Priory Infant School in Ramsgate has been awarded Nurture School Status.
The award has been achieved following an 18 month training programme and reflects the hard work that takes place in school every day to support the children’s emotional wellbeing.
Following a hugely successful assessment day, Nurture UK reported: “Priory Infant School has completely embraced all aspects of the National Nurturing Schools Programme and has used its key components to develop nurture throughout the school and wider community.”
Headteacher Tracey Sandy said: “This has been a whole school journey involving all members of our school community- pupils, staff, parents, governors and the local community. We have created our own child friendly Nurture principles which are displayed in every classroom, forming part of our Nurture non-negotiables.
“Cosy corners have been created in classrooms and the children have emotion ‘check ins’ throughout the day. As a staff team we whole heartedly recognise the importance of emotional wellbeing and the importance of getting this right before academic learning can be successful.”
One staff member added: “It has been a real journey, lots of positive change with a real change in mindset. Understanding nurture is about developing the whole child.”
The children are loving their new Golden Rules of safe, kind and ready which they embrace each and every day.
One Year 2 pupil said: “To be safe is to be nice to people and kind to ourselves.” Another pupil said: “My teacher makes me feel happy and safe.”
Nurture UK described the sense of playfulness and fun when the children were talking about the staff especially when Mr Holmes dressed up as a giraffe!
Jo Rogers, Priory’s Nurture Lead Teacher and SENCo has worked to ensure the children manage transitions well as this can be a difficult time for some children – whether this be from Nursery to Reception, lesson to lesson, class to class or from Year 2 to the children’s new junior school.
She said: “We are trying to make our children feel as happy and safe as possible with the use of visuals, individual timetables, transitional objects and social stories which are all now a daily part of our practice.”
The Nurture programme involved the wider school community with the school keen to rebuild community connections since Covid. This was achieved with the success of the Christmas choir involving pupils, staff, parents and governors who went along to entertain the local care homes- an event which was so much fun that it will now become an annual event.