The concept of nurture highlights the importance of social environments – who you’re with, and not who you’re born to – and its signiﬁcant inﬂuence on social emotional skills, wellbeing and behaviour. Children and young people who have a good start in life are shown to have signiﬁcant advantages over those who have experienced missing or distorted early attachments. They tend to do better at school, attend regularly, form more meaningful friendships and are signiﬁcantly less likely to offend or experience physical or mental health problems.
The nurturing approach offers a range of opportunities for children and young people to engage with missing early nurturing experiences, giving them the social and emotional skills to do well at school and with peers, develop their resilience and their capacity to deal more conﬁdently with the trials and tribulations of life, for life.
Qualitative evidence illustrates that secondary nurture groups have a positive impact on vulnerable students similar to the impact seen in a primary setting – providing a safe base, helping them cope with the demands of a secondary school, with sudden trauma and with transition from primary to secondary, feeling more conﬁdent. Colley (2009)
In a recent study it was found that children from nurture groups felt more conﬁdent, were trying harder in lessons and had more positive feelings about school compared to a comparison group of peers with similar needs but who didn’t receive the provision. For example, they were more enthusiastic about lessons, more compliant with rules (e.g. following instructions, settling to work, listening to the teacher) and better able to complete homework and class work. Perkins (2017)