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Pastoral Care “Orchard” Nurture and Wellbeing

St Mary's Primary School, Orchard pastoral care

Nurture Room – a place to remind all children how special they are.

The Whole School Approach

The Nurture Room was opened in October 2017 in partnership with St Mary’s Church Outreach (The Branch Trust) because we recognise the importance of all children’s positive mental wellbeing.

Based around attachment theory and a P.A.C.E approach (Playfulnes, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy), the room offers a safe space where children can share their worries or explore and process what is happening in their life. Designed as a bridge between home and school, the room is described by children as “the peace room” or “the place I can breathe”. It is bright and comfortable with a sofa area, food sharing area, cosy corner, art table and plenty of space for storytelling, games and movement.

The children are welcomed into the Nurture Room just as they are. Using art-as-therapy, Lego therapy, story books and other tools, the Nurture Team facilitate sessions for groups and 1:1s to develop emotional literacy and release creativity; build resilience, confidence and friendship skills; and process life events.

Working with their teachers we use the Boxall Profile to measure the need of the child and how they are progressing in different areas. This well recognised tool allows us to get a clear picture of the individual and how best to support them over time.

The Whole Family Approach – St Mary’s Church Outreach (The Branch Trust) projects

At St Mary’s Church Outreach (The Branch Trust) we believe that the most effective way to support a child is to consider them in the context of their whole family. The Nurture Practitioners work with parents or carers where appropriate and are able to utilise a whole family approach which is so valuable. As part of this service, we hold a Parent Drop-in every Monday morning where any parent or carer can come to be signposted to support services and chat through concerns.

The Under 5s Network, brings together organisations and individuals from Chipping Norton and the surrounding area who support the Early Years and their families, and we are developing the opportunities for families that have children of pre-school age through our toddler groups – Minis & Mini Movers.

We also run a range of support groups for adults including:
Life skills – surviving and thriving on a low budget; Kintsugi Hope – wellbeing support; Freedom and Recovery Wellbeing – domestic abuse & adverse childhood experiences support; and Connect Café – a space to chat, get support and signposting for housing, finances, mental health, education and work opportunities etc. We also run transition activities and support for those moving from Year 6 to Year 7; a mentoring programme and cookery scheme, Branch Out to Cook, with Chipping Norton School and a weekly youth club, Remix, for Years 7+ which takes place at Glyme Hall. We run family holiday clubs in the summer and activities throughout the year that focus on providing fun, new experiences and the opportunity to share meals together.

We believe that community is fundamental to a child being able to flourish and know that connection with people of all ages offers an enriching experience. We therefore run an intergenerational project called Full Circle which brings older members of the community together with pupils for lunch, activities and conversation – a chance for learning and laughter for everyone involved!

If you would like to find out more about the Nurture Room or the whole family approach and The Branch Trust, please contact Catherine Spring (Families Outreach Worker & Nurture Lead):

Further Resources

st mary's school credentials