We are very proud of our Rainbow Room at Oaktree where we have been running Nurture Groups since 2003. Accredited by the Nurture Group Network Award, the groups run every day of the week and there is also a Lunch Club open to all children. Rainbow Room is run by Lisa Maslin, Bonnie Devenney and Amanda King. Lisa is trained in ‘The Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups’. Rainbow Room is part of the school’s Inclusion and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) provision.
What is the purpose of Nurture Groups?
Our Nurture groups assess social, emotional and behavioural needs and give whatever help is needed to remove the barriers to learning. Children attend nurture groups one session per week- this may either be a whole morning/afternoon or a shorter half morning session. Rainbow Room is designed to be warm and welcoming in order to provide a consistent, predictable and safe place for children. Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to re-visit early learning skills to promote and support their social and emotional development. There is much research evidence that children’s learning is most effective when they have a sense of emotional well-being, good self-esteem and a feeling of belonging to their school community. The Nurture Room provides children with this opportunity and helps to develop their maturity and resilience. The Nurture Room is a place of learning.
The Nurture Group Principles:
- Children's learning is understood developmentally
- The classroom offers a safe base
- The importance of nurture for the development of self-esteem
- Language is a vital means of communication
- All behaviour is communication
- The importance of transition in children's lives
Lucas,S. et al (2006) Nurture Group Principles and Curriculum Guidelines Helping Children to Achieve, The Nurture Group Network
Which children attend Nurture Group?
Children may attend sessions in the Nurture Group for specific reasons, for example:
- Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends
- Quiet, shy, withdrawn
- Find it hard to listen to others or join in
- Disruptive towards others
- Outbursts of anger/temper
- Find it hard to accept losing a game
- Find it hard to share and take turns
- Find it a bit difficult to settle into class
- Low self esteem
- Poor relationships with adults in school
- Family illness or break-up
WHAT DO THEY DO IN GROUP?
-Therapeutic play approaches
-Therapeutic art approaches
-Games that develop and promote various skills
What do children say about Rainbow Room?
...I like doing special stuff up here
..I can talk about my problems and they listen to me and try to help
...I've been learning how to calm down when I get angry
...I have made friends and I'm not so shy anymore
Further Support for Children and Families
We have a Parent Support Advisor that can support you within the home with things such as; housing issues, benefit advice, parental advice around managing challenging behaviour, routines and reward systems or any other issues you may want to discuss.
The Nurture Group Network
The children's mental health charity
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
National website for CAMHS
National Children's Bureau
Promotes the interests and well-being of all children
National charity working with parents. Has a free confidential helpline