Knowle DGE recognised for supporting learning through nurture

Staff and pupils at Knowle DGE Learning Centre with their award.
Staff and pupils at Knowle DGE Learning Centre with their award.

Knowle DGE Learning Centre was presented with a national award  yesterday (Thursday 6 October) by the Lord Mayor of Bristol for its use of nurture to support children.

The school, that educates pupils from across the city aged five to 18 who have social, emotional and complex needs, developed their own nurture room to help children who found being in the classroom challenging from time to time.

It aims to bridge the gap and overcome barriers to learning which some children experience in a formal classroom by recreating a welcoming home environment.

Since it was launched four years ago – more than 70 children have accessed the nurture room, mainly as part of a long-term support package, but also on a drop-in basis.

Knowle DGE is the only special school in the South West to receive the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award from the Nurture Group Network. The accolade is awarded to schools that demonstrate exemplary practice in supporting a range of pupil needs in their school nurture groups.

Head teacher at Knowle DGE Darren Ewings said: “It became increasing apparent to us that we needed children to become more engaged in class and have support to overcome their barriers to learning.  Students come to us at varying stages of their schooling and often with complex behavior, speech and language and emotional needs.

“The development of our nurture room and the embedding of its principals such as the importance of language, creating safe spaces and recognising all behaviours as communication has helped us make our practice a success across the school.”

Nurture Group Network Chief Executive Kevin Kibble said: “Knowle DGE Learning Centre has evidenced its success in running an outstanding Nurture Group, and the beneficiaries of their hard work every day are the children attending the school, their families and the wider community. Our standards to achieve this award are exacting and many congratulations are due to the staff and pupils at the school”.

Bristol’s Lord Mayor,Cllr Jeff Lovell said he was delighted to present the award to the school.

”  It is great to see organisations in Bristol finding ways to make sure that all children are able to access a good education.  I’d like to congratulate all the teachers and developers who helped to make this happen and hope that children will continue to learn and develop in this facility for years to come.”