Ridgeway Nurture is led by an experienced team of Teaching Assistants who work very closely with the school SENCO, headship team and class teachers to support the social and emotional needs of the children in school. The Nurture team supports staff to provide a joined up approach to children’s social and emotional development throughout their time at Ridgeway, with strategies and approaches mirrored in the classroom, and embedded throughout our school community. Our team currently comprises Chris Avery, Dympna Oliver and Maria O’Malley.
Ridgeway Nurture is based on the following principles:
- Children's learning is understood developmentally
- The classroom/Nurture Room offers a safe base
- The importance of nurture for the development of well-being
- Language is a vital means of communication
- All behaviour is communication
- The importance of transition in children's lives
Ridgeway Nurture offers children a safe space to understand and explore emotions in our dedicated Nurture Room. It supports them to manage behaviour and learn techniques to be independent in self-regulation, whilst recognising their own feelings and sometimes their triggers to other emotional states. We focus on relationships and help the children to understand themselves as individuals, and their rights and responsibilities to each other.
All children have access to a drop-in service, which encourages them to talk about their feelings and not to bottle up worries. Staff will listen and offer ideas and strategies to help support the child if needed. If children are talking about worries at home, parents can remind children about this service.
The Nurture team offers 1:1 drawing, talking and play therapies for some children, as well as group sessions focusing on understanding behaviour, emotions, worries and anxiety. Children only attend these targeted sessions following a referral process from the class teacher, and with parental consent.
The Nurture team also offers outreach support by working in the classroom with teachers and TAs, focusing on friendships and understanding relationships. This supports areas of our PHSE teaching and can be tailored to support as and where the need might be.
Please see our ‘Ridgeway Offer’ for more detail about the provision on offer.
Support for Parents and Carers
At Ridgeway, we value the importance of supporting the parents and carers within our community. Our Parent Gym course is led by a trained member of staff, and offers a supportive forum to discuss, explore and offload when it comes to the daily challenges and celebrations which parenting can bring. Through a series of interactive exercises and stories, we explore how parents can nurture family relationships at home by showing love, managing conflict, working through worries and giving themselves a little time, in order to maintain balance for all the family. Parent Gym has been a huge success at Ridgeway and forms an integral part of our Nurture provision.
We also offer individual support for parents who might want to discuss problems or worries in more detail with a member of our Ridgeway Nurture team. It can be an opportunity to ask for advice or help, and equally be valuable as a ‘talking it through’ type exercise. We can also offer behaviour management strategies for home.
Support for Adopted Children and Children Looked After
We are committed to supporting the needs of adopted children and children looked after, as well as their families and carers. We have embraced the approaches and strategies of becoming an Adoption Friendly School, working closely with PAC-UK to complete the Adoption Friendly School programme. All of our staff are trained to understand attachment and the impact of trauma and loss on children, which supports a culture of understanding. Our Nurture team also offers targeted support where needed.
As an adoption-friendly school, we work hard to:
- Identify children’s needs
- Prioritise relationships
- Respond empathically to behaviour
- Work in true partnership with parents and carers
- Share information sensitively and effectively
- Reflect and protect adoptive and fostering families
- Support and train our staff to be attachment aware
- Use our resources wisely
We believe that adopting this approach enhances our offer for all children and families, aligning with our whole-school ethos and values. Our Nurture team offers support for adoptive parents through coffee mornings and individual check-ins throughout the year. For children looked after, our Designated Teacher works closely with the Virtual School, carers and social care to ensure a tailor-made programme of support is in place to ensure that children flourish academically, socially and emotionally.
To find out more about our provision for adopted and children looked after, please see the Pupil Premium section of our website where you will find our strategy and plan for allocating Pupil Premium funding.