The Nurturing Schools’ Programme

Smarden Primary and Nursery School is delighted to be taking part in the National Nurturing Schools Programme from September 2022 - September 2023.

In line with the vision of Nurture UK, everything we do at Smarden will be guided by the six principles of Nurture.   Teachers will be trained to focus on the emotional needs of pupils and their development, as well as their academic learning, and to embed the six principles of nurture throughout the policies and practices of our school.

The school will conduct systematic assessments using the Boxhall profile to identify pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH) thus decreasing the chance of overlooking a child with difficulties.  Although pupils exhibiting severe SEMH needs may be identified by staff, children and young people who experience less overt difficulties or have sub-threshold needs may easily remain overlooked for prolonged periods of time.  Without early intervention and support, those children are likely to see their SEMH issues escalate into more complex and embedded difficulties, increasing their risk of school exclusion, poor attainment and other negative outcomes.

(Ruby, F. J. M. (2019) Now you see us: Identifying and responding to the scale of social, emotional and mental health needs in primary school children. London: The Nurture Group Network Ltd.)


What is nurture?

The nurturing approach offers a range of opportunities for children to engage with missing early nurturing experiences, giving them social and emotional skills to do well at school and with peers, and to develop their resilience and capacity to deal more confidently with the trials and tribulations of life, for life.

Nurture: (verb) to care for and protect someone or something while they are growing.


The Six Principles of Nurture

  • Children's Learning is understood developmentally
  • The classroom offers a safe base
  • The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • All behaviour is communication
  • The importance of transition in children's lives

If you are currently a parent of Smarden Primary and Nursery School and would like to be part of the working party of the Nurture programme, please let us know - or by ringing the office 01233 770316.