Nurture Centre Policy



In St Brigid’s we aim to ensure that all our pupils feel welcome, nurtured and secure.  We are an inclusive school community and we endeavour to meet the needs of pupils who need additional support.  In the Nurture Centre we work with children who may find it difficult to play and learn and need additional support in learning and social and personal development.



Some children with learning difficulties may be identified before school age and the great majority should be identified very early in their school lives.  Their general level of academic attainment may be significantly below that of their peers. Many will have poor social and emotional skills and may show significant signs of emotional and behavioural difficulties. In most cases, they will have difficulty acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills, and many will have significant speech and language difficulties. 


The Nurture Centre caters for pupils with emotional and social needs specifically:

  • Associated behaviour and adjustment difficulties such as poor concentration span and poor social skills.  These behaviour difficulties may have an impact on learning or result from lack of success in learning.
  • Learning difficulties
  • Developmental delay in one or more areas.
  • Delay in language development and/or co-ordination difficulties, and motor skills etc
  • Emotional challenges/stress.



Children referred for admission will have significant learning needs in one or more of the areas identified.

Not suitable for admission would be children who:

  • Show severe global developmental delay
  • Show specific needs associated primarily with physical or sensory impairment
  • Show severe communication disorder/autism.



The Nurture Centre offers a short term, focussed intervention strategy, which addresses barriers to learning arising from social / emotional and or behavioural difficulties, in an inclusive, supportive manner.  A core aim of the Nurture Centre is that pupils spend a significant part of the week in their mainstream classes within the school. Children continue to remain part of their own class and usually return full time within four terms.  The children are withdrawn for a specific period each day.

The policy for admitting children to the Nurture Centre will be determined by baseline Boxall profile assessment and SENCO/Class teacher professional judgements.  All children selected for the Nurture Centre will have significant learning needs as identified on the Boxall profile developmental assessment and will be placed within a support group.

Trained staff create an attractive, safe, structured environment, within a number of areas using resources to bridge the gap between home and school.  Building trusting relationships are core to the approach.  This policy is linked closely to the Additional Needs Policy.


The Centre will cater for children aged 4 to 11 years.

Before children join the Nurture Centre they are carefully assessed.  Nurture staff will work closely with the class teacher, parents, SENCO and sometimes outside agencies.


Assessment and individually tailored targets and education programmes will be provided for children identified with additional educational needs, as outlined on page one.  It is anticipated that most children in our Nurture Centre will remain there for at least two terms, maximum four terms.  However, there may be some pupils who will need to move to a specialist resourced class.


Review Arrangements.

Each child’s progress will be reviewed with parents, SENCO, Principal and class teacher as appropriate at the end of each term.  Other professionals involved with the child will be invited at the discretion of the Principal.


Links with parents and mainstream classes.

Parents and families are very important to the success of the Nurture Centre.  Staff will work closely with them and welcome them to join in particular activities.

Close links will be maintained with parents from admission, through regular consultation, monthly reports and through review and planning meetings.


The aim of the Centre is to integrate pupils into the schools’ mainstream classes at all times.  Small numbers of selected pupils from mainstream classes will be invited to join the Nurture Centre children for specific activities in the centre, as appropriate to engage in reverse integration.


Moving on arrangements.


When it is felt that the educational objectives of the placement have been met and that the child should return to mainstream class in a full capacity, a review meeting should be called by the SENCO with the parents to ensure a smooth integration.