The role of Nurture throughout Drayton Infant School is highly valued. Our specialised Nurture Group will continue to be run by experienced staff in the Woodland Room after February half term. The emphasis on the principles and practice that we have provided so far will continue. Here is how we do it.
Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
Children all develop at different rates and in the nurture group environment we respond to that by providing learning experiences targeted to the individual child and to earlier stages that may not have been accessed. We assess where the children are and their progress using an assessment system called Boxall Profile.
The classroom offers a safe base.
The organisation of the Woodland Room and the way the group is managed is designed to reduce children’s anxieties and provide a link between emotional containment and cognitive learning. We offer a balance of educational (all areas of the foundation curriculum + science are covered) and domestic experiences like cooking and eating together. All activities are aimed at supporting the development of the children’s relationships with one another and with the staff. Our sessions are structured and follow predictable routines, great attention is paid to detail and the adults are reliable and consistent in their approach.
Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
Nurture involves listening and responding. Children respond to being valued and thought of as individuals – we notice and praise the small achievements. In the Woodland Room there is an emphasis on adults engaging with the children in shared activities; playing, cooking, eating, reading, talking; everything is verbalised.
Language is understood as a vital means of communication.
Within the Woodland Room we focus on children’s abilities to put their feelings into words. “Use your words” is an often heard phrase in the sessions. Language skills are worked on constantly through focussed sessions and through informal opportunities for talking and sharing. Imaginative play is frequently used to build understanding of the feelings of others. These approaches can aid those who struggle to concentrate and process language in the whole class situation as well as those who need to develop the ability to use words rather than actions.
All behaviour is communication.
Staff in the Woodland Room are skilled in understanding what children are communicating through their behaviours. We help our children make links between their internal and external worlds by responding to them in a firm but non-punitive way.
Transitions are significant in the lives of children.
Having clear routines and structures makes transitions easier to manage for children who often find these times difficult. Transitions from room to room, activity to activity, year to year, home to school and vice versa are prepared for, supported and practised in our sessions.