At CYB we are committed towards providing a nurturing environment which is supportive to all children. To achieve this more fully, we have a dedicated Nurture facility known as ‘The Sunshine Room’.
This Sunshine Room is based on the key principles of Nurture and has been set up to support children to enable them to achieve high standards in all areas of the curriculum. For some children at school, accessing learning in the normal classroom situation can be hindered by various emotional, social or other factors and a short period of focussed intervention and support becomes necessary. Staff leading the Sunshine Room sessions complement the work of the class teacher and help the child to deal with a range of issues and ultimately help them to access the main school curriculum and thereby achieve success in their learning.
Nurture provision focuses on social and emotional aspects of development. A nurture group is a small class of around six - eight pupils. Its composition is carefully thought-out to create a balanced and functional group. The Sunshine Room group is part of the school’s Inclusion and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) provision. Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to re-visit early learning skills and promote and support their social and emotional development. There is much evidence based research that suggests 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. The Sunshine Room provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience. The Sunshine Room is a place of learning. The philosophy of the Sunshine Room is drawn from the principles established by the work of Marjorie Boxall and others, and exemplified by ‘The Nurture Group Network’ (www.nurturegroups.org).
The Nurture Group Priniciples:
1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally
2. The classroom offers a safe base
3. All behaviour is communication
4. The importance of transition in children's lives
5. Has an adult/child ration of 1:6, and provides lots of opportunities for speaking and listening activities
6. Builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence
7. Builds skills for classroom learning
8. Has daily crafts, games, a ‘mini-tea’ and more!
9. Language is a vital means of communication
Much of the work of Nurture focuses on sharing and taking turns, working co-operatively with others as well as independently - ‘having a go’. Many activities are designed to help children in communicating with others, including listening to what others have to say.
The ethos of the Sunshine room is one which offers a homely environment, where children feel safe and secure, and are given strategies and skills they need to develop socially and emotionally, which can then be transferred to the classroom.
A Typical Session
Sessions in the Sunshine Room will boost confidence and self esteem and provide children with the extra help sometimes needed to improve social skills and independence. Work would focus on developing skills to enable children to join in, to settle, to listen, to concentrate, to share and take turns, to accept losing a game, to build up friendships with their classmates, to give them a chance and help to encourage a more positive profile among their peers and members of staff.
Children will follow a structure and routine that is clear to both staff and children which includes group listening and speaking, work tasks based on their targets, individual and shared play and social skills. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement and praise.
Every week there is a variety of art and craft activities, board games and constructive activities.
In general, a sense of routine is especially important to children attending the Nurture Group. Every attempt is made to prepare them for any changes to their routine in advance.
The class teacher initially identifies the children who would benefit from nurture provision. A questionnaire called the Boxall Profile is filled in by the class teacher and the Nurture staff. It is used as a basis to decide whether a nurture placement is appropriate and likely to be beneficial. Following the completion and analysis of the Boxall profile, before a child attends nurture provision, parents are informed by letter and requested to sign a permission slip. Parental support is of paramount importance at all stages in Nurture provision.
Children may attend sessions in the Nurture Group for specific reasons, for example:
·Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends
·Quiet, shy, withdrawn
·Find it hard to listen to others or join in
·Disruptive towards others
·Find it hard to accept losing a game
·Find it hard to share and take turns
·Low self esteem
·Poor relationships with adults in school
·Family illness or break-up