Surrey Nurturing Schools Programme

Today’s youth face unprecedented social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) challenges, and there is an urgent need for an educational approach that supports their wellbeing.

Nurturing methods address these challenges head-on, fostering connections and resilience among children and young people. A whole-school nurture approach has been proven to significantly improve behaviour, attendance and academic achievement, particularly in learners facing these type of challenges.

Working with 100 priority schools

SAfE, working with the schools-led Inclusion Innovation Working Group and the Mental Health Investment Fund, is partnering with national charity nurtureuk to deliver the Surrey Nurturing Schools Programme in 100 priority schools across Surrey.

School leads will receive high-quality training that aims to meet the mental health and emotional wellbeing needs of primary and secondary phase children and young people, by empowering educators to identify and assess the SEMH needs of children, as well as set targets, employ evidence-based strategies, and track and plan student progress. Schools enrolled in this programme will receive training and resources valued at over £4000 per school and it’s being offered fully-funded by the Surrey Mental Health Investment Fund.

What is nurture?

Nurture is a proven method of connecting with children, fostering crucial social skills, confidence, and self-esteem, and preparing them for learning. The nurturing approach emphasises the impact of social environments and relationships over birth circumstances, which is why it’s so important to involve the whole school, and whole class. This provides opportunities for children to address missed early nurturing experiences, equipping them with the social and emotional skills essential for their success in school and relationships at school. It instills pride in their achievements and addresses social and emotional needs that often cause barriers to learning.

Nurture strategies in schools could include:
• Making time for social and emotional learning, either during targeted PSHE lessons or by embedding it throughout the curriculum.
• Giving pupils the opportunity to practise their social and emotional skills, for example by encouraging them to work in pairs and groups.
• Modelling good social and emotional skills themselves, when interacting with pupils and other staff members.
• Monitoring the social and emotional wellbeing of the whole class, using assessment tools like The Boxall Profile®.