Southborough Church of England Primary School

Southborough Church of England Primary School

The National Nurturing School's Programme at Southborough

Developing our Nurture Ethos


  • Nurture development is about developing and enhancing our nurture approaches through the ethos and culture we have. The principles of nurture are evident through all actions, practices, opportunities, systems and policies. ​

  • We are developing a safe, calm environment to support good mental health and improve the wellbeing of the whole school community​

  • We know that for children to succeed academically, children need to be nurtured, have positive mental health and wellbeing.  Our school ethos recognises that our staff, parents and wider school community also need a nurturing environment to thrive within.  ​

  • Our school recognises that positive relationships are central to learning and wellbeing. Strong, secure relationships promote healthy social and emotional development. ​

  • Our nurture ethos helps build self-esteem, resilience, independence, and relationships with others.

Our Wellbeing Ambassadors


We were incredibly impressed by the many applications from children across Years 3-6 who wanted to share their understanding of mental health and wellbeing and subsequently help children who may need some extra support and nurture. Our wellbeing ambassadors will be working closely with adults to provide the children who need it with nurturing activities that will benefit their wellbeing. These could range from talking time, calming activities, physical activities and much more. We have had our first meeting where the children have come up with ideas for what could help and how they would like to do it which will be put into action next term! The commitment from the ambassadors has been clear from the start and we cannot wait to see where they take the role.

National Nurturing Schools Programme at Southborough CEP School

Southborough CEP School are working with Nurture UK on the National Nurturing Schools Award. The programme focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people and on removing barriers to learning. 


The National Nurturing Schools Programme allows staff to develop and embed a nurturing culture throughout the school, enhancing teaching and learning, promoting healthy outcomes for children and young people, all by focusing on emotional needs and development as well as academic learning in a whole-school environment. 


The programme is for schools who are committed to develop an ethos and culture that is inclusive, supporting everyone in (and associated with) their establishment. 


Our parents and families are such an important part of our school that we want to make sure you know as much as possible about our journey to becoming a National Nurturing School. Please follow the link to find out more about Nurture UK and The National Nurturing Schools Programme. 

The programme itself is based around The Six Principles of Nurture.

The Six Principles of Nurture


The ‘Six Principles of Nurture’ help staff to focus on the social and emotional needs and development of children, ensuring all pupils are ready to learn.

Nurture as a practice means relating to and coaching children to help them form positive relationships, build resilience and improve their social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing. When used in school, nurture improves attendance, behaviour and attainment, and ensures every child is able to learn.



1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally

Children are at different stages of development – socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually – and need to be responded to at their developmental level in each of these areas. Responding to children ‘just as they are’, with a non-judgemental and accepting attitude, helps them to feel safe and secure. 

We use social, emotional and behavioural development tools such as the Boxall Profile®, to assess and track a child’s needs and put strategies in place to support positive development.

2. The classroom offers a safe base

A classroom environment is inviting and nurturing for all. The classroom offers a balance of educational and social, emotional and mental health experiences to support the development of children’s relationships with each other and with staff. Adults are reliable and consistent in their approach to children and make the important link between emotional containment and cognitive learning.

Where possible, predictable routines are explained and practised, and there are clear expectations and positive models of how all adults in school relate to children, both in and out of the classroom.

3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing

Nurture involves listening and responding; everything is verbalised with an emphasis on the adults engaging with pupils in reciprocal shared activities. Children respond to being valued and thought about as individuals. In practice this involves noticing and praising small achievements – nothing should be hurried.

4. Language is a vital means of communication

It is important for children to be able to understand and express their thoughts and feelings. It is also crucial for adults to understand the importance of their own language towards children, and how this can impact them. Children often ‘act out’ their feelings as they lack the vocabulary to name how they feel. Informal opportunities for talking and sharing are just as important as more formal lessons teaching language skills. This enables words to be used instead of actions to express feelings, and imaginative play can be used to help children understand the feelings of others. 

5. All behaviour is communication

People communicate through behaviour. It is the adult’s role to help children to understand their feelings, express their needs appropriately, and use supportive language to resolve situations. Our first responsibility in dealing with difficult or challenging behaviour, after safety, is to try to understand what the child is trying to tell us. 

The outward behaviour is often the ‘tip of the iceberg’, and so it is important to consider the immediate environment and what occurred just before the incident happened. School events, the time of year, and home circumstances can also give us clues. Children are encouraged to reflect on their behaviour, and understand how to express their emotions appropriately. 

This does not excuse the behaviour, but helps us to ask why the behaviour is occurring.

6. The importance of transitions in children’s lives

Children experience many transitions throughout their lives, and on a daily basis; transitions from home to school, between classes and teachers, from breaktime to lessons, or moving from primary to secondary school. Changes in routine are invariably difficult for vulnerable children and young people, and staff help the child to transition with carefully managed preparation and support. 

Pupils are included in the planning of support, as well as parents and carers where possible. Staff understand the emotions that may be triggered by both small and large changes, and children are pre-warned or reminded about changes in routines. 

As a school, we have committed to embedding these six principles in the whole-school and classroom environment. The six principles underpin all that we do and help guide us when making changes and alterations to our practice. Over the last 18 months we have been making positive changes to the way we do things here at Southborough.