Here is some information about our nurture provision at Heavers Farm. This is led and managed by Donna Haywood and Rob Harnett.
Learning is all about making connections and nurturing curiosity. So, it’s important to have the right tools to collaborate and communicate to develop a love for learning. Heavers Farm are fortunate to have a nurture room onsite. This space offers ample opportunities to explore and develop the children’s emotional and social aspects of learning.
Nurture group (Crystals Class)
The Reception Group
These sessions run for three afternoons a week. They are based on a plan focussing on recognising emotions and placing them in the zones of regulation. This enables the children to give a name to their emotions and a strategy for dealing with them.
We also do a social skills-based session to promote turn talking, developing their sense of self-worth within a group and building a resilience to cope with the disappointment social activities may bring.
The Year 1 and Year 2 Group
Although our aims are the same for both groups the focus for the year 1 and 2 group is based on expanding the key principles to a higher expectation and challenge them to delve further into their emotional capabilities. These sessions are run four times per week.
During these sessions we offer:
- Emotional literacy support – recognising emotions in themselves and others.
They also benefit from using the zones of regulation. The children have the opportunity to explore each emotion and the responses that someone may display when feeling this emotion. They have the opportunity to act out scenarios using the puppet theatre and expand on this by adding extra characters to help resolve the problem.
- Enrichment – promoting participation and success through enjoyment.
The children are given opportunities to do baking activities, they made some “red nose cakes” to donate to our PTA fundraising event. They also, enjoyed making ‘Gruffalo faces’ on pancake day.
They have made art pieces to take home and are currently making a bottle-top mural to display in our nurture garden, alongside a bug hotel and amazing sunflowers which they have planted and nurtured.
- CBT – talking therapy which promotes looking at their own thoughts and feelings and being more tolerant of others.
These sessions are based around the game, ‘Let’s play CBT’. The children have found this to be the most challenging session, though they are increasing in confidence in addressing the sensitive issues which arise. They are able to identify with the characters and relate it to their own thoughts and feelings.
- Social skills – promoting positive interactions with peers.
We promote positive interaction between peers at all times during any of the sessions, though this session is more focussed on delivering this as a key strand for independent learning and building trust, the ability to share, building resilience and tolerance of differences. The reveal of a “secret student” gives the children the opportunity to explore positive behaviours in others and celebrate their successes. The secret student then gets to choose an activity for the group to take part in, promoting turn taking and positive interactions. The boost to the child’s self-esteem through the positive feedback they receive is a valuable aspect to this session.
Both groups enjoy snack time and have toast and milk. The social interaction during these sessions are key to delivering a relaxed atmosphere where the children can build on their relationships with peers. The children take it in turns to become the chef. They assist with preparing the snack and setting the table for the group.
We assess the needs and plan structured interventions and assess progress through the use of Boxhall profiles and strengths and difficulties questionaires. These are done pre-intervention and again towards the end to see where the progress has been made and offer an extension to the time in nurture, extra sessions in the nurture group or an alternative provision. Regular updates and progress meetings with parents are offered and feedback to the class teachers is constant, particularly where needed. We have planned ‘bring your teacher to Nurture’ and ‘bring your parents to nurture’ sessions to enable the children to share their successes with them.
Daily sessions were offered to year 6 pupils who found they were becoming stressed on the approach to and during SATS week. We talked about their worries and gave them some time to relax and play to ease their frustrations. This helped them to discuss their concerns and emotional responses towards the tests and have an opportunity to off-load their stresses.
(Quote from Year 6 pupil, “Thank you for doing this for us Miss, I really appreciate how you have tried hard to make this tough time easier on us”).
We utilise the space after school to run a youth club for pupils in year 6 twice a week. During these sessions we deliver emotional literacy lessons, dealing with feelings, social skills, team building and enrichment activities. The children have the opportunity to talk though any issues and highlight their thoughts and feeling to topical subjects. The children enjoy the social aspect of the group and have asked if we can run it every day. We will focus on transition to secondary school during this half term.
National Nurture Week
Heavers Farm took part in national Nurture Week to promote nurture as a whole school approach. We focussed on the second key principle of nurture which is to offer a safe base to discover what makes our children feel safe at school. This was our first year taking part and as a school we feel it was a success. The children really gave thought to what makes them feel safe and related this to their own actions of keeping others safe. We can see from the display in the foyer that children at Heavers feel secure in their school environment and respect the safety of others around them.
We are currently in the stages of further developing the provision. There will opportunities for children to access interventions based on anger management, social skills and promoting positive self-esteem. These can be accessed by teacher referral. At Heavers Farm we are constantly looking at ways we can promote positive mental health within our school and the wider community.
If you require further information on the ethos of nurture or have concerns about your own child and think they would benefit from a place in any of our interventions please do not hesitate to contact the school office and request an appointment with Donna Haywood or Rob Harnett.