Our Application of the Six Principles of Nurture

The six principles of nurture groups

  • 1. Children's learning is understood developmentally

    Staff respond to the individual ‘as they are', underpinned by a non-judgemental and an accepting attitude.

  • 2. The classroom offers a safe base

    The environment has a balance of educational and domestic experiences aimed at supporting the development of relationships with each other and with the staff. The students at White Trees have a structured day with predictable routines and the adults are reliable and consistent in their approach. Our educational provision makes the important link between emotional containment and cognitive learning.

  • 3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing

    Nurture involves listening and responding and with an emphasis on the adults engaging in reciprocal shared activities e.g. play / meals / reading /talking about events and feelings. Our students respond to being valued and thought about as individuals, so in practice this involves adults recognising and praising small achievements.

  • 4. Language is a vital means of communication

    Language is more than a skill to be learnt, it is the way of putting feelings into words. At White Trees we have informal opportunities for talking and sharing, e.g. by having breakfast or lunch together.

  • 5. All behaviour is communication

    We understand what a child is communicating through behaviour and this helps staff to respond in a firm but non-punitive way by not being provoked or discouraged. If the child can sense that their feelings are understood this can help to diffuse difficult situations.

  • 6. The importance of transition in children's lives

    There are numerous transitions the child makes, e.g. between sessions and classes and between different adults. Changes in routine are invariably difficult for some students and we manage this over time by developing and building positive relationships with staff and students.

Ref: Lucas,S., Insley,K. and Buckland,G. (2006) Nurture Group Principles and Curriculum Guidelines Helping Children to Achieve, The Nurture Group Network