Nurture is designed to be a warm and welcoming experience, that provides a consistent, predictable and safe place for children. It offers a variety of equational and domestic experiences aimed at supporting the development of a child’s relationship with their peers and with staff.

Nurture takes place at the ARK@Egwood.  It is delivered by a trained professional at the site and supported by members of school staff.

The group follows key principles of PACE by Dan Hughes:

PLAYFULNESS: light, hopeful, open and spontaneous; provide opportunities for enjoyment

ACCEPTANCE: unconditionally directed at all of the experiences of the other; accept the young person, not necessarily their behaviour

CURIOSITY: non-judgemental, not knowing, active interest in other’s experiences; offer ways to help young people to reflect on their experiences.

EMPATHY: felt sense of other and communicated. Activily communicate that you want to experience what the young person is feeling.

These principles underpin everything we do in Nurture.

Reasons Children might attend a Nurture Group?
  • Low self esteem
  • Find it hard to listen to others or join in
  • Family illness or break up
  • Bereavement
  • Find it hard to share and take turns
  • Find it hard to settle into class
  • Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends
  • Find it hard to accept losing a game
  • Quiet, shy, withdrawn

A teacher might identify a child with any of the above needs. A discussion would then take place with the Nurture Lead. If it is felt the child would benefit from a Nurture Group environment the class teacher will speak to the parent/carer.

How will the Nurture group help your child?

The nurture 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
  • Gives opportunities to talk about and understand their feelings
  • To work on curriculum based activities from their classrooms.
  • To experience and practice the development of positive relationship
What does an afternoon in Nurture look like?
  • 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.
  • Within the session we sometimes share food together (e.g. toast, biscuits, fruit and a drink) – a chance to talk around the meal table, listen to each other, take turns to speak and practice using manners.
  • Taking part in a game, sometimes board games or team games, to encourage turn taking and coping with losing.
  • Circle time and sharing news – taking part and listening, sharing in a small group to build self-esteem and confidence.
  • We discuss and understand our feelings.
  • Role play and drama – communication, listening to other ideas, taking on the role of different characters.
  • Cooking / stories / puppets / music / arts and crafts