“Nurture family” celebrates whole-school approaches in the Senedd

23 November 2018

Politicians and education leaders, pupils, teachers and parents joined together to celebrate nurture Wednesday evening in the Senedd at an event hosted by Jayne Bryant AM.

Attendees including Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM, Lynne Neagle AM, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee, and Professor Graham Donaldson, whose independent review underpins the new curriculum in Wales, heard from pupils and teachers from Fitzalan High School, Cardiff; Pillgwenlly Primary School, Newport; Ysgol Maesincla, Caernarfon; and Headlands School, Penarth.

Speaking at the event, Fitzalan High School student Ansa Memon communicated clearly the positive effect nurture provision has had on her life, highlighting the differences between her starting in nurture provision and today, where she has achieved excellent exam results and is standing for the youth parliament, saying “I don’t think I could have gotten this far without my nurture family”

Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams said:

Children need to be physically and emotionally ready to learn and we want all children to become happy, confident young people.  That’s where nurturing interventions prove invaluable.  An increasing number of schools are setting up nurture groups and they are a huge support to young people, children, parents and carers  I believe that promoting good mental health should be as important as promoting good physical health.  We have to address the inner confidence, resilience and grit of our children and young people and we know that is where nurturing provision can make a huge difference.  I want to confirm my whole-hearted support for nurturing interventions which I very much see as integral to the positive mental health and wellbeing approach here in schools in Wales.” 

Jayne Bryant AM said:

“Pillgwenlly School’s championing of nurture has transformed the lives of so many children.  I have seen how nurturing approaches support children and help improve academic performance, improve behaviour and reduce exclusions. I’m so pleased that now the Government’s commitment to a whole-school approach to supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing will mean that more schools and more children across Wales will benefit from a nurturing education.”

Speaking after the event, nurtureuk Chief Executive Kevin Kibble said:

“It was wonderful to hear from pupils and teachers from across Wales about the difference that nurture has made to them and their schools, and to hear such positive endorsement of nurture from the Cabinet Secretary for Education. The new curriculum in Wales is an important opportunity to focus on a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing and our National Nurturing Schools Programme is already putting wellbeing at the heart of a growing number of primary and secondary schools across the country.”