Our Nurture Groups are small classes for children with identified needs. These may be students who feel insecure in school or who are in need of more attention than can be provided in a mainstream class.

Up to 55 students, with very different needs, attend our Nurture Group sessions. These sessions are very carefully planned and intricately organised to match the needs, ages and abilities of all students. The provision is highly successful. The work and activities match the students’ needs precisely. It is explained to students that expectations are very high and they know exactly what is acceptable and what is not. They respond well to this and make good gains in their knowledge and understanding. The students know that, whatever their need and whatever their response, they will be helped to overcome the problem and, given time, will settle into the routine of secondary school.

The aims of our Nurture Group are prominent in the daily life of the group: it is successful, with the children currently attending, in helping them to ‘improve their self-esteem and develop confidence, through close, trusting relationships with the adults and children (HMI report Swinton High School, 2004).’

This has a real impact on the development of their ability to fit into a secondary school environment and form positive adult and/or peer relationships. The aims of our Nurture Group are to help students to adjust to and operate within any new environment through building their understandings, independence and personal responsibility. The staff who run our Nurture Group sessions are always on hand to offer support and guidance.

In 2008 we were proud to receive the Kitemark standard for the work that we do in this field. Kitemark is a quality mark that recognises the outstanding practice that goes on with our Nurture groups. It is extremely difficult to achieve this award and we are now recognised as a leader within this field.