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Elaine Primary School

Nurture & Pastoral (The DEN)

Welcome to the DEN - Developing Education through Nurture.

Our nurture group is a focused based intervention for children with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are creating a barrier to their learning.

Children attend the nurture group in the afternoon but nurture support is not limited to the group, it is an embedded principle and is practiced at a whole school level providing appropriate support where and when needed.

The nurture group is small, typically 6 to 8 children at a time, and is structured for pupils showing signs of behavioural, social or emotional difficulties, particularly those who may be experiencing distress or disruption outside of school.

Our aim is to provide a predictable and safe environment where pupils can build trusting relationships with adults.

The DEN aims to give pupils the skills and strategies they need to improve their behavioural, social and emotional skills, teaching children how to self-calm, self-regulate and confidently communicate their feelings.

Through a variety of structured activities - such as Lego therapy, draw to talk, art therapy, social skills, friendship sessions, mindfulness and talking workshops - pupils learn to manage their own behaviour and emotions and learn how to build relationships with adults and other pupils. We work as a group to develop strategies to help them cope with their emotions.

Elaine’s nurture and pastoral care can assist pupils to develop positive self-esteem, take healthy risks and set goals. The DEN also gives parents/carers practical support and strategies they can use at home with their children.

Working together we enhance their strengths and build resilience as well as develop their sense of general well-being.

Excellent pastoral care is much more than just being nice to a child, it’s putting a child’s need at the centre of the school's operation.


Below are some of the techniques we use with our children.


Yoga encourages mindfulness, self-confidence, trust, a sense of calmness, self-acceptance as well as reducing anxiety and stress.


Mindfulness sessions can improve the mental, emotional, social and wellbeing of the children who take part. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and bad behaviour. By taking just 5 or 10 minutes after break and lunch, children can calm down and prepare themselves ready for learning. It can help children pay greater attention and be more focused in lessons.

Draw to Talk

Drawing enables a child to express, in a visual form, worries and preoccupations from deep in the mind that they would not be able to talk about normally.

Anger Management

We teach children not to be afraid of anger. We can help children be aware of when they become angry in the early stages so they have some choice about what they do with the feeling.