A Social Development Curriculum: Applying Nurture Group Principles and Practices to Support Socially and Emotionally Vulnerable Children Within Mainstream Classrooms


  • Rebecca Doyle

Address for correspondence
Rebecca Doyle
18 Melford Bridge Road
Norfolk IP24 2HH
Email: Rebecca@doyle.chilly-hippo.co.uk


Rebecca Doyle set up the first nurture group in Thetford Education Action Zone in 2000. In 2001, she published an account of her work to reintegrate pupils from the nurture group into the mainstream of their infant school in the pages of BJSE. In this article, Rebecca Doyle describes how mainstream class teachers requested further support in working with socially and emotionally vulnerable children in their classes using the principles and practices from the nurture group. A social development curriculum was written to support this interest, offering mainstream staff a planning tool to complement their existing schemes of work and to help in the drive to make the curriculum appropriate for every child, regardless of their barriers to learning. This article indicates that mainstream staff are now able to bring the increasing knowledge of nurture group working to the fore in their planning, supporting the development of whole-school nurturing approaches. The social development curriculum has become a well-used document alongside current planning frameworks, supporting staff in meeting the diverse needs of pupils within mainstream classrooms with minimal cost and little additional workload.

In closing her article, Rebecca Doyle argues that the social development curriculum has had a positive impact upon the pupils in her school and upon her colleagues on the staff. She is pursuing her research into nurturing approaches through her membership of the National Nurture Group Network and her studies for a higher degree at the University of East Anglia.