Nurture groups

“Nurture groups can change children’s lives. If all schools were run on nurturing principles, the long term benefits to children and to society would be immense.” Marion Bennathan from the Nurture Group Network

What is a nurture group?

Nurture groups provide specialist support for children and young people who have social, emotional and behaviour difficulties.  The groups of fewer than 12 children or young adults are held in school and led by teachers to replace missing or distorted early nurturing experiences.

The children and young people are immersed in an accepting and warm environment which helps develop positive relationships with both teachers and peers.

A nurture group combines the positive aspects of home and school life and includes activities like sharing news, sharing breakfast and understanding your emotions, as well as regular curriculum tasks.

The children and young people still share curriculum time, breaks and lunch with their other classmates.

Six principles of nurture groups

  1. All behaviour is communication
  2. Language is understood as a vital means of communication
  3. The classroom (or school) offers a safe base
  4. Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem
  5. Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  6. Transitions are significant in the lives of children

What outcomes can be expected?

Children and young people who attend a nurture group will:

  • Improve their social, emotional and behaviour skills and develop a wider social network
  • Benefit from positive changes both at school and at home
  • Develop a positive attitude towards school
  • Make better progress
  • Develop a stronger bond with their teachers and their peer group, with reduced exclusions

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