Improving pupil outcomes through highly effective nurture provision

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The nurture, emotional, wellbeing and skills room at Oak Field Primary ensures that all pupils have access to the support they need to be ready to learn.


Number of learners: 186
Age range: 3-11
Date of inspection: September 2017

Information about the school

Oak Field Primary School is an English-medium 3-11 school maintained by the Vale of Glamorgan local authority.  It serves the community of Gibbonsdown and the wider area of Barry.  There are 186 pupils on roll. 

Around 63% of pupils are eligible for free school meals, which is well above the national average. 

Context and background to the effective or innovative practice

A nurture provision was established at the school to ensure that all pupils have access, at any time, to the specialist intervention and support needed to ensure that they are ready to learn.  Two members of staff received specialist training and the ‘nurture room’ is part of the main school building established in the heart of the school.  All stakeholders had input in designing the space, which is welcoming and calm. 

Nurture provision is used very effectively to support all pupils and in particular the school’s more vulnerable pupils.  It is both proactive, with pupils selected to attend set sessions, and reactive, with pupils who may have experienced trauma being offered support from the day of the incident.  Upon evaluation of the nurture provision, the pupils and staff reflected that the support given extended beyond nurture and the provision was renamed NEWS – Nurture, Emotional, Wellbeing and Skills.  Oak Field Primary uses restorative approaches to promote positive behaviour and encourage collaboration, and the strategies adopted by NEWS complement these.  This ‘joined-up’ thinking has proved to be particularly effective with pupils who display behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.  The establishment of these approaches complement the school’s values well; those of self-respect, tolerance, collaboration and perseverance. 

Description of nature of strategy or activity

Pupils are identified for NEWS provision through a combination of discussion with the adults that know the pupils well and rigorous analysis of a variety of data.  The school makes excellent use of data and works with a number of external agencies, such as the local authority’s children’s services, to ensure that the interventions meet the pupils’ individual needs.  The NEWS provision is evaluated regularly and over the years has continued to evolve.  New groups have been established, for example a ‘girls only group’ aimed at raising aspirations in an effort to reduce teenage pregnancies.  All interventions are delivered by highly skilled, highly trained staff.  Two full-time members of staff are based in the NEWS room and are supported by the whole school to ensure consistency in approach.  In addition to the NEWS sessions, emotional literacy support assistance (ELSA) sessions are delivered regularly and are included on the wellbeing timetable.  This links the work completed in the classroom well and strengthens communication across the school. 

What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?

Individual pupils are tracked carefully using teacher assessments.  Detailed individual intervention records are kept and the provision is regularly reviewed.  Data is used effectively to inform next steps for the individual pupils.  The effectiveness of the NEWS provision has resulted in a reduction in exclusion rates (from 27 to 3 in the first year).  Teacher assessments, along with national test data, demonstrate that those pupils who have received nurture support make very good progress and continue to achieve.  The number of safeguarding disclosures that pupils have made has also increased as pupils become more emotionally aware and confident, therefore further strengthening the safeguarding of pupils across the school. 

How have you shared your good practice?

The school has hosted a number of training sessions on topics such as attachment disorder and bereavement.  Oak Field Primary regularly provides ELSA supervision sessions for staff members from other schools.  The school welcomes visits from other settings.  

Links: http://www.oakfieldps-barry.co.uk