Kennington CE Academy School Upper Vicarage Road Ashford, Kent TN24 9AG
01233 623744


Achieve Celebrate Succeed

Nurture at Kennington CE Academy

Nurture groups are founded on evidence-based practices and offer a short-term, inclusive, focused intervention that works in the long term. The Nurture group will be between 2 and 6 children.  Each group will be run by two members of staff. Children will attend nurture groups but remain an active part of their main class group, spend appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need and typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms. 

Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and gives whatever help is needed to remove the barriers to learning. There is great emphasis on language development and communication. Nothing is taken for granted and everything is explained, supported by role modelling, demonstration and the use of gesture as appropriate. The relationship between the staff, always nurturing and supportive, provides a role model that children observe and begin to copy. Food is shared at ‘snack time’ with much opportunity for social learning, helping children to attend to the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to. As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving.

The Six Principles Of Nurture

  1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom offers a safe base
  3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  4. Language is a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. The importance of transition in children’s lives


The Boxall Profile provides a framework for the precise assessment of children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) and are failing at school. It helps teachers to plan focused intervention for those children whose behaviour seems to make no sense. The profile provides the teacher with insights and suggests points of entry into the child’s world — it makes people think about what lies behind the behaviour.

The group is run by staff who understand the developmental processes of childhood, that some children get stuck at an early stage and need experiences appropriate to that stage to enable them to move on. They realise that the child’s first need is to build up trust. This is achieved by demonstrating acceptance of the child as s/he is, and, as confidence grows, offering work appropriate to the stage they have reached. There are secure routines, always explained — no prior knowledge is taken for granted. The child is always listened to, with staff doing what every attentive parent does, commenting on what the child tells them, expanding it, putting it in a wider context — in short, helping the child to make sense of their world. We do activities that are tailored to the targets taken from the Boxall profile of the children but in a way which fits in with the child’s developmental needs. 

Our main aim is to build a trusting, safe, fun environment that allows the children to grow in confidence and become lifelong learners in and out of the classroom. Here are some of the activities we do:

  • Cooking- this helps with team work, adding skills, weighing/measuring, confidence and reading/writing
  • Team building- inside and outside activities
  • SEMH- talking about our feeling and emotions and learning strategies to help us
  • Speaking and listening – turn taking, circle time and story time
  • Arts and crafts- painting, printing, making worry and memory boxes, superhero hand prints
  • Free time- to play games as a group, choose what you want to do, find a friend and share your special things
  • Yoga- we use this for calming down techniques
  • Mindfulness- again to aid calmness and thinking time
  • Snack time- time to talk, share, listen and support each other

Please see below some pictures of our nurture area