The nurturing approach at William Gilbert Endowed C of E Primary School and Nursery is part of the school’s culture and provision. It is fundamental in supporting the development of cultural capital of the pupils that access it and supporting their social and emotional needs and development of self-worth. This therefore enables pupils to engage more actively with learning and be well prepared for their next stage of education and future lives.

Most children start school with assumptions based on early experiences at home, about their capacity to enjoy learning; they are willing to try something new and can learn from their mistakes. They are able to learn in a normal classroom environment and thrive off challenge and group work. Most children will be supported at home if difficulties arise and their needs are met: self-actualisation; esteem; belongingness and safety. However, some children arrive in school without having those necessary and positive experiences and therefore, school life is a different experience for them. This could be for different reasons, and it all depends on their personal circumstances. For them, the complex activities and commotion of a large class can be extremely overwhelming for them as their needs have not yet been met. Their difficulties could range from not being able to listen, feel deflated quickly, seek attention through disruptive and aggressive behaviour or become incredibly withdrawn. Therefore, they are not making progress in the normal classroom environment.

We are extremely excited that we are able to offer a fantastic opportunity for children to access our school’s Nurture Programme. This programme offers group support in a positive environment where children will work with the Nurture Lead through a range of structured activities designed to meet their needs.

The Nurture Group Leader is Mrs Emily Davies. She can be contacted on 01332 840395, or via our school email at

The Nurture Group is run and co-ordinated by a Nurture leader.  The children are carefully brought together to ensure a balanced and functional group. The Nurture provision continues the ethos of an already nurturing environment within William Gilbert Endowed C of E Primary School and Nursery and provides inclusion for all children. 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 Nurture Group provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience, whilst developing the skills they need to reach their full potential. The Boxall Profile is used to help identify which skills need to be centred on by the Nurture team, and are assessed over the course of the Nurture experience.  The Nurture Group is a place of learning.

Nurture is important…

“By building a child’s social and emotional capabilities we enable children to be happily engaged with others and with society, and to learn, to develop fully, to attain and to achieve. In essence, it delivers school ready, life ready and child ready members of society” (The Allen report 2011)

What are the reasons children might attend a nurture group?
Low self esteem
Find it hard to listen to others or join in
Family illness or break up
Find it hard to share and take turns
Find it hard to settle into class
Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends
Find it hard to accept losing
Quiet, shy, withdrawn, anxious

How will the Nurture Group help your child?
Children follow a structure and routine that is clear to both staff and children. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement and praise. The Nurture 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.

What should the children get out of it?

Increased confidence
Raised self-esteem
More able to express their feelings
To work on curriculum based activities from their classrooms
To experience and practice the development of positive relationships

How long will my child attend the Nurture Group?
Children attend on a part-time basis for a period up to 10 weeks depending on the individual child’s needs. However, we ensure that children do not miss special assemblies, guests in school, outings or any special events that the rest of their class are taking part in. The Nurture team plan closely with the class teachers.

Are parents/carers involved?
Yes. We pride ourselves on having an open door policy where parents/carers can come and chat with the class teacher or the Nurture staff with regard to their child.

What does a session look like?

Each session is made up in the same way. 

  • Welcome – Starting the session off by sharing what we have been doing.
  • Work and Make – These activities are practical and develop concentration, independence and resilience. The activities are often linked to what the pupils are learning in class.
  • Task 1 – This is individual play and is used to develop focus, play skills, independence and organisation.
  • Task 2 – This is the time of the session when the children play in pre-determined groups to develop co-operative play and working together,
  • Circle time – This is time to focus on social skills, the skills for learning and raise self-esteem. 
  • Snack Time – A time to come together as a group to share food and experiences.
  • Story Time – A time to begin to wind down and enjoy a story together.
  • Reward and goodbye – A chance to be rewarded for the positive skills we have developed and a calm end to the day where we reflect on the good things we have achieved