KS1 Nurture

Nurture Group Curriculum


Our Nurture group work at the Gillford Centre is underpinned by the theory of Marjorie Boxall and Marion Bennathan on Nurture Groups, in that some children have missed out on key early experiences and need to experience some of the structure, routine and creativity. 

Progress is assessed in the Nurture Group using the Boxall Profile.


Aims Statement:


To provide a safe, secure and homelike small group setting where children can learn by re-experiencing foundation like nurture experiences from adults who actively work towards enabling their successful re-integration back into their mainstream classes.


To help children learn to behave appropriately, within consistent boundaries. Through learning opportunities, children can use their curiosity constructively, improve self-esteem and develop confidence through close and trusting relationships with adults.


To provide an environment that enhances the child’s emotional development and supports and listens to the child and their parent/carers. To provide ongoing assessment and support for children showing signs of emotional stress and behavioural difficulties with the aim of enabling the child to access some basic curriculum skills at Key Stage 1.

We aim to work in partnership with the child’s mainstream class teacher and parents/carers, to enable consistency throughout the Gillford Nurture Group, home and mainstream school.


Nurture is about encouraging the development of a child in a safe, predictable and structured environment.

Our Nurture Group follows a therapeutic curriculum that is planned to meet the needs of the pupils who attend the group. They have the benefit of a smaller class size (6 maximum) and more opportunities for 1:1 working.


Who attends the KS1 Gillford Nurture Group and why?


Children attend the Gillford Nurture Group because on the whole they find it difficult to cope adequately within their mainstream classrooms and are not fulfilling their full potential. 

They may:

  • Be at risk of permanent exclusion from Mainstream school.
  • Have poor social, emotional and language skills.
  • They may be behind developmentally or academically.
  • They may have significant issues around attachment.
  • They may be on the ASD spectrum.
  • They may have suffered trauma and may need extra support to help them cope with situations.
  • They may be restless, find it hard to listen and behave impulsively or aggressively.
  • They may be withdrawn and unresponsive, have difficulty trusting and relating to adults and peers.
  • They may lack confidence in speaking and listening and find it uncomfortable to sustain eye contact or maintain a conversation.


Children attend for a maximum period of up to 12 weeks for up to 3 afternoons a week.

All our pupils are on individual packages, some children are just with us every morning doing their core subject sessions, some may spend three full days with us, experiencing our curriculum session’s as well as Nurture sessions, some pupil are referred purely for Nurture sessions.  


We offer support for a child’s social and emotional growth at the level that he/she is, rather than at the age appropriate way. The Nurture Group staff are qualified and experienced who work together closely as a team. 

If Nurture Group staff are absent a known member of staff to the children will take their place.


We offer a creative curriculum that is delivered at a developmentally appropriate level, with emphasis placed on social and emotional development and communication and language development.


A broad and balanced curriculum is covered including Art, Drama, Music, Science, Gardening, Cooking, and Therapeutic sessions that directly meet the need of the pupils; these are derived straight from the Boxall assessment. 

We aim to offer a curriculum which meets the different learning styles of our pupils, engages, motivates and inspires to learn! 


On arrival we carry out daily welcome time. This is an opportunity to develop emotional literacy skills by saying how we are feeling that day and discussing any issues we may bring.  The children develop listening and empathy skills and problem solve together around issues.  We also discuss what we are going to be doing that day so the children feel prepared for what is ahead and there are no surprises.


“If you have a child leaving school with high self esteem then the education system has achieved its greatest goal.”

Roger Brown, OFSTED, 2005


During each session we have a snack and a drink.  This time provides an important opportunity to build in vital learning opportunities; waiting, sharing, communication skills, choosing, taking turns, giving up for others, anticipating needs and tolerating frustrations. The food itself becomes less important as time goes on, but in its symbolic nature it remains an important routine for our children


Maths, English and Reading skills are covered where appropriate cross curricular links can be made.


All sessions are consistent and predictable.


Placement Induction and Review Meetings


The Induction meeting will be held prior to the child’s placement, a school representative and the child’s parents should attend, where all necessary paperwork and information will be completed.


A final review meeting will be held at the Exit Meeting at the end of the child's placement and all professionals will be invited to attend, the Primary Coordinator and the KS1 HLTA will give a verbal and specialist written report.


Reintegration back into mainstream class


We will aim to provide children with the skills, strategies and self-esteem necessary to make a positive contribution to mainstream school life and reach his full potential.

We will provide schools and parents/ carers with constructive, frank and accessible support.


This will include advice and strategies to be used both at school and at home. These strategies should be used to inform the new IEP/ Passport/Action Plan.


Once the intervention period has come to a close, the Gillford Centre will arrange an ‘Exit Meeting’ with the school and parents to go through our findings and the Specialist Teacher Report.


We encourage and welcome staff that work directly with individuals to come and observe them/ take part in our sessions at any time.


Assessment and record keeping


A Boxall Profile is carried out on all children either by their mainstream school before the child’s placement.

This gives an indication of needs relating to behaviour, self-esteem and emotional stability, informing the KS1 nurture group staff and the child’s mainstream teacher of possible future targets, intervention, strategies and the future planning and delivery of lessons/activities that would benefit the child.

This profile will be completed again 6 weeks into the intervention and at the end of the intervention.


A Home/School diary is kept on a day to day basis of the child’s behaviour, work and emotions.  Comments are made in the book by their mainstream class teacher, the KS1 teacher (mornings) and the HLTA. This is then taken home by the child every evening to be filled in by the parent/carer.

The diary should be used for praise and positives whenever possible - however any issues arising will be discussed with the child, talked through and reflected on if necessary, all positive comments will be valued and reward will be given through certificates/stickers/small incentives and praise.



The Environment


The nurture group is based in the KS1 room. This room has a homelike atmosphere based around a garden theme, where there is a balance of learning, play, teaching, support and structure. The room has relaxing garden themed displays and artwork.


Quiet area – it has a carpet, floor cushions, books, soft toys, beanbags and feelings tree display with interchangeable emotion faces,


Role play area- It has a role-play area with puppet theatre, garage, dolls house and a role-play corner set out as different themes,  e.g. garden centre, cafe, vet, fairytale castle, Estate agents, bank etc, including a what’s bugging you mini beast garden display to aid communication, expression and talk over any worries.


Play area -It has a discover and learn play area with pre-school level play equipment and toys, including Lego, jigsaws, threading, small world tray with multi cultural and role-play items and building blocks.

Snack area - It has a kitchen area with microwave, kettle, fridge, toaster and cutlery/plates for snack time, including a dinning table so guests can join us including parents, community police, centre staff and peers will be invited.  Snack time is used to promote speaking, listening and group interaction. Table manners and polite conversation are encouraged around the table during this important group activity.


Work area- it has three ‘splat’ shaped tables, with educational resources and materials, a computer, the use of an interactive white board.


Contact details:

Alan Inglis - Primary Coordinator and Specialist Teacher for Behaviour 

Colin Devonellis - Primary Teacher 

The Gillford Centre PRU (KS1)

Upperby Road




Tel: O1228 226957

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