The Six Principles of Nurture

Throughout this academic year, we have been working towards achieving accreditation from Nurture UK’s National Nurturing Schools Programme.  This project recognises our commitment to prioritising children’s wellbeing and the impact that this can have on their success as learners.  Nurture UK describes the nurturing approach to education as giving children the ‘social and emotional skills to do well at school and with peers, and develop their resilience and capacity to deal more confidently with issues they may face’. (Nurture UK, 2023).

This approach is guided by the six principles of nurture.  Each week in Term 5, the children spent some time learning about each of these principles in turn.  On this page, you will hear their words about what they have learnt.


Week 1: Children's learning is understood developmentally 


The children were tasked with creating an origami butterfly.  Initially, they had to make it without instructions. After attempting this and discussing the outcome they had another go following step by step instructions.

The children said...

“We learnt to make origami butterflies. We also learnt many other things like, how we work at different paces and how we are all good at different things.

It was a lot of fun. Lots of us realised that we have different talents because of this not everyone was able to do it. But we all tried our hardest and we all learnt something and we all succeeded in our own way.”

"We learn differently."

"Even though we are the same age, we do stuff differently"

" You have to make mistakes, you learn from your mistakes"

"It was too hard and I couldn't do it.  Then (with instructions) I could do it!"

"We sometimes need instructions to help with our learning. We made a paper (origami) dog and it was hard because we didn't know how. Then we had a video and it showed us."

"It was challenging and I found it fun making something without any instructions."

"To make our butterflies we had to have hope to believe in ourselves."  "If you give up straight away, you won't get anything done."

Why is this important?

All of our learning builds on things that we have learnt before.  Everybody learns different things at a different rate.  Just because two children might be the same age, it doesn’t mean they are at the same stage in their learning.


Week 2: The classroom offers a safe base. 








The children were asked to reflect on their feelings about their own classrooms, thinking about what they like, dislike and the impact it has on their learning.

The children said...

"I like seeing the trees from my classroom."

"You can read books and learn."

"I like my teachers.

"Displays help you learn."

"Learning new things can be hard." 

"To do good learning we need to be safe. We need to be in a good mood."
"The Regulation Station helps you feel better."

Why is this important?

A safe base helps you to:

•Ask questions

•Take risks in your learning

•Make mistakes

•Be yourself!

All of these things help us to do our best learning.


Week 3: The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing.



The children were shown the story of ‘The Bucket Filler' and reminded of its analogy.

They were then asked the following questions:

What fills your bucket? 

Has somebody helped fill your bucket today?

Why is it important for your bucket to be filled?

The children said...

“Filling someone’s bucket will make them happy."

“Filling others' buckets will make YOU happy.”

“When someone smiles it is a clue that you fill their bucket.”

”It’s nice to feel you have made someone happy.”

“Having fun with friends makes everyone happy.”

"The story helped us understand the importance of being kind."

"Never dip into someone's bucket."


Why is this important?

When we feel safe, cared for and loved, this helps us to develop positive wellbeing.

When our wellbeing is good, it helps us to be good learners.


Week 4: All behaviour is communication.

The children were shown a picture and asked to think about:

- What is happening in this picture?

- Why might the child be reacting in this way?

- What might have happened to this boy earlier in the day? 

- How might he have been feeling?

We then reflected on what behaviours we might see from somebody who is feeling a certain way.

The children said...

"We can sometimes tell how people are feeling by what they are doing."
"We don't have to use words to show we are cross or sad, our body does things."
"This week's assembly has taught us about our emotions"
"Tell a teacher, they can help."

Why is it important?

The way we behave is a reflection of how we are feeling.  Sometimes, lots of little things can build up and cause us to react in ways which we wouldn’t normally. 

Keep in mind the behaviours you notice in other people.  How might they be feeling?  How do you think you could help them?


Week 5: Language is a vital means of communication.

 We continued our discussions from the previous week, thinking about how, sometimes, we use actions rather than words to show how we are feeling.  Sometimes, we might need a little bit of help to use words rather than actions.  

The children said...

"Adults help us to use our words."

"When you ask for help, people help you."

"If you are feeling sad, teachers help you to fell okay."

"Trusted adults support you."

"People at school fill our buckets."

"Talking about how we feel is a very good idea."
"We can talk to our grown ups about how we feel."
"We have a Regulation Station we can use! I like to sit on the sofa and put the furry cushions on me."
"This week we learnt about how you don't have to talk to show how you are feeling.  You can use facial expressions or ask to talk to an adult in private.  We also learnt that you can ask to go to the 'Regulation Station' where you can come back to the 'green zone' on our regulation chart." 

Why is this important?

Talking can help us to explore how or why we are feeling a certain way.  Sharing this with somebody else can help us to process this and think about what to do next.  We recognise that this can be tricky at times but know that adults in school are here to help us.  


Week 6: The importance of transition in children's lives.


The children were asked what they thought ‘transition’ means.  We then had a discussion about what transitions children had already made, who had helped them and why this was important.  There was also some time to reflect on the transitions that children had coming up and how they felt about these.

The children said...

"Peer groups and friends help you as they are going through the same thing." 

"Older siblings can share their experience."  

"Teachers have been getting us ready since year R."

"New teachers have come to talk to us at Primary School and asked us our worries."

"Change can be a good thing."
"Not everything changes."
"Knowing that I am still with the same class means I am not scared."
"Others can encourage you or do it with you."
"When change happens, adults can talk things through."
"Anyone can help you be brave." 
"When you are nervous, people can give you a hug."
"We show koinonia by helping people go through these changes."
"You have to have courage."
You need to make transitions:
- "so you can learn new stuff."
- "so we aren't doing the same things."
- "otherwise you wouldn't know new things and new people."
- "otherwise it will become too easy."

Why is this important?

Talking about change helps us to prepare for it.  We can think about things that we are excited about but also things that we might be worried about.  Even though it is sometimes scary, transition is important as it means we can try new challenges and learn new things!