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Working together to reach our fullpotential through understanding, sharing, learning, fun and play.


Enjoying and doing well at school is an important factor for the healthy development of children.

Our nurture group provides a safe and nurturing learning environment where each child is valued, understood and has their emotional needs met appropriately. It is run by two experienced members of staff who plan activities to cater for the children’s needs and interests. Through these sessions trust and confidence are built and learning begins to take place more effectively.


Where is the nurture room?

We are very lucky to have a newly painted and decorated room that is designed to make you feel as though you are sitting in a tree house. We then extend into the library for the afternoon tasks and snack time.


Will my child still be a member of their class?

The answer to this is yes.The children will go up to their class with the other children for registration.  The children are collected  ten minutes after and taken back ten minutes before the  end of the day.  If the class has a trip, special event or class assembly, then they join in also.

How long will my child be in a nurture group?

There is no “fixed” period of time for a child to be a nurture group member, however  a typical membership is about 1 or 2 terms.

Is there any evidence that a nurture group will help my child?

Many parents have reported on the remarkable changes they have seen in their child during their time in a nurture group and not just at school but also at home.

Nurture groups were first set up over thirty years ago to help childrn who were having difficulty in responding to the new demands of daily life in a classroom with other children. There have been a number of studies into the effectiveness of nurture groups over the years. These have all shown  positive results in attendance and attainment, behavior and self confidence amongst the children.


Our nurture group staff will offer parents friendship and support so we can work together for the good of your child. If you would like to talk to them about any issues please leave a message at the school office and they will phone you back as soon as they can.

Hallam Fields Junior School, Longfield Lane, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 4DB

Phone 01159322568

Email: Headteacher - David Brown:

Mrs Healy or Mrs Gomm


A typical afternoon in The Tree House Club


1.10pm Mat and Chat

1.20pm Register/News

1.30pm Circle Time

1.45pm Work and Make

2.00pm First Task 

2.20pm Second Task 

2.40pm Story Time

3.00pm Snack and Drink

3.25pm Back to class

Nurture Group

Tree House Club takes place in the Nurture Room four afternoons a week, one session for The Fledglings, one session for The Adventurers and three for The Tree House Group. The Nurture Room was purposefully set up for nurture in January 2014. It is run by Mrs Healy with help from Mrs Gomm. Mrs Healy is trained and qualified in ‘The Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups’. It is supported by the Derbyshire Nurture Team.

Nurture group rooms are carefully arranged to include the best of both classroom and home furniture. They are designed to be warm and welcoming in order to provide a consistent, predictable and safe place for children. Nurture group rooms are set up to be a bridge between home and school or nursery, where missed learning opportunities are addressed according to the individual profile of needs. The Nurture Room is therefore set up with a table which is used for sharing meals as well as art work, a carpeted area for sharing books and games together, a kitchen area for easy preparation of tea-time snack and resources suitable for a variety of age ranges.


What is the purpose of Nurture Group & its Philosophy?

Nurture Group is a small class of six to ten pupils. Its composition is carefully well thought-out to create a balanced and functional group. The Nurture Group is part of the school’s Inclusion and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) provision. Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to re-visit early learning skills and 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 wellbeing, good self-esteem and a feeling of belonging to their school community. The Nurture Room provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience. The Nurture Room is a place of learning. The philosophy of the Nurture Room is drawn from the principles established by the work of Marjorie Boxall and others, and exemplified by ‘The Nurture Group Network’ (


The Nurture Group Principles:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally

  • The classroom offers a safe base

  • All behaviour is communication

  • The importance of transition in children's lives

  • Has an adult/child ration of 1:3, and provides lots of opportunities for speaking and listening activities

  • Builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence

  • Builds skills for classroom learning

  • Have daily crafts, games, a ‘mini-tea’ and more!

  • Language is a vital means of communication


 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

  • 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

  • Bullying

  • Low self esteem

  • Poor relationships with adults in school

  • Bereavement

  • Family illness or break-up


How will Nurture Group help my child?  

Nurture Group will boost confidence and self-esteem and provide children with the extra help sometimes needed to improve social skills and independence, for example:                                                                                                                                                                                        -To join in 

-To settle
-To listen       
-To concentrate
-To share and take turns
-To accept losing a game
-To build up friendships with their classmates
- It gives them a chance and helps to encourage a more positive profile among their peers and members of staff.


Does this mean my child is naughty? 

No, these sessions are meant to help them manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.


How long will my child be in Nurture Group for?                                                                                        

Children attend on a part-time basis for a period of 1-2 terms. However we ensure that the children do not miss special assemblies, guests in school, outings or anything else that may be different from the normal routine of the week.

Are parents/carers involved?      

We like to consider our door is always open, and therefore welcome parent/carers to visit and join the sessions at any time. Special event invitations are sent out to join us for example; open afternoon, Mother’s Day Tea or simply for afternoon tea and a chat.


An afternoon in Nurture Group

Children follow a structure and routine that is clear to both staff and children which includes group listening and speaking, work tasks, individual and shared play and social skills. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement and praise.

A typical two and half hour afternoon session with The Tree House Club would include the following:

The children are collected from their classes after registration and brought to The Tree House room.

The afternoon starts with “Mat and Chat”. The children choose a book and we chat quietly. The group then form a circle for ‘Circle Time”. The children are invited to share any news that they might have and the afternoon agenda/targets are discussed so that they know exactly what to expect. We take the register and a tea-time helper is then chosen.

These sessions offer children a chance to speak/sing in a safe structured non – threatening way, explore thoughts and feelings and listen to others.

Moving onto ‘Work & Make’ activities may include painting, making or baking. Here the children are given an opportunity to complete a task which they can feel proud of and to work co-operatively with others in the group.

First task comes next. Each child works on an individual task at their own level.  The task is chosen for them and there is no negotiation. 


First task is followed by second task where children are encouraged to function at a parallel or collaborative level of play with another child on a given task.

Story time follows next.  This is an opportunity for the children to enjoy a story or some relaxing music with a cushion and a soft toy, to comment on enjoyment and feelings, to ask questions and to listen attentively.

After story is drink and snack. This is usually squash with biscuits, crumpets or a sandwich and a piece of fruit and of course a cake when it is someone’s birthday. The children can take turns to invite a Parent/Carer to join us for tea and serve the snack. The ‘snack’ time is at the heart of this practice when the children and adults sit together and share food and talk.  


Children’s Comments:

…I love Tree House Club, don’t change anything!                                                                                                       

…can it be ‘Tree House Club’ everyday

..I would like to stay in there forever


Parent Comments:

“The Tree House room is amazing”

“I had a wonderful time and met some very polite, happy and fun children”

“The children were very relaxed and had a lovely time”

“All the children were smiley and chatty”


Teacher comments:

…Additional nurture groups?

… As long as the right mix of children in the group, it is effective


Thank you for viewing the Nurture web page. If you have questions or queries please contact me.


With kind regards,

Mrs Healy


Articles on Nurture



Useful Links

The Nurture Group Network

BBC Parenting
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
National website for CAMHS

My Family Care
Allows parents to search for and book local holiday clubs and camps online

National Children's Bureau
Promotes the interests and well-being of all children

Parentline Plus
National charity working with parents. Has a free confidential helpline

Sure Start
Programme to bring together early education, childcare, health and family support

Young Minds
The children's mental health charity


Links to art & craft ideas

Crafts for Kids - Easy Kids Crafts - Arts and Craft Ideas

Crafts for Kids -

Crafts | DLTK's Crafts for Kids 

Art Attack Ideas For Kids | Art Attack Activities | Disney UK 

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