We realise that some students who join us in Year 7 have poor literacy and numeracy skills, in relation to their peers. They may have struggled in primary school to make adequate levels of progress, for a variety of reasons. In light of this, we run a ‘Nurture Group’ in Year 7 for our least able students. The aim of this provision is to accelerate academic progress for these students, with a particular focus on improving literacy and numeracy skills.
The Nurture Group has a primary school structure and is delivered by an experienced primary trained teacher. The group is intentionally kept small and has a well-resourced classroom which is designed to provide a welcoming, safe and engaging environment. All ‘Nurture Group’ students are provided with a pass which allows them to spend lunch and/or break times (when they may feel more vulnerable) in the classroom and to socialise, play games or talk to a member of staff in a more structured and quiet environment, if desired.
Students are taught English and Maths by the designated teacher, following differentiated schemes of work, tailored to meet their needs. In addition, they have specialist teachers for the remaining subjects.
All ‘Nurture Group’ students access an additional 1:1 reading intervention programme, delivered by a dedicated team of SEND staff. There is a particular emphasis on the teaching of phonics, identifying and addressing any gaps the pupils may have. If we can accelerate pupils’ reading ability upon entry to our Academy they will be able to access all areas of the curriculum more readily.
The aim of this approach is to offer an excellent transition pathway and to up-skill pupils as much as possible in Year 7 to enable them to be as prepared with the demands of Year 8 and progression into KS4.