What is nurture?

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.

A Nurture School

On our journey to become a Nurture School, Sholden C of E Primary School are looking to further develop the whole child by ensuring that the basic life skills are nurtured and developed in order for learning and academic success to be experienced. On entry to school, each child will be profiled using the Boxall Profile. This starting point for each individual guides us to provide the best experiences whenever they join us so we can enhance their learning journey. Learning through play is continued beyond the early years and we drive ourselves to provide a broad curriculum with a wealth of enrichment opportunities built in. We closely monitor our children for changes in behaviour and our open-door policy enables parents to confidently share things in a child’s personal life which can be affecting their well-being.

Through our nurturing approach, we aim to empower children to take responsible risks and develop a self-confidence that provides them with the skills to enjoy their school experiences.

Six Overarching Principles: 

1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally

  1. The environment offers a safe base
  2. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  3. Language is a vital means of communication
  4. All behaviour is communication
  5. The importance of transition in children’s lives

We will be working on embedding these six principles across the school.



We have translated these into child friendly vocabulary:

  1. We learn in our own way
  2. We feel safe and secure in our classroom
  3. Nurture helps us to feel good on the inside
  4. We use kind words and learn how to be confident speakers to express ourselves
  5. Our behaviour is telling you something
  6. Nurture helps us to cope with changes in our lives.


Nurture on World Book Day

With the ability to inspire, educate and connect people, books are a powerful element within our nurturing toolbox. This World Book Day the theme is Read Your Way; a fabulous theme from a nurture perspective!


Here is  a list of books for children and young people, which reflect the value of one of our six principles of nurture:
Language is a vital means of communication
  • Mr Peabody's Apples, Madonna, the power of words and how to choose carefully to avoid causing harm to others
  • A Child of Books, Jeffers & Winston, an ode to the power and promise of storytelling
  • Things never to tell children, the school of life, the importance of communication
  • Best of friends, Shen Roddie, Why it's important to talk and respect each other
  • Mummy time, Judith Kerr, Magic time with mummy
  • The rainbow fish, Marcus Pfitser, How to make friends by sharing
  • Summer Evening, Walter de la Mare, Mainly pictures to encourage language
  • Mr Wuffles,David Weisner, Picture book about a cat and aliens - add your own words and imagination! 
  • Each peach, pear, plum, Janet & Allan Ahlberg, I spy with my little eye....
  • Window, Jeanie Baker, What changes do you see through the window?
  • The tooth fairy, Peter Collington, An illustrated portrayal of the tooth fairy and what she does with your teeth
  • Bee-&-me,Alison Jay, An illustrated story of friendship and nature
  • Why?, Nikolai Popov, A story about violence, which can be used to discuss how talking can avoid situations escalating
  • The day the crayons quit, Oliver Jeffers, How talking and listening can avoid unwanted situations