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Transforming lives through learning Rights, Support and Wellbeing Team Nurture Approaches PiNS October 2014

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Presentation on theme: "Transforming lives through learning Rights, Support and Wellbeing Team Nurture Approaches PiNS October 2014"— Presentation transcript:

1 Transforming lives through learning Rights, Support and Wellbeing Team Nurture Approaches PiNS October 2014

2 Transforming lives through learning Aims Re-cap of the importance of ‘connectedness’ on the development of social and emotional wellbeing Introduction to Nurture – Outline of 6 key principles Nurturing Schools Resource – Focus on Secondary – Outline of Resource – Next Steps

3 Transforming lives through learning Off to a Good Start The brain is shaped by complex interplay of genes and experiences which starts at the point of conception - nature and nurture! The care received as a baby strongly influences the way in which the brain ‘wires’ itself For social and emotional development the most crucial influence is the emotional connection with the care giver – the ‘attachment relationship’ Sensitive and secure interactions and experiences are linked to a wide range of positive outcomes – and, of course, the opposite is also true

4 Transforming lives through learning Solid Foundations Safety from harm; good nutrition; physical support; gentle touch; good predictable daily routines (sleep) Physical Needs Stimulation - people, moving objects; consistency and continuity in care; world safe and predictable; Emotional Needs Sensitive Interactions; responsive to needs; fun; consistency; holding and re- assuring; connectedness Parental responsiveness

5 Transforming lives through learning Attachment Theory ‘connectedness’ Develops automatically without exception Refers to a ‘special’ bond of affection Helps infant make sense of the world around them. Two functions 1. security and 2. safety – provides emotional security (secure base) and protection against stress (safe haven) Attachment style: – is a coping strategy – the infant’s main goal is to stay safe and keep caregiver close – is a direct consequence of the caregivers behaviours towards the child (e.g. nurture) – predicts social and emotional skills in later childhood

6 Transforming lives through learning Cycle of Secure Attachment Secure Children: Better language Better learning Positive self-beliefs Good relationships More sociable Ready for school Express need e.g. crying Need is met consistently, promptly, reliably Feel relaxed, soothed Distress, displeasure, stress

7 Transforming lives through learning Cycle of Insecure Attachment Insecure Children: Poor language Poor learning Poor self-beliefs Poor relationships Un-sociable Risk taking NOT ready for school Express need e.g. emotional comfort Need is not consistently or appropriately met Feel anxious, restless and fearful Distress, displeasure stress

8 Transforming lives through learning Internal Working Model Attachment relationships create an ‘Internal working model’ Guides our behaviour in all future relationships Largely unconscious (memories, expectations) but demonstrated by child through behaviours Our attachment style is re- enacted in relationships with others – we ‘normalise’ our own parental relationship

9 Transforming lives through learning Secure Internal Working Model Self: I am good, wanted, worthwhile, competent, lovable, interesting, effective My carers are responsive to my needs, sensitive, caring, trustworthy The world is safe, I can trust others, I can seek comfort from others,

10 Transforming lives through learning Insecure Internal Working Model Self: I am bad, unwanted, worthless, helpless, unlovable, ineffective My carers are unresponsive to my needs, insensitive, hurtful, untrustworthy The world is unsafe, I cannot trust people, others will let me down, I must be on my guard

11 Transforming lives through learning The Stress Response System Attachment relationships develops our stress response system Initially caregiver acts as external stress regulator – manages and contains emotions Internal regulation develops over time in response to discomfort via patterned, repetitive, moderate activities Leads to self understanding & management of emotions – i.e. self regulation

12 Transforming lives through learning The roots of empathy develop from soil of stress response system and flourish into empathy and self regulation (Bruce Perry, 2010)

13 Transforming lives through learning Negative Effect of Stress Mild, predictable stress is essential Prolonged, severe or unpredictable stress can alter the brain’s normal development Under stress the brain releases high levels of ‘cortisol’ This can lead to a range of negative outcomes affecting learning, social and emotional development Brain is wired to survive – it cant focus on cognitive activity when ‘stressed’ and cortisol levels are high Learning cannot occur if the child is in either a persistent state of arousal, anxiety. When in this state, the key parts of the cortex are only receptive to cognitive information that is relevant to survival. Keep looking for Sabre-tooth tigers!!

14 Transforming lives through learning “Research demonstrates that investing time and resources into improving relationships and behaviour in establishments leads to positive outcomes around inclusion, engagement and achievement in the short term and community safety and cohesion in the long term.” Better Relationships, Better Learning, Better Behaviour, SG, 2013

15 Transforming lives through learning Why Nurture Approach? Whether young people feel connected to a school depends on the structure of the school to present opportunities for meeting their: – attachment and; – social and emotional needs Nurture offers a framework informed by theory to support these needs.

16 Transforming lives through learning What is Nurture? Reliable adults who have time to respond (connectedness) Adults who respond sensitively to needs (external stress regulator) Predictable, consistent, routines and interactions (patterned, repetitive activities) Some degree of dependency from secure base (exercise the stress system) Challenge to negative internal models

17 Transforming lives through learning Nurture Principles

18 Transforming lives through learning 1. Learning Understood Developmentally Staff K&U of social, emotional development & attachment on brain Get to know the child – Think young! – Assess needs not skills for age – Explore background – Use of standardized assessment tools /tracking & monitoring Respond to child ‘as they are‘ not as ‘they should be’ Offer a range of experiences

19 Transforming lives through learning 2. Safe Base The environment is welcoming, safe, structured and predictable - great attention is paid to detail! Good provision of safe spaces (inside and out) to support emotional regulation Boundaries are set and delivered clearly, fairly and with sensitivity (emotional warmth) Adults are reliable and consistent in their approach to the children acting as ‘parent surrogates /mentors’(Ainsworth, 1995) The YP feels secure & comfortable and can move from safe base to explore therefore allowing increase coping strategies and engagement in learning Pupils need to retain contact ‘in person’ or ‘in mind’

20 Transforming lives through learning 3. Nurture Develops Self Esteem Understand internal working model and gently challenge through positive interactions Talking therapy - ‘everything is verbalised‘ Engage in reciprocal shared activities e.g. play/ meals/reading/talking about events and feelings. Value YP as individuals by noticing and giving positive attention Awareness of ‘growth mindset’ and improvement Celebrate success

21 Transforming lives through learning 4. Language as Communication Language puts feelings into words. Tells YP ‘you belong here, I like you, your safe here’ Instead of ‘acting out' their feelings YP are helped to understand and ‘name' how they feel Importance of non-verbal communication Talking therapy: Provide informal opportunities for talking and sharing, e.g. welcoming the children into the group; having breakfast together Words are used instead of actions to express feelings and opportunities are created for extended conversations or encouraging imaginative play to understand the feelings of others

22 Transforming lives through learning 5. Behaviour as Communication ‘Given what I know about this child and their development what is this child trying to tell me?‘ Understanding what a child is communicating through behaviour helps staff to respond in a firm but non-punitive way by not being provoked or discouraged. If the child can sense that their feelings are understood this can help to diffuse difficult situations. The adult makes the link between the external / internal worlds of the child. Restorative approaches

23 Transforming lives through learning

24 6. Importance of Transition Awareness of the numerous daily transitions the child makes Changes in routine need to be carefully managed with preparation and support. Care given to beginnings (welcome) and endings Clear welcome routines at transition points

25 Transforming lives through learning Research Evidence (Binnie & Allen, 2009) C&YP – Social & emotional skills – Self esteem – Engagement – Attendance – Exclusion Carers – Relationships – Communication – Behaviour at home Whole school – Staged intervention – Ethos – Senior management ‘stress’ Wider authority effect – Onward referrals – Realign audit resources

26 Transforming lives through learning Extension into Secondary Schools Increase in provision and increasing research evidence Recognition of wider social and emotional wellbeing of young people. Recognition of the importance of building positive relationships. Transition into secondary environment can highlight the needs of YP (previously coped well) Adolescence is characterised by physical and emotional changes. Also, significant neurological changes. There is a marked change in the way the adolescent brain handles information and deals with problems. Second ‘window of opportunity’ for change & growth.

27 Adolescence: Re-wiring of the Brain

28 Transforming lives through learning National Nurture Steering Group Focus on secondary schools Training pack – Overview – Theory – Nurturing schools – Nurture Groups – Assessment & Evaluation Framework for Implementation – Nurture Group level – Whole School level

29 Transforming lives through learning Next Steps: Finalise training resource Pilot with 5 or 6 secondary schools across Scotland – any interest? Consultation with key stakeholders Incorporate feedback National Launch – available electronically

30 Transforming lives through learning Relationships are key!

31 Transforming lives through learning Further Reading: Bennathan, M. & Boxall, M. (2000). Effective Intervention in Primary Schools. David Fulton Publishers: London. Bishop, S. (2008). Running a Nurture Group. Sage: London. Boxall, M. (2002). Nurture Groups in School: Principles and Practice. Paul Chapman. London. Cooper, P. & Tiknaz, Y. (2007). Nurture Groups in School and at Home. Jessica Kingsley: London. Music, D. (2011). Nurturing Natures. Psychology Press: London.


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