Nurture at Willingdon
At Willingdon Community School we are working towards being accredited as a national nurturing school. This means making sure the 6 principles of nurture guide us in everything we do.
A nurturing approach recognises the importance of both the environment and social opportunities in shaping children’s development. Providing nurturing experiences through the school setting and curriculum, helps develop social and emotional skills, resilience and the capacity to deal with life for life.
A Nurture Group runs part time at Willingdon and provides additional support and opportunities for children and young people. Each group runs for 12 weeks. There is one forest school session, a cookery session and a session in school where the focus is on explicitly teaching children how to build emotional resilience and develop problem solving skills. Many children who are not in the Nurture Group are also given specific nurturing experiences via a range of alternative provisions that are offered as part of our commitment to inclusion.
The nurture approach is most successful when the ethos underpins everything a school does. This is why we are working hard to share and develop school wide best practice guided by the principles of nurture.
Restorative Practice forms a key part of Nurture. We believe that restorative conversations enable staff as well as children and young people to develop a better understanding of social interactions and to learn from experiences. We ask all staff to follow the following basic format to structure all restorative conversations:
What were you thinking at the time?
How were you feeling?
How are you feeling now?
How do you think the other person felt?
Who else has been affected by this?
What do you need to do now so that the situation can be repaired?
Restorative practice is not about apportioning blame or requesting apologies. It is about developing a shared understanding and repairing situations in a meaningful way.