A Parents' Guide to...social, emotional and mental health investment at our school
It is an agreed priority for Kingsfield Primary School to focus on the emotional development and wellbeing for all pupils and staff. The school are following the Nurture UK whole school programme implementing strategies to raise awareness of mental health and to improve ways children are identified with having a need. Nurture Groups have been created across the phases providing structure and targeted intervention. In addition, there is the new Sunflower Room which is an additional resource to meet the varying needs of pupils, focusing on building self-esteem, self-awareness and resilience. Social, emotional and mental health difficulties can be a barrier to learning and, with a whole school approach, we want to enable all children to be ‘ready to learn’.
The Nurture room is designed to be a bridge between home and school/nursery; a place where children can feel safe and secure and therefore develop their individual needs further. The Sunflower Room has a table to share snacks, a seating social area plus a kitchen to prepare snacks. There is also an adjoining outside space.
What is the purpose of Nurture Group and the Philosophy?
Nurture Group is a small class of pupils (8 - 10). Its composition is carefully well thought-out to create a balanced group. The Nurture Group is part of the school’s Inclusion and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) provision. 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 wellbeing, and a feeling of belonging to their school community. The Nurture Room provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience. The Nurture Room is a place of learning.
The philosophy of the Nurture Room is drawn from the principles established by the work of Marjorie Boxall and others, and exemplified by ‘The Nurture Group Network’ (www.nurturegroups.org).
The Nurture Group Principles:
• Children’s learning is understood developmentally
• The classroom offers a safe base
• All behaviour is communication
• The importance of transition in children's lives
• Builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence plus skills for learning
• Language is a vital means of communication
Before children attend nurture provision parents are informed by letter and given the opportunity to discuss the support further.
Who attends a Nurture Group?
Children may attend sessions in the Nurture Group for specific reasons, for example:
• Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends
• Quiet, shy, withdrawn
• Find it hard to listen to others or join in
• Disruptive towards others
• Find it hard to accept losing a game
• Find it hard to share and take turns
• Find it a bit difficult to settle into class
• Low self esteem
• Poor relationships with adults in school
• Bereavement and loss
• Family illness or break-up
How will Nurture Group help my child?
Nurture Group will boost confidence and self-esteem and provide children with the extra help sometimes needed to improve social skills and independence for example:
- To join in
- To settle
- To listen
- To concentrate
- 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.
Does this mean my child is naughty?
No, these sessions are meant to help them manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.
How long will my child be in Nurture Group for?
Children attend on a part-time basis for a period of 10 weeks initially then it will be reviewed. However, we ensure that the children do not miss special assemblies, guests in school, outings or anything else that may be different from the normal routine of the week.
Are parents/carers involved?
We like to consider our door is always open and therefore welcome parent/carers to visit and speak to us at the start or end of the school day.
In addition to the Nurture Group work we have two qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) who will be running targeted intervention in the afternoons.
ELSA menu of direct work covers:
- Understanding emotions and regulating anger
- Active Listening
- Bereavement and Loss support
- Friendship and social skills
- Building self-esteem