Nurture Group - The Tree House
September this year saw the opening of St Michael’s nurture provision, The Tree House.
The Tree House allows children who find it hard to cope with the larger classroom to learn in a smaller group in a more homely setting. It caters for up to 10 children at a time drawn from the lower junior age range.
Nurture classes have been around in schools for over 40 years. They help the more vulnerable children to gain confidence, improve their self esteem and learn at their own pace without the pressure of their more confidant peers around them.
The Tree House is open from Monday to Thursday mornings so that the children do not lose contact with their class teachers and the work going on in their home –class. The children return to their classroom in the afternoons and all day Friday. The teachers work closely together to select the children most likely to benefit from an alternative provision and to feed back regularly on progress.
This is not a place for “the naughty children” or the “less able”. Children are more likely to be selected because they are quiet or shy, lack confidence or don’t seem to be making progress despite being more than willing to try. There may have been difficulties with their health at some time or they had some early problems which they haven’t caught up on, or they find the class setting overwhelming. They may find it hard to settle in the regular classroom or just find the pace difficult to cope with at this stage of their life. The nurture class gives them time and personal attention to allow them to catch up.
Work in the Tree House moves at a slower rate. Time is given to social skills like eating together turn taking, co-operation and the development of language and conversation as well as keeping up with regular work on basic skills in maths and literacy. Children work at the own pace in a safe environment. Regular feedback between the teachers and reviews of progress are made to decide when the children are ready to be re-integrated back into the full classroom setting.
A mid-morning snack time is the perfect opportunity to practice conversation and social skills.
We can find many ways to practice our maths skills: