The Background to our Nurture Group
Our Nurture Group was conceived after witnessing a growing need to develop resilience in some of our students. As a result, we now offer those students an extended transition period to bolster the underlying skills needed to be successful at Diss High School. The aspiration is that all our students, different as they are, can leave the Hive and fly!
The Hive operate on the six principles of Nurture:
- Learning is understood developmentally.
- The classroom offers a safe base.
- Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
- Language is understood as a vital means of communication.
- All behaviour is communication.
- Transitions are significant in the lives of children.
Nurture Groups were first conceived in the 1970s by Marjorie Boxall, an educational psychologist in London. She had identified that a lack of early-years social and emotional experiences meant that some young people were unable to meet the expectations of mainstream school. She drew upon John Bowlby’s work on Attachment Theory and Abraham Maslow’s work to inform the concept of the Nurture Group.
Who goes to the Hive?
The Hive Nurture Group is an intervention for Year 7 to support students with the transition from primary to high school. The small group environment nurtures a strong relationship between the student and teacher akin to a primary school, whilst guiding them through the routines and expectations of a high school. It is a safe stepping-stone.
Students attend the Hive for a whole year. They attend for a proportion of their timetable learning a cross-section of subjects from the mainstream curriculum but are in The Hive for less than 50% of their timetable. They belong to a form group and attend most mainstream lessons with their form or teaching group.
This provision supports students from a range of backgrounds, prior academic attainment and strengths and difficulties. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Students who have suffered trauma.
- Students with Special Educational Needs.
- Students with social and emotional difficulties including EBSA
Student-Centred Approach - A Nurture Curriculum
Membership of The Hive is based on the needs of the child. Assessments of need are made for each student upon entry into year 7. This allows the Team to plan a programme for each child and also show when progress has been made.
Students who attend The Hive have a unique learning experience. Their workspace is calm with lots of natural light. They have the opportunity to work in small groups with a teacher and teaching assistant to support learning. The bespoke curriculum is designed to meet the particular needs of our students. This means that they can develop self-confidence, learn about their personal strengths and skills and have a great opportunity to make new friends.
Hive students come in for Geography, History and English and Maths lessons. The lesson learning objectives are identical to those in mainstream lessons however the students are taught in a unique way to suit the individual style of the learner. This means the lessons not only cover the academic requirements of the curriculum they also include approaches which address the social and emotional needs of our learners.
We facilitate learning through a Mantle of the Expert style approach. This approach involves planning a creative fictional situation where Dragons take on the responsibilities of an expert team. As the team, they are commissioned by a client to work on assignments that involve the study and exploration of wider areas of the KS3 curriculum. For example, in the Autumn Term, students take on the role of history programme-makers.
Parent and Carer Involvement
Integral in the child’s success in the Hive is the relationship between home and school. The Hive Team value parent and carer involvement. We stage events and activities with the involvement of parents and carers and celebrate their achievements together.
Post year 7 support
Nurture support continues for some students on a more limited basis beyond year 7 and is arranged to meet the needs of individual in collaboration with parents and carers. This support may be short or long term provision and will have life skills and PSHE at the core of the sessions. Due care is taken to ensure that the student’s curriculum is not narrowed.
The Hive Nurture Group is part of the School’s Learning Support Department and is overseen by the SENCo.
The Hive Team
Students are supported in the Hive by a well-qualified team.
|Miss Flatman||Our English Lead, Miss Flatman has undertaken additional Nurture training to ensure a consistent approach|
|Miss Steele||Our Maths and Nurture Lead She is SEMH trained and has a degree in psychology|
|Mrs Somers||Our SENCo and Humanities Lead for the Hive Mrs Somers is Trauma and Attachment trained|
|Mrs Palmer||Assistant SENCo with many years experience supporting those with complex and additional needs|
Diss High School - A Nurturing School
We place the students at the heart of our School and lead to better outcomes for students in and out of the school and classrooms. The Programme supports our inclusive practice and everyone involved in the School; students, staff, parents and the wider community. The standards we will be working towards cover three broad areas; Stakeholders, Delivery and Leadership and Management.
The principals which underpin the National Nurturing Schools Programme are not new to us; our Nurture Group, the Dragons, is based on the same six principals of Nurture:
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally
- The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
- All behaviour is communication
- The classroom offered a safe base
- Language is a vital means of communication
- The importance of transitions in children’s lives
In the coming months, we are planning to begin work with the wider school community to develop a clear understanding of the six principles of Nurture and then to move these forward across our school.