Local school receives national recognition for its nurturing values towards pupils

FROM THE HEART: The potential in every pupil is nurtured

St John’s Primary School has just been given a National Nurturing Schools Award to acknowledge its exceptional pastoral care. Eileen Leahy discovers how staff are ensuring the wellbeing of each and every one of its pupils…


A school in Tunbridge Wells is celebrating receiving a National Nurturing Schools Award from Nurture UK.

This special award for St John’s C of E Primary recognises the impact of a nurturing approach across the whole school.

According to a Nurture UK spokesperson this is “evidence of a school’s success in implementing and embedding a nurturing culture that responds to the social, emotional and mental health needs of its pupils, alongside their academic studies”.

Particular highlights within the report for St John’s Primary included the staff’s “consistent use of the Six Principles of Nurture, Zones of Regulation” and the use of a “Restorative Approach and Script”.

“The school firmly believes that every child is an individual with different needs and that it is their role to nurture the potential in everyone is therefore highly successful,” a St John’s spokesperson told the Times.

Within their report the Nurture UK assessor also noted the school’s “incredibly strong” links with their families, underpinned by the highly-valued work carried out by Family Liaison Officer. They commented that a highlight of the visit was the interview with pupils who were described as “extremely articulate, knowledgeable and demonstrated a real understanding of nurture”.

“It is clear they have experienced nurture on many levels from many staff,” the Nurture UK assessor said. They particularly singled out the children’s impactful descriptions of nurture.

“They described nurture as, ‘the thing that shows you care about people and they care about you’, and that nurture is ‘someone who scoops you up and makes you feel safe’.”

St John’s Headteacher Dan Turvey was equally pleased, telling the Times: “We are all delighted to have been awarded a National Nurturing School Award from Nurture UK. During my headship at the school, I have always been immensely humbled by the staff’s dogmatic and effective use of the Six Principles of Nurture, Zones of Regulation and the use of a Restorative Approach and Script.”

Mr Turvey explained that the award reflected the hard work of everyone connected to the school. “It is true to say that our schoolchildren experience nurture on many levels from many staff and it is a wonderful accreditation to have received this acclaimed award in recognition of our hard work,” he said.

“We have strived to create a nurturing space in which to learn and grow and I’d like to thank all the children, staff, parents and governors who contributed to this wonderful award and helped us along the way in the application process. We know the school is in a brilliant place going forward to continue to build on the nurturing approach that we value so highly.”

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