The curriculum for primary school children remains out of reach for vulnerable children with effective early intervention, the government has been warned by the Nurture Group Network.
The Nurture Group Network is the national umbrella organisation representing early intervention nurture groups in around 1,000 mostly primary schools in the UK.
There are now around 1,000 nurture groups in schools across the United Kingdom and a growing number of local authorities support nurture groups as an integral part of their early year’s strategy.
A nurture group aims to provide children who are often described as having emotional, behavioural or social difficulties with a safe learning environment where each child is valued and understood.
This takes place in classes of between eight and 12 children – usually of primary school age – supported by two members of staff. The classes give the children a daily routine and balanced learning and teaching with affection and structure in a home-like setting.
The children’s learning needs are assessed so that support can be provided to help remove any barriers and the national curriculum is then moulded to fit these needs.
Staff’s interaction with the children is nurturing, supportive and consistent and there is a strong emphasis on language – staff try to make sure the child has been understood; nothing is taken for granted and everything is explained.
Through nurture groups, the children develop confidence and are able to respond better to others. They learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving.
After about three school terms most children are ready to return full-time to their mainstream class.
The Nurture Group Network exists to promote nurture groups as an effective way of meeting the needs of vulnerable children and to ensure the continuing quality of their delivery through accredited training programmes, relevant publications, research and information exchange.