Nurture, Recovery & Reconnection in Schools
The Importance of Relationships
We know that good teaching and learning begin with positive relationships. Relationships fulfil our most fundamental needs as humans – social connectedness. A nurturing approach recognises that positive relationships are central to both learning and wellbeing.
Nurturing approaches are underpinned by an understanding of attachment theory, which recognises the importance of early relational experiences in shaping children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.
Nurture learnPro Modules for Schools
Recovering & Reconnecting through the 6 Nurture Principles
The very best way to support children and young people during this time will be through nurturing relationships with key adults. The six nurture principles are a helpful way to consider the needs of all children during this period of intense uncertainty and change. Prioritising these principles and the guidance and activities underlying each will ensure children and young people will begin to recover and reconnect, not only with the staff in school but with each other.
Please visit the next page on this website to gain an overview of the 6 Nurture Principles. Each principle then has its own dedicated page with information and a related resources. We also have a Gallery page which highlights the good practice, creativity and enthusiasm for nurture here in East Lothian and a page for our Nurture Network. You will find links to all of these below:
Putting Wellbeing & Mental Health First
Given that most of our children and young people have been at home for a significant period of time, they will be returning to school a little bit wary on many levels. For those who have been in school their experiences of school will be changing as other pupils return and the majority of the learning takes place within school again. Rebuilding familiar routines and rituals within the school and classroom will be essential.
During this period of recovery and reconnection it is critical that we put wellbeing and mental health to the fore. Aiming for a baseline state of stable and positive emotional wellbeing and mental health is a goal for all of our children and young people. This will in turn enable them to engage in those higher order cognitive tasks required for learning.
This is where we return again to nurture with an emphasis on emotional growth, focusing on offering broad-based experiences in an environment that promotes security, routines, clear boundaries and carefully planned, repetitive learning opportunities. The aim of nurture is to create the world of earliest childhood, build in the basic and essential social and emotional learning experiences normally gained in the first three years of life to enable learners and young people to fully meet their potential. Applying this principle at a whole school level will support the process of recovery and reconnection.
We have an excellent East Lothian Mental Health and Wellbeing website that provides information, advice and signposting to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. Mental Health and Wellbeing (google.com)
Everyone has a Role to Play
Nurture recognises that everyone who works with children and young people has a role to play in establishing the positive relationships that are required to promote healthy social and emotional development. When children and young people experience consistent safety, security and comfort from key adults, they develop the skills and desire to explore their environment and engage in learning opportunities. These relationships should be reliable, predictable and consistent wherever possible.
Further information can be found here:
Education Endowment Foundation educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/school-themes/
The Nurture Group Network https://www.nurtureuk.org/
Anna Freud Centre https://www.annafreud.org/
Beacon House https://beaconhouse.org.uk/