National Nurturing Schools Programme
The National Nurturing Schools Programme
Ashbury Meadow are proud to be working towards the Nurture UK award. The definition of ‘nurture’ means ‘to encourage, to cultivate, to nourish’. From an education point of view, it can be defined as ‘raising, training, educating’.
We aim to promote healthy outcomes for all children, understanding that as a school we need to develop social & emotional skills in our children so that they build resilience, self-belief and empathy in an environment where everyone feels safe and valued.
To become recognised as a nurturing school, we are embedding the 6 ‘principles of nurture’ into our school ethos and culture. Here are the principles, along with the 'child friendly' versions we have used in the school.
1) Children’s learning is understood developmentally
‘We all learn in our own way and in our own time’
We understand that every child is unique and has their own individual personality, circumstances and life experiences. We celebrate achievements and support all children to progress by providing a curriculum and level of challenge that meets the needs of the individual.
2) The classroom offers a safe base
‘Our school is a safe place to be’
We have high expectations of behaviour and protecting every child’s right to have an education and be safe. Staff are consistent in their approach to modelling positive behaviour and interactions with others. Every class has a ‘safe base’ and children know they have adults they can trust. We foster an atmosphere where children are listened to and feel valued and respected. Pupil voice is consulted and listened to throughout the school.
3) The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
‘We believe in ourselves’
Our relationships with children are at the heart of everything we do. We build positive relationships with children, taking time to listen to them, noticing and highlighting their accomplishments and positive actions. Our personal development team focus on building a growth mindset, promoting resilience and learning how to turn negative experiences or emotions into positive one. We want every child to believe they can achieve anything they set their mind on.
4) Language is a vital means of communication
‘We use our words to show how we feel’
Speaking and listening skills form not just a key part of our learning curriculum, but also our ability to express our feelings, voice our opinions and to build social bonds. We allow time for informal conversations as well as ‘learning’ conversations. We encourage children to talk and share their problems and emotions with others by providing an atmosphere that values the views and feelings of others.
5) All behaviour is communication
‘Our behaviour can show how we are feeling’
We know that there is always a reason for unacceptable behaviour, and we try to understand and resolve these reasons in a non-judgemental way that takes the individual child into account. Our behaviour policy is focused on always giving children a chance to make correct decisions and supporting them to do so before there is a consequence. We use a ‘restorative justice’ approach to resolving conflicts and problems.
6) The importance of transition in children’s lives
‘We cope with changes in our lives’
All transitions and changes are thought about carefully. We have routines in place consistently across the school, including a piece of music at each transition from outside the classroom, the way classes move around the school, visual timetables and the way instructions are given. Children are exposed to big transitions in life, such as termly career activities throughout their time here. Yearly transitions are designed to support the children to have a gradual exposure to their new classroom and teacher, focused on building relationships and understanding emotions and concerns. We have good links with local high schools and work closely with them to provide a successful transition to high school.