‘Nurturing Individual Excellence’


Our Nurture Group runs once a week and has been established since January 2011. We have a maximum of six children, from both key stages in our group at any one time.

Our nurture group provides a safe and nurturing learning environment where each child is valued, understood and has their emotional needs met appropriately. Since starting we have been considering behaviour with and around other people. We have looked at the importance of personal space, eye contact and positive verbal communication. Through these sessions, trust and confidence are built and learning begins to take place more effectively.

There is always a game played during each session, our favourite is 'In my shopping basket I put...' This game really tests our memory skills and is great fun because we think up all sorts of weird and wonderful things to go into the basket - have you ever been able to purchase a swimming pool or elephant at the local supermarket?

A drink and snack is always available, and we take it in turns to serve each other. This is an ideal opportunity to improve on our social skills in a relaxed environment.

We have a 'Best Listener' Award, the winner of which is chosen at the end of each session and voted for by all the children, along with a Compliments Booklet, which gives the children another opportunity to give each other positive feedback; we have some wonderful compliments such as magnificent, brave and 'not so fidgety'!

The format of the sessions is flexible and the children are invited to volunteer ideas, suggestions and activities for the group.

It is important that the children feel safe, relaxed and happy within the session and this is achieved by a happy, inclusive, nurturing environment.

Marjorie Boxall

Nurture Groups were developed in 1969 in inner London by educational psychologist, Marjorie Boxall.  Marjorie noticed that a large number of children entering school were presenting social, emotional and behavioural needs. They were unable to form trusting relationships with adults or respond appropriately to other children.  So she invented the Boxall Profile, a two part check list to be completed by staff who know the child in class.  It provides a framework for the precise assessment of children who need help in school and helps teachers to plan focused intervention.  Depending on how the children score on the Boxall Profile will distinguish whether they need to join a Nurture Group.

What is a Nurture Group?

Nurture Groups are a small provision within a school supporting children who have difficulties in the mainstream classroom.  They are usually about four to six children in the group at any one time with specially trained staff.

Who are Nurture Groups for?

Nurture groups are set up for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which may be:

  • lack of self-esteem
  • withdrawn
  • unable to share and take turns
  • doesn't trust adults/peers
  • may lack in mannerism skills
  • disrupts other children in the classroom
  • has behavioural issues
  • cannot sit still and listen
  • language skills
  • struggle with the mainstream classroom environment

These children need a significant level of support.  Entry into the group is carefully considered through a staged referral procedure and the use of a range of assessments over time.

What is a Nurture Group Room?

The Nurturing Group room is designed to have a nurturing home atmosphere with a seating area, scatter cushions, activity table, eating and kitchen area; where snack is prepared and shared.  Food the most fundamental expression of care is shared  with much opportunity for social learning.  An emphasis is placed on communication and language development through intensive interaction with an adult and children.

When does the Nurturing Group take place?

The Nurture group takes place on Monday,Tuesday and Friday afternoons for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children.

What do the children do in the Nurture Group?

The children will talk about feelings, problems, issues,through;

  • group discussions
  • social Interaction
  • circle time
  • snack time
  • washing up time
  • activity of the day (arts & crafts, baking etc)
  • story time

What will the Nurture Group offer my Child?

Within the nurturing environment, the child is enabled to develop a trusting relationship with an adult and can be supported to relate well with others.  The consequent development of a positive self-esteem and sense of security provide a self confident child who can begin to take responsibility and exercise independence. This in turn develops self-respect and a sense of well-being.  The child can then take pride in himself and his achievements. Over time, with appropriate interventions based on identified needs, the child becomes happier, more confident and more motivated to learn.  The child then learns more academically, emotionally and socially and become more academic of others.

What does the Nurture Group offer Parents?

We offer you a friendly environment with lots of support, the assurance that you will be respected and valued and that your child will be helped.

What do the staff provide?

We provide support for the child's positive emotional and social growth and cognitive development, at whatever level of need the child manifests. This is done by responding to the child in a developmentally appropriate way.They provide a safe base and trusting relationships. The adults work together modelling adult co-operation, sharing discussing and problem solving.  We work closely with the SENCO and classroom teachers, as well as parents.  We carry out assessments using a range of tools Boxall profiles, i,e,p's etc.

What will the Nurture Group offer the School?

The establishment of the Nurture Group has the potential to enhance the school ethos by promoting a nurturing environment that benefits all the children whether they attend nurture group or not.

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Excalibur Primary School

Ivy Lane, Alsager, ST7 2RQ

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