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To be upset about nurture group

(27 Posts)
Battyboo82 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:22:52

At parent's evening I was told DS, 5, has been put into a nurture group because he is quiet and seems to be lacking in confidence.
Obviously I've Googled this and am now worried he's in a group for troubled children. He has to go off to a special room once a week and lie in a tent with teddies and things. (he told me this).
The school didn't ask if I'd mind if he was in this group or really explain what it was. I've emailed the teacher to see if I can go in again and have a chat to her about it.
Another issue that's coming into play is DS has recurrent ear infections and has to go and see a specialist. I'm wondering if he can't hear what's going on in class?

Any thoughts on these groups / experience of them I'd be grateful as worried - feel like he's being treated as if he has special needs when he's a really bright little boy.

Ca55andraMortmain Mon 16-Oct-17 21:29:57

Nurture groups are for children who find the general hustle and bustle of early years classrooms to be a bit overwhelming and thus find it hard to settle into school life. Sometimes those children do have SEN, other times they have family difficulties or are just very shy, like your ds. It doesn't have anything to do with how 'bright' they are.

At our school, nurture group usually involves some sort of circle time where they are encouraged to talk about themselves (their news, their feelings etc), an activity and sharing food. Sometimes the activity is cooking and sometimes it's playing outside, crafts etc. The idea is to encourage social skills and language/communication. It also lets them get to know each other in a calmer environment in the hope that they can continue those relationships in the playground and classroom. Nurture groups are really lovely and supportive and fun, they aren't specifically for 'troubled' children. Does your ds like going?

ASDsos Mon 16-Oct-17 21:31:09

Nurture groups can be amazing for children. I worked with children in one last year. The smaller group was ideal for shy children. We had a mix of children in ours.

I can see why you're a bit taken aback, and communication could have been better but it's great the school are so proactive in helping your child.

Go and have a chat again with the teacher, parents observed a couple of our sessions.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 16-Oct-17 21:32:01

I wish we had the money to run a nurture group at our school. I've read so much about them and watched a documentary years ago about one in a school in Glasgow. It was amazing.

ASDsos Mon 16-Oct-17 21:32:40

As an aside, not all children with special needs are not bright. My own Ds is exceptionally bright but struggles socially, he has autism.

Birdsgottafly Mon 16-Oct-17 21:33:34

The school should have explained the purpose of the group for your DS and how you can support him at home.

If he is having hearing issues and this is what is lowering his confidence levels, then the group will be appropriate for him.

" feel like he's being treated as if he has special needs when he's a really bright little boy."

Nice way to stigmatise children with SN.

AppleTrayBake Mon 16-Oct-17 21:33:49

I don't like your comment about special needs, but understand your worried.

Nurture groups are used to build children's self-esteem/ confidence within a smaller group. You should be grateful that the school is trying to support him and build him up.

AppleTrayBake Mon 16-Oct-17 21:35:06


EvilDoctorBallerinaVampireDuck Mon 16-Oct-17 21:35:57

That sounds lovely. DS2 used to go to the sensory room when he wasn't concentrating.

Cookingongas Mon 16-Oct-17 21:36:32

Yabu- your ds is being best cared for, with a school and educators treating him as an individual with individual needs and offering a brilliant service to help him most.

I have a sen dc. She is very bright. Not at all troubled.

Haggisfish Mon 16-Oct-17 21:37:16

Personally I would like every child to be able to be in a nurture group!

HammerToFall Mon 16-Oct-17 21:38:02

My child is what you may call a 'troubled child' she is adopted and has severe attachment disorder. Nurture groups help her so much and she has made good friendship with other children in the. Maybe do t be so judgemental.

KityGlitr Mon 16-Oct-17 21:38:18

Special needs isn't a pejorative term you know. You can be bright and have special needs. I was considered to have them at school as I was brighter than most of the others and bored senseless (child Mensa and all that... I definitely evened out to average through high school so not a brag). Sounds like they have reason to feel he'd benefit and good for them identifying a need and acting on it! By all means talk to the teacher to find out if there are any concerns and how you can best support him too.

Witsender Mon 16-Oct-17 21:38:19

I'm hoping your sentiments are just poorly phrased?! shock

Nurture groups are lovely done properly, I'd be very happy for either of my children to have been in them.

Battyboo82 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:38:32

Didn't mean to offend with the comment about special needs... Ill thought out there.

Thanks for your comments so far. I don't really understand what the group is about so hopefully when I see the teacher I can find out more.

isitme88 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:40:54

Okay so your comment about special needs is ridiculous and maybe you should educate yourself on the subject before posting things like that.
I run the nurture group at my school. It's incredible and helps children in every way. There is nothing negative to be taken from this. Nurture groups when googling can bring up scary stuff if you delve in deep. But new research has shown that it needs to be more normalised and not just for extreme cases. Which is why your school offers it. It's great and will only help your child. Please don't be negative about it

PurpleDaisies Mon 16-Oct-17 21:41:07

Any thoughts on these groups / experience of them I'd be grateful as worried - feel like he's being treated as if he has special needs when he's a really bright little boy.

What makes you think having special needs and being bright are mutually exclusive? hmm

Battyboo82 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:42:08

Thank you. It's fairly obvious now I know nothing about it! I wish the school could have explained it a bit better.

isitme88 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:43:01

X post there op. Thanks for acknowledging your mistake in your original post. Let's hope that we can focus on the main issue.
Is it that you're worried what the school thinks about your child. Or that you don't know enough on the subject or that the school didn't ask your permission?

Pancakeflipper Mon 16-Oct-17 21:44:23

My son has been in a nuture group.
I was unsure at first as I didn't understand what they did.

Do chat to the teacher.
My son really enjoyed it, they did lots of activities. My son is bright (HFA) and loved helping a very quiet child who has little confidence play a board game. And they still chat and support each other.
I doubt it will do your son any harm. But don't think it's for "troubled" children.
It's a confidence booster and the majority of children can use that.

MulberryMoon Mon 16-Oct-17 21:48:55

Dd struggled at first in year 1 having been happy in reception as she was separated from her friends. She was put in a weekly social skills group. She is now a very cheerful and popular year 6er. I wish dd1 had had something like this as it wasn't until high school that she was able to come out of her shell socially really.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 16-Oct-17 21:52:22

I would get him in for a hearing test if you're at all worried about that. Some children that struggle to hear (particularly in larger, noisier groups) can be mistakenly identified as withdrawn or not able to concentrate/ listen.

I'm sure he's enjoying lying about in a tent with teddies though. It sounds quite fun and he can only benefit from having some extra attention.
Be careful about getting too defensive about anything the school has to say about his social skills. Remaining open minded will benefit your son.

BackforGood Mon 16-Oct-17 21:54:14

Tbf, if you have never come across the term before, and are relying on google, then you will come across a lot of nurture groups that are there to support really troubled children. I can see that would be worrying for you. However, that is not the only sort of nurture group, as others have explained above.
It is very sensible to contact the school and ask to find out a bit more about it though - possibly speaking to the person who runs the group as well as the class teacher. Also always worth getting hearing checked as soon as you can if there is even the slightest question about it. smile

Ploppie4 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:02:08

A nurture group would have suited my kids. Hugely. And they sounded just like your boy. Quiet. Bright. A bit tired. Well behaved. Overwhelmed in reception. Three of mine are now teens and people compliment me constantly. They are bubbly, bright, articulate and well behaved. Noone would ever have guessed just how overwhelming they found infants.

Niminy Mon 16-Oct-17 22:02:44

Nurture groups do wonderful work. My DS1 was in a nurture group all through primary school and it just did so much for him. One of the (many) things that it did was allow him to help children with more difficulties than him, and he became so much more empathetic and understanding as a result. It didn't hold him back academically at all, and it was a lovely, caring and nurturing space within the school.

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