Nurture Group

The Gorseland Nurture Group is an in-school intervention group that provides early nurturing experiences to support identified children to meet the social and intellectual demands of school life.   

Mrs Kirkpatrick Family Liaison Officer
Mrs Chesterfield Forest Schools Lead
Mrs Grubb Learning Support Assistant

What is the Nurture Group?

The Nurture Group is a small group of between 6-12 pupils, run by experienced, skilled staff (1:4 ratio). The sessions aim to provide life skills opportunities, experiential play and forest schools, as well as more formal learning sessions. Its composition is carefully thought-out to create a balanced and functional group.  


The Nurture group runs on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

What is the purpose of the Nurture Group?

Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to promote and support their social and emotional development. 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. It is hoped that the Nurture Group will provide children with this opportunity and help to develop their maturity and resilience. It is a place of learning.

The Nurture Group Principles:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally.

  • The classroom offers a safe base.

  • Provides lots of opportunities for speaking and listening.

  • Builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence.

  • Provides opportunities for children to work within a modified curriculum.

  • Builds skills for classroom learning.

  • Provides children with the chance to develop positive relationships with their peers and adults.

Which children attend Nurture Group?

Children in our mainstream school (from Years 1 – 6) may attend between 1 and 3 sessions a week in the Nurture Group for a number of reasons, for example:

  • Quiet, shy, withdrawn.

  • Find it hard to listen to others or join in.

  • Find it hard to form positive social relationships with peers.

  • Find it a bit difficult to settle into class.

  • Low self esteem.

  • Poor relationships with adults in school.

  • Bereavement.

  • Family illness or break-up.

How will Nurture Group help my child?

Nurture Group will boost confidence and self- esteem and provide children with the extra help sometimes needed to improve social skills, independence and the ability to be able to transfer these skills into their class – for example:

  • To join in.

  • To settle.

  • To listen.

  • To concentrate.

  • To share and take turns.

  • To build up friendships with their classmates.

  • It gives them a chance and the confidence to achieve.

Does this mean my child is naughty?

No, these sessions are meant to help them manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.

How long will my child be in Nurture Group for?

Each case will be reviewed termly with the class teacher, SENCO and Nurture Group staff.  The class teacher and nurture staff work closely together to monitor the children’s progress and plan reintegration programmes to ensure a smooth transition back into the class.

Are parents/carers involved?

At Gorseland, all staff work in partnership with parents to support their children’s learning. We like to consider our door is always open to discuss your child’s progress. Parents will always be consulted prior to a child being placed in the Nurture Group and in regularly reviewing how the placement is going.

An afternoon in Nurture Group

Children follow a structure and routine that is clear to both staff and children which includes group listening and speaking, work tasks, individual and shared play and social skills. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement and praise.

A typical afternoon in the Nurture Group would include the following:

  • The children are collected from their classes after registration.

  • The afternoon starts with an opportunity to settle down through play.

  • The group then move on to a variety of practical activities; the children can complete a task which they can feel proud of and to work cooperatively with others in the group.

  • Throughout the afternoon, the emphasis is on communication and the children are given the opportunity to speak in a safe structured non-threatening way, exploring thoughts and feelings and listening to others.

  • Finally, we finish the afternoon with an opportunity to enjoy snacks and drinks served by the children themselves. This is a time when adults and children can share news and their own individual triumphs.