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St. Mary's Catholic High School

providing support for students to thrive

St.Mary’s Nurture centre offers a wide range of interventions available to all students across all key stages.   Interventions are underpinned by the six basic Nurture principles and contain elements of mental health awareness.

Principles of Nurture
  • Learning to understand developmentally
  • The classroom offers a safe base
  • The importance of nurture for the development of self-esteem
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • All behaviour is communication
  • The importance of transition in children's lives


Nurture Centre

Students are referred into the centre by their Year Leads and senior member of staff.  Students initially complete an ‘assessment of needs’ to help identify specific areas in which they may require support.  The referrer and parents/carers are informed of the outcome of the assessment and students are signposted to one of the specific interventions listed below.  All provision is child-centred and focuses on the specific needs of the student.  The duration of each provision is also dependent on the student needs.

  • Healthy wellbeing – intervention for students to help to develop self-esteem, confidence, resilience, positive relationships, organisation, and life skills.
  • Breakfast club – provides a safe environment for students that may be struggling to cope with form time or have anxieties around coming to school.  Intervention aims to ‘set-up’ students for the day and re-track/re-frame incidents that may be causing them distress.  Other areas of support are healthy eating, daily routines, and providing breakfast to ensure that students are given the best chance to learn.
  • Positive changes – this provision helps vulnerable students to develop life skills, healthy eating, daily routines, team building, decision making, self-esteem and confidence.  
  • Stress management – includes interventions such as breathing techniques, triggers for anxieties and providing solutions for issues that arise.  This intervention targets mainly Key Stage 4 students that are struggling with the stress of examinations and/or workload.
  • Examination preparation – students are given advice on how to prepare for upcoming examinations, how to create examination timetables,  different revision techniques such as mind mapping and the effects of specific food and drink on their ability to learn.
  • Communication – Elements of ‘Nurture Talk’ and the ‘Social Use of Language Programme’ are delivered to students to aid them with how to communicate effectively to their peers and adults.  Inappropriate language is challenged and students are made aware of their own body language and how this can be perceived by others.  
  • Transition workshops – preparation for St.Mary’s including self-esteem, organisation, positive choices, questions and answers.  Following the transition process, workshops are delivered to Year 6 students that have been identified as vulnerable.  Upon starting at St.Mary’s these students are then assessed within the first half-term to ensure a positive transition has been made from Primary to Secondary school.  Students that are struggling to cope with the transition are then signposted to specific interventions.
  • Lunchtime provision – intervention to support positive relationships, develop self-esteem and build confidence.  Students are selected by the Inclusion team and this is an invitation only provision.  Students are able to access the Nurture centre during selected lunchtimes.
  • Personalised timetable – Bespoke intervention tailored to specific student needs.  The outcome of this provision is to remove the barriers to learning that the students may be facing and to develop coping strategies to enable students to return to a full-time timetable.  This is intense support where the students only attend the Nurture centre and no other lessons.  The students are set targets to achieve and outcomes are agreed.  The students are made fully aware of timescales and how reintegration back into a ‘normal’ timetable will occur.
  • School based counsellor – Intervention for emotional support, behaviour support, relationship issues and mental health concerns.  Students can only access this intervention following an ‘assessment of needs’.
  • Well Women/Life Project - an external agency brought into school to offer advice to students on healthy life choices, self-esteem and healthy relationships.  Separate sessions are delivered for male and female students.
  • Referral to external agencies - If a student requires specific support, often around their mental health, that we as a school cannot deliver, referrals will be made to external agencies such as Children and Adolescence Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Divert, Barnardos and Gateway.  All referrals are subject to parents/carers agreement.

The outcome of all interventions is to enable the students to develop their emotional, behavioural, social and mental health awareness and as a result of this improve their academic progression.

Staff - Nurture

Inclusion Manager
Inclusion Teaching Assistant

Miss E Worden

Inclusion Mentor

Mr J Burton

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