Nurture groups are designed to address the social and emotional needs that can hamper pupils’ learning. So as well as providing academic teaching, the group is designed to help children develop vital social skills, to develop confidence and self-respect, and to take pride in behaving well and in achieving.
In our nurture group, there is a special emphasis on language development and communication: nothing is taken for granted and everything is clearly explained by the staff, with the help of demonstrations and (where helpful) physical gestures. Pupils are given the time they need both to listen and be listened to.
Nurture groups are also designed to give pupils vital opportunities for social learning – for example by encouraging them to share food at ‘snack time’ and to help other pupils in the group. The friendly, supportive relationship between the two members of staff is also itself an important source of learning – a model for the pupils to observe and copy.