1. Relationships
Supportive relationships amongst staff,
pupils and parents
6. Partnership Working
The school works in partnership with
pupils, parents and the wider community
2. Teaching and Learning
Staff and pupils engaged in a
curriculum which is supportive but
7. Fostering Resilience
There is a focus on developing coping
skills, life skills, social skills and
3. Behaviour
Expectations made clear and positive
behaviours encouraged
8. Leadership
Coherent approach to leadership which
supports challenges and recognises
4. Physical Environment
Physical environment supports learning
9. Staff Style/Approach
Style and approach of staff reflects a
nurturing stance
5. School Organisation
Structures in the school facilitate a
nurturing approach e.g. There are clear
communication channels, clear roles and
10. Morale
Positive morale amongst pupils and staff
A Nurturing School
Discussion Activity:
In small groups, pick one of the themes
and discuss ways of making your own
setting more nurturing.
Partnership working
Teaching & learning
Fostering resilience
Physical environment
Staff Style/ approach
School organisation
Who’s Baby?
1.Hayley Mills
2.Michael Douglas
3.Ben Stiller
4.Bridget Fonda
5.Jamie Lee Curtis
6.Kate Hudson
7.Jeff Bridges
8.Lisa Marie Presley
9.Nancy Sinatra
Kiefer Sutherland