An Exploratory Study of the Curriculum in Primary School Nurture Groups: From a Pupil, Parent and Practitioner Perspective.

Kirk, John (2018). An Exploratory Study of the Curriculum in Primary School Nurture Groups: From a Pupil, Parent and Practitioner Perspective. EdD thesis The Open University.

Abstract

Nurture groups were introduced in the late 1960s to support the well-being of selected pupils whose developmental and learning needs could not be met by mainstream provision (Boxall, 2002). Nurture group intervention emphasises that creating opportunities to develop attachment and security can modify some negative early experiences. Previous research has indicated that primary school nurture groups can be successful but research into the specific characteristics including curriculum provision is sparse and requires further investigation. This small scale, qualitative study investigated the impact of the primary nurture group curriculum. Constructivist ontological and critical realist epistemological positions were adopted to gain the perceptions of pupils, parents and staff through face-to-face interviews supported by observations in nurture groups and mainstream classrooms. The analysis of data was based on thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). A total of 16 pupils, 10 parents / caregivers and 8 staff members from three primary schools in the North West of England participated in face-to-face interviews. Findings highlight the perceptions and experiences of all participants with common themes identifying increased levels of both pupil and parental confidence, improved pupil concentration and independence that led to a greater desire to learn. Implications for pupils, parents, nurture groups and schools are discussed.

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