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The Wells Free School

Nurturing School

The Wells Free School is a school which is proud to put our guiding principle of Wellbeing at the heart of our provision through Nurture.

In September 2022, we began our official Nurture journey and are very proud to be able to announce that we will be applying for the ‘National Nurturing Schools Award’ in April 2024. A great achievement because of the dedication of our staff team.

At the heart of our Nurturing School are the 6 Principles of Nurture.

 

    • Children’s learning is understood developmentally; our curriculum focuses on teaching the children at their own developmental levels, stage not age. Our curriculum incorporates a practical and exploratory approach to learning.

 

  • The classroom offers a ‘safe base’; all classes understand the importance of consistency, structure, visual support and familiar routines. All our classrooms have a calming area within them that doubles as a nurture nook, with resources to support children in the class at their developmental level.

 

  • The importance of Nurture for the development of wellbeing; activities through which we can achieve this include our forest school, woodworking and gardening sessions. We also ensure cooking is on our curriculum, continuous provision-based learning for our youngest children in EYFS and Year 1, creative arts, a sensory room and all children having a hot meal together at school each day. All teachers regularly complete a sociogram to identify friendship groups and those who might need additional support with developing meaningful friendships.

 

  • Language is a vital means of communication; all classes have access to a variety of strategies to support language and communication development, including communicate in print, visual timetables, now and next boards and communication boards for those who access these. The school use Makaton to support communication and this ensures that alternative communication systems are available.

 

  • All behaviour is communication; we have a positive behaviour management approach, and this is focused on understanding and supporting children through a holistic focus. All pupils have a Boxall assessment twice a year and these are used to identify areas of need for individual or groups of children.

 

  • The importance of transitions in children’s lives; we recognise that children navigate many transitions throughout their day and understand that these can bring uncertainty for children. At The Wells Free School, we place great value on our ability to support our children through these transitions whilst also supporting parents. All children are expertly supported by our teachers and Senior Leadership Team.

We consider all our classes to be nurturing environments in which we aim to help children to reach their full potential academically, whilst understanding that this can be achieved best when a child’s wellbeing and self-esteem is valued and supported.

At The Wells Free School, we recognise that the more that we understand our children and their individual needs, the more our children will achieve. To this effect staff training is important to us. Examples of this are:

  • Attachment training
  • Safeguarding
  • Prevent training
  • Emotional Intelligence training
  • ACES
  • Boxall Profile of each child and analysis of the results

We also provide a wide range of therapeutic interventions to support the wellbeing of our pupils such as:

  • Participating in the NHS ‘This is Me’ pilot project to understand individual neurodiversity traits.
  • ‘Happy You’ behaviour and resilience coach
  • 1:1 and group play therapy sessions
  • Weekly visits from a PAT Dog
  • Counselling
  • Kent Emotional Wellbeing Team (MSHT) whole school workshops and 1:1 targeted support.
  • Making use of the Leuven Scales across the curriculum and making the appropriate adaptations.

We know that our children will learn and grow in an environment in which all stakeholders are nurtured. We place great value on supporting the wellbeing of the whole school team, from administrative staff, teaching partners, teachers and school leaders. External visitors are welcomed with the same ethos and have been very complimentary about the school and its nurturing environment during their visits.

Our staff are offered weekly Zumba classes, PPA from home, staff meeting time to complete medium term plans and termly ‘treats’.