The Boxall Profile & Nurture groups

Assessment and intervention for
Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
Janna Anderson
Southampton City College
02380 577603
[email protected]
The creation of Nurture Groups
 Nurture groups were developed in the 1970s by Marjorie
Boxall, an Educational Psychologist.
 This was in response to a need in an area of London with
high social deprivation.
 Many children were found to be unable to meet the
expectations of a mainstream school environment due to
the poor quality of their early social and emotional
 These experiences (or lack of), had the potential to
present to cause attachment disorders.
What are Nurture Groups?
 Nurture groups are small group interventions designed to
equip learners with the understanding and skills to
engage effectively with the education system and with
others around them.
 A Classic Nurture Group:
- learners attend for a large percentage of their weekly
- the group contains 8-10 learners and two adults
- learners remain in the group for 2-4 terms
Six principles of nurture
1. Learning is understood developmentally
2. The classroom offers a safe base
3. Nurture is important for the development of self-
4. Language is understood as a vital means of
5. All behaviour is communication
6. Transitions are significant in the lives of children
Nurture Groups in the context of
Learning Support provision
‘Significantly, the nurture facility is fully embedded into the
fabric of the school and sits within a flexible learning area
(FLA) that offers a range of support including learning support,
KS3 nurture, KS4 nurture, special unit support and specialist
behaviour support. Any student may pop down to the FLA for
a variety of reasons and the daily breakfast and lunchtime
clubs that are open to all encourages students, staff and
parents to value the nurture facility as simply one aspect of
the continuum of support available at the school.’
Colley, D., 2009 Nurture groups in secondary schools Emotional and Behavioural
Difficulties Vol.14 (No.4), pp.291-300
What do Nurture Groups look like
in practice?
 D:\Nurture resources\Example of timetable 1.docx
 D:\Nurture resources\Example of timetable 2.docx
 D:\Nurture resources\Example of timetable 3.docx
 Key Stage 3 & 4 National Curriclum: SEAL (Social and
Emotional Aspects of Learning)
Key Stage 3 & 4 National Curriclum: Citizenship
SPICE (Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional):
The Boxall Profile
Functional Skills: based on levels of functional literacy and
numeracy, from entry three to level two.
Adult Literacy and Numeracy Curriculum: for functional
literacy and numeracy from entry one to level two.
What is the Boxall Profile?
 A diagnostic assessment tool designed to assess the
specific areas of need for learners exhibiting social,
emotional and behavioural difficulties.
 It identifies positive and negative behaviours through two
questionnaires – one to assess positive behaviours and
one to assess negative behaviours.
 It suggests an order in which to address the identified
developmental needs and negative behaviours.
Plans for Southampton City
 The Learning Support department are leading a pilot
project for nurture groups for learners working at level
two and below.
to provide a programme that is accessible to learners
with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
to gauge the impact of nurture groups on retention and
to work towards a quality mark from the nurture group
 Attainment vs. Nurture
 Tea and toast
 Logistics
Nurture Group Network
 Information and Advice
 Training
 Quality Mark Award
The relevance of nurture
to our learners
 In addition to attachment disorders and poor quality early
life experiences, many teenagers and young adults may
also experience social, emotional and behavioural
difficulties as a result of other factors.
 These may include bereavement, loss, trauma and the
necessary transitions made during this period of life, from
school to further/higher education and from dependence
to independence.
The relevance of nurture
to our learners
Nurture groups can provide a safe base and support for
these learners as a stepping stone to independent,
effective learning.

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