The Importance of Nurture

We know that good teaching and learning begin with positive relationships. Relationships fulfil our most fundamental needs as humans – social connectedness. A nurturing approach recognises that positive relationships are central to both learning and wellbeing.

Nurturing approaches are underpinned by an understanding of attachment theory, which recognises the importance of early relational experiences in shaping children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

Nurture recognises that everyone who works with children and young people has a role to play in establishing the positive relationships that are required to promote healthy social and emotional development. When children and young people experience consistent safety, security and comfort from key adults, they develop the skills and desire to explore their environment and engage in learning opportunities. These relationships should be reliable, predictable and consistent wherever possible.

Given that most of our children and young people have been at home with the safest adults they know, they will be returning to school a little bit wary on many levels. Rebuilding familiar routines and rituals within the school and classroom will be essential. The very best way to support children and young people during this time will be through nurturing relationships with key adults. The six nurture principles are a helpful way to consider the needs of all children during this period of intense uncertainty and change. Prioritising these principles and the guidance and activities underlying each will ensure children and young people will begin to recover and reconnect, not only with the staff in school but with each other.

A priority for us returning in August will be to reconnect with our pupils and build those nurturing relationships. This will be a central theme for our School Improvement Plan.

East Lothian’s current guidance can be found here and here