Rational for Nurture Provision

In response to the current situation, we are taking great care in making plans to provide the best possible provision for all children when they finally return to school.

After a long period of time away from their friends, away from school routines and from the expectations of each school day, some children will find the transition back to ‘normality’ harder than others. We have therefore decided on some positive changes to ensure all children’s needs are being met, taking into account their personal circumstances.

At St Michael’s we believe that every child is extraordinary and that education has the capacity and the possibility to change lives for the better.  Here, teaching and learning is built upon a foundation that is inclusive, supportive, challenging and empowering.  We promote high expectations, aspirations and an intense engagement in learning. This supports learners in establishing the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge through which they will be able to achieve success, gain fulfilment in the future and become life-long learners.

Children have special educational needs if they have a need that presents a barrier for learning, this may be academic, social or emotional and which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. 

Teachers are responsible and accountable for all the children in their classes and provide High Quality teaching, including effective differentiation, by planning lessons that consider all needs and remove barriers so every pupil can achieve.

However, for some pupils, accessing the curriculum within a mainstream setting can be a challenge and a barrier to learning in itself. This may be because of a learning, emotional and/or social or medical need.

Research has shown that the way we behave is linked to how we feel and our emotions are linked to how we learn. By teaching children to recognise and notice these feelings and emotions it can help with their development and learning. Children sometimes need some extra support with their emotional growth and this can be temporary or over a longer period of time.

Levels of support

At St Michael’s we work as a team to provide exceptional pastoral care that is based on the individual needs of the children. We constantly reassess the support we provide to ensure we are helping children to develop socially and emotionally. We work alongside families to ensure a comprehensive approach to supporting each child and this input from families is both essential and invaluable.

Pupils at St Michael’s are supported through a variety of interventions and in a variety of ways. Through

  • Support with social and emotional issues that can be accessed through whole class Thrive Activities, work with the class teacher and their peers.

  • A structured and personalised approach with time both in and out of the classroom using ELSA strategies and also thrive activities, often based in the Meadow Room with Mrs Dalton or one of our Thrive Practitioners

  • Daily focussed and regular interventions to support difficulties they may be experiencing. This will include personalised thrive activities, a personalised timetable and some alternative provision. Based in the Thrive room and other areas of the school

Nurture Provision for every child

At St Michael’s we are proud to use the THRIVE Approach to support emotional and social development. This includes whole class activities, group sessions and also interventions for individuals. There is a recognised link between children’s sense of wellbeing and their success as learners. Nurture support is not limited to specific individuals or groups, as we embed nurturing principles and practice at a whole school level, providing appropriate support for all pupils attending our school. We will facilitate this through the use of THRIVE interventions and activities with classes throughout our school. We utilise strategies to overcome difficulties through the provision of a social and emotional curriculum in every year group. This aims to develop their social skills and understand their emotional needs. This enables many children to be successful in their academic learning.

ELSA and Thrive support

Some children need a further intervention to support them and our fully trained ELSA, Mrs Dalton, as well as our trained thrive practitioners will work with these children through individual or group sessions that are personalised to meet their needs

Some of the difficulties these children may have include:

  • Difficulties with friendships.

  • Getting into trouble at playtime.

  • Finding it hard to settle into the classroom routine/structure.

  • Finding it difficult to manage their strong feelings.

  • Not knowing who to turn to when feelings are too big to manage on their own.

These situations can lead to many different feelings, which can feel overwhelming at times. They might include: anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, confusion or anxiety. All these feelings are very normal and are felt by many children.

ELSA sessions for individuals or small groups

Through our comprehensive ELSA support we provide a range of programmes of regular sessions that help children learn to manage their feelings and teach them strategies that will help promote their learning at school.

The Meadow room is a quiet/calm space which will facilitate these ELSA sessions and can also be used if pupils need somewhere to withdraw when feelings overwhelm them. It is used in a variety of ways including:

  • Individual work, group work and interventions designed to meet specific needs, with Nurture staff using a range of activities and interventions including ELSA sessions.

  • ·CT/TA may work with pupils developing relationships in the Meadow Room which will transfer into the mainstream class.

  • Peers can work with other individuals to build relationships and develop successful social skills.

Thrive sessions for individuals or small groups

The Thrive approach offers practical strategies and techniques and is built around online assessments which identify children’s emotional development and provides action plans for their individual needs.

Thrive promotes children’s emotional and social growth by building positive relationships between a child and their peers and helps them explore and understand their feelings through various activities.

Thrive sessions

The session may be on an individual basis or as part of a small group of children. During each session there will be an activity which may include:

  • Story telling

  • Circle games

  • Arts and crafts

  • Sand play

  • Movement and relaxation

  • Hand and foot massage

  • Cooking and preparing food

  • Role play and puppet work

  • Games

Pupil profiles are undertaken in order to identify the area of need. An action plan of activities to support pupil development is created and a series of activities and interventions are put in place. At the end of approximately 6 weeks, pupils are assessed, progress measured and a new action plan created.

The Nurture Group and the Thrive Room

Some children will join our nurture group and be based in a classroom called the Thrive Room. Here, trained Thrive practitioners, along with the senior leadership team, will plan activities to support the children’s social and emotional needs and work towards having more successful time in their own year groups.

The Thrive room is designed to be a bridge between home and school; a place where children can feel safe and secure and therefore develop their individual needs further. It has a central table to share breakfast and snacks, and where collaborative projects can be worked on. There is a cosy seating area to play games and work collaboratively plus a kitchen to prepare snacks. There are a wide range of resources to support sensory needs and some of the learning will take place in other areas of the school, including the outdoor areas

The Purpose and the Philosophy

There will be between 6-10 children based in the Thrive Room, some will be full time while others may attend for dedicated sessions. Its composition is carefully well thought-out to create a balanced and functional group. Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to re-visit early learning skills and promote and support their social and emotional development. There is much research evidence that children’s learning is most effective when they have a sense of emotional well- being, good self -esteem and a feeling of belonging to their school community. The Thrive Room provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience. This is a place of safety, positivity and a place of learning.

The philosophy of the nurture group is drawn from the principles established by the work of Marjorie Boxall and others.

The Nurture Group Principles:

  • Children’s learning is understood and assessed developmentally

  • The classroom offers a safe base

  • All behaviour is communication

  • Recognises the importance of transition in children's lives

  • Has an adult/child ration of 1:3, and provides lots of opportunities for speaking and listening activities

  • Builds a child’s self-esteem, confidence and well-being

  • Builds skills for classroom learning

  • Language is a vital means of communication

Before children attend nurture provision parents are informed by letter and requested to sign a permission slip.

Which children will attend The Thrive Room?

Children may be part of this nurture group for specific reasons which may be a barrier for learning, for example:

  • Family illness or break-up

  • Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends

  • ·Quiet, shy, withdrawn

  • Find it hard to listen to others or join in

  • Disrupting own and other’s learning

  • Find it hard to accept losing a game

  • Find it hard to share and take turns

  • Find it a bit tricky to focus and settle in class

  • Low self esteem

  • Poor relationships both in & out of school

  • Bereavement

How will being part of this group help my child?

These sessions are meant to help them manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.

  • The nurture group aims to boost confidence and self- esteem and provide children with the extra help they sometimes need to improve social skills and independence for example:

  • To join in

  • To settle

  • To listen

  • To concentrate & focus on their learning

  • To share and take turns

  • ·To accept losing a game

  • To build up friendships with their classmates

  • It gives them a chance and helps to encourage a more positive profile among their peers and members of staff. 

How long will my child be in the Nurture group for?

Each child’s needs differ from their peers. Children attend for a 6-week cycle before reassessment and then further discussion and planning. However the children remain an integral member of their mainstream class and we ensure that they do not miss break times, lunch with their class, some PE sessions, some assemblies, guests in school, outings or anything else that may be different from the normal routine of the week.

What will my child be learning as part of the nurture group?

A timetable of activities will be available to outline what will take place. There will be a mix of joint projects, outside activities, sports and specific Thrive activities to support and develop successful social and emotional aspects.