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Oakdale Junior School

Learning for Life

Nurture - Our Rainbow Room

Nurture at Oakdale

Oakdale Infants’ and Junior schools are renowned for their nurturing approach ensuring that every child has the opportunity to flourish in their education by having their social, emotional and mental health needs met.  Nurture is a tried and tested way of relating to children that helps them develop vital social skills, confidence and self-esteem, consequently becoming ready to learn.  Nurture is interwoven with every element of the Oakdale ethos.   


The concept of nurture, built on attachment theory and neuroscience, is based around six principles. Teachers at Oakdale are aware of the importance of these in their classrooms providing safe spaces, opportunities to discuss emotions and develop good communication skills.  Lessons are planned to provide these opportunities because staff recognise that until pupils feel safe, learning, which requires resilience and self-confidence, may be difficult.  Whilst this level of support is available to all pupils in a whole school nurturing approach, for some pupils we are able to offer the Nurture Group which is fondly known as Rainbow Room.


A Nurture Group is an intervention, lasting up to four terms, for pupils who need support with their social and emotional development so that they are able to thrive in the classroom.  At Oakdale, the groups are run by two trained members of staff for up to ten pupils who have been assessed using the Boxall Profile.  The staff who work with the Nurture Group pupils and senior staff in both schools, have completed the Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups which gives comprehensive understanding of the nurture principles, attachment theory, neuroscience and the Boxall profile.  Depending on the needs of the pupils, the intervention will emphasise on language development and communicating, with no skills being assumed or taken for granted, and all social cues by clearly explained by staff.  The groups are also designed to give pupils vital opportunities for social learning by encouraging them to share food at snack time and help others with their job roles.  


Our Nurture leads are also trained ELSA's (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) and can support children on a 1:1 level should they be struggling with their mental health or well-being.