Good practice recognised in school nurture groups

GOOD PRACTICE: Department of Education and Children chief executive Stuart Dobson presents the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award to Scoill Ree Gorree head teacher Jacqueline Barrow and nurture room staff Janetta Taylor and Sheila Smart. Also pictured is Archie.

GOOD PRACTICE: Department of Education and Children chief executive Stuart Dobson presents the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award to Scoill Ree Gorree head teacher Jacqueline Barrow and nurture room staff Janetta Taylor and Sheila Smart. Also pictured is Archie.

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TWO more primary school nurture groups have gained a prestigious award for their good practice.

Groups at Scoill Ree Gorree in Ramsey and Peel Clothworkers’ School have gained the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award – bringing to eight the number that have achieved the ‘gold standard’ for nurture practice.

Nurture groups are small, homely classes that offer children a safe, secure environment, with a tailor-made curriculum and a carefully planned routine – usually for just part of the school week and over only two or three terms, explained Dave Colley, school improvement adviser for special educational needs.

The emphasis is on addressing ‘missed experiences’ in early life and developing models of trust and self-worth that promote learning.

The award comes via the Nurture Group Network UK.

To gain it, nurture teams submit evidence of the quality of their provision over a significant period of time.

They are then externally assessed.

The nurture room at Scoill Ree Gorree is named Archie’s Room after Archie, a former Paws as Therapy dog that visits to work with, and is a firm favourite with, the children.

Twenty children use the nurture group, some for a couple of lessons a week and others for half the school week.

Head teacher Jacqueline Barrow said: ‘The whole school is delighted to receive this award and congratulates, in particular, the staff of Archie’s Room for the hard work that has resulted in them receiving this recognition.

‘We pride ourselves on being a nurturing school and it is good to have this confirmed by receiving this prestigious award.’

At Peel Clothworkers’ School nurture group, children benefit greatly from the input which they receive from two full-time members of staff, who encourage them and celebrate their successes, acting head teacher Anna Jackson said.

The remaining three primary nurture groups will apply for the award next year.

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