Having worked with emotionally vulnerable children for many years both as a Headteacher of special schools, as a Director of a therapeutic community, and Manager of a Behaviour Support Team I turned my attention to those children in mainstream secondary and primary schools who were severely struggling with the social norms and demands of their educational settings.
EARLY NURTURE YEARS
It was in 1997 I renewed my relationship with AWCEBD and with Marion Bennathan who along with Marjorie Boxall had written 'Effective Intervention in Primary Schools: Nurture Groups' (Fulton 1996).
At this time I was supporting a secondary mainstream schools with issues around behaviour of certain pupils and in 1998 the ' Nurture Groups in Cannock Programme ' was established with seven local feeder primary schools and a secondary high school. It was at this high school that the first Secondary Nurture Group was developed and established to meet the needs of those Y7 and Y8 who were desperately struggling to cope with school life and life in general.
This particular nurture programme at the time provided a model of intervention for many other local authorities throughout the UK.
FOUNDATIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL LEARNING
Many children and young people fail in school because their early years have not given them the necessary foundation for successful learning. They arrive in school withdrawn and fearful or aggressive and disruptive, not yet ready to respond appropriately and it's the nurture group that will support these troubled and troublesome children and help them to adjust and succeed in school.
I am very honoured to be Patron on Nurture International and I am sure it's work will provide the necessary support to those professionals who wish to develop nurture groups and nurturing approaches as an effective intervention when helping children to flourish in school.