Nurture Provision at Gastrells Primary School

Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for children with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are creating a barrier to learning within a mainstream class.

At Gastrells we have Nurture provision for Key Stage 1 and 2 as well as BAM / GAM (Boys advocacy and mentoring / Girls Advocacy and Mentoring) groups in KS 2.

Who is it for?

Nurture group at Gastrells is for those children who would benefit from additional social, emotional and behavioural interventions. Access to nurture group is determined following an in-school referral and an assessment using the Boxall Profile®.

Who runs nurture group?

The group is staffed by the SENDCo and a Teaching Assistant who work very closely with the mainstream class teachers. This is currently Mrs Fiona Radway and Mrs Diane Cook.

When and where does it take place?

Nurture group runs for 4 afternoon sessions with time to plan, assess and feedback wo mainstream teachers within the weekly staff meeting. Nurture group takes place in the ‘Pigeon Loft’ and children stay with the group until their specific need is met and they are ready to return to mainstream class. This is usually 2-4 short terms.

We use strategies to support the child and to raise their self-esteem and confidence which enables the children to access the curriculum and have positive experiences throughout their school life.

What happens in nurture group?

Nurture groups are also designed to give pupils vital opportunities for social learning – for example by encouraging them to share food at breakfast and ‘snack time’ and to help other pupils in the group. Nurture involves listening and responding. In a nurture group ‘everything is verbalised’ with an emphasis on the adults engaging with the children in reciprocal shared activities e.g. play/meals/reading/talking about events and feelings.

The session starts with a welcome activity and chance to say how each child is feeling. This is followed by an activity such as;

Story telling

Circle games

Arts and crafts

Sand play

Movement and relaxation

Hand and foot massage

Cooking and preparing food

Role play and puppet work

The children and adults then sit around the table and make and share a drink and a snack. Modelled by the adults, the children are expected to be polite, wait their turn, share and show good tables manners at all times.

The session closes with a reflective time and a story.


  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally.
  • The classroom offers a safe base.
  • Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
  • Language is understood as a vital means of communication.
  • All behaviour is communication.
  • Transitions are significant in the lives of children.

Parental/carer Involvement

Parental/carer involvement is encouraged and all learning is shared in order that the children are fully supported.

Nurture groups are supported and recommended by organisations, such as Ofsted, Estyn and HMIE.