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Nurture Group

Children will always start the session with their nursery key person group for welcome time. They will then be collected for the start of Nurture group.

What does Tenterfield Nurture group look like?

A Nurture group is a small, special class for up to 6 children that provides a safe and predictable, structured environment in which children are given opportunities to develop their social skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. It is also a space where children can explore their feelings and learn how to manage them in appropriate ways, in a place where they feel valued and accepted. Nurture groups are based on six principles:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  • The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  • All behaviour is communication
  • The classroom offers a safe base
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • The importance of transition in children’s lives

They are supported in the group by two specially trained members of staff. They model positive relationships and there is an emphasis on the development of language and communication skills.  

The Nurture group has a familiar and consistent routine. Children will work 1:1 with an adult, in pairs and in small groups and their levels of achievement are raised by carefully targeted teaching/learning opportunities that focus on their individual needs.

How are children identified to join the Nurture group?

All staff at Tenterfield have had training in understanding attachment and developing Nurture in schools. They use this knowledge to guide the observations and assessments that they make in the Nursery and to help them identify potential children to join the group. We also use an assessment tool called ‘The Boxall Profile’ which introduces a way of understanding what lies behind the behaviour of children and helps us to focus on priority areas to develop.

What happens in a Nurture group?

The routine of the Nurture group always follows a predictable and consistent pattern as set out below:

  • Welcome time and hello – The children are welcomed into the session, sing welcome songs or talk about how they are feeling that day.
  • Talking time – We play a game or activity that encourages the children to develop their communication skills.
  • ‘Family style’ snack time around the table – The children are given jobs to help set the table and prepare the food for snack. They offer each other food and have conversations together.
  • Play time – The children choose which toys they would like to play with. The adults model and encourage interactions and facilitate sharing toys and working together.
  • Special learning time – Children may work 1:1 with an adult, in pairs or in a group to work on particular areas for development that have been identified e.g. interacting with others, sharing and turn-taking, developing trust or self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Story time – The children have a story as a group. The story will be used to help the children share ideas with the group and also talk about their emotions and feelings. Children will return to their key person group after the story.