At Thomlinson Junior School, our Nurture Group is called ‘The Throstle Group’ and runs every afternoon for a selected number of children throughout the school.
Nurture groups are founded on evidence-based practices and offer a short-term, inclusive, focused intervention that works in the long term. Nurture groups are classes of between six and 12 children or young people in early years, primary or secondary settings supported by the whole staff group and parents. Each group is run by two members of staff. Children attend nurture groups but remain an active part of their main class group, spend appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need and typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms.
Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give the necessary help to remove the barriers to learning. There is great emphasis on language development and communication. Nothing is taken for granted and everything is explained, supported by role modelling, demonstration and the use of gesture as appropriate. The relationship between the two staff, always nurturing and supportive, provides a role model that children observe and begin to copy. Food is shared at ‘breakfast’ or ‘snack time’ with many opportunities for social learning, helping children to attend to the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to.
As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving. Nurture groups have been working successfully for more than 40 years in the UK and now in other countries including Canada, New Zealand and Romania, and have been praised, supported and recommended by organisations such as Ofsted, Estyn and HMIE.
The Six Principles of Nurture
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally
- The classroom offers a safe base
- The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
- Language is a vital means of communication
- All behaviour is communication
- The importance of transition in children’s lives
Mental Health & Well-being
At Thomlinson Junior School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and well-being of our pupils and staff. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.
At our school we:
- help children to understand their emotions and feelings better
- help children feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries
- help children socially to form and maintain relationships
- promote self esteem and ensure children know that they count
- encourage children to be confident and ‘dare to be different’
- help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks
We offer different levels of support:
Universal Support– To meet the needs of all our pupils through our overall ethos and our wider curriculum. For instance developing resilience for all.
Additional support– For those who may have short term needs and those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences such as bereavement.
Targeted support– For pupils who need more differentiated support and resources or specific targeted interventions such as well-being groups or personal mentors.
KidSafe UK Safeguarding founded in 2004 by Val Webb & Jude Walker, provides training to school staff in order for them to deliver Kidsafe specialised child protection / safeguarding programmes to children and young people from Early Years Foundation Stage through to High School.
KidSafe programmes are age appropriate and delivered to children without shattering their innocence.
Our aim is to protect, educate and empower children. With the help of our puppet, KS, our courses are uniquely designed to help children take an active role in protecting themselves from all forms of abuse.
KidSafe UK Safeguarding is proactive, not reactive and we wholeheartedly believe that empowering children to speak out to a trusted grown up about abuse will help minimise the short and long term damage and harm associated with abuse.
As a Kidsafe Registered School, we provide sessions with children from years 3 to 6.