Improving our practice: a small-scale study of a secondary nurture group


Jacqueline Perkins 

Affiliation: Edge Hill University, St Helens Rd, Ormskirk L39 4QP, UK
Corresponding author: Jacqueline Perkins,
Published online on 28 April 2017

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Since 2008 a nurture group (NG) has been running in my school: a maintained secondary academy in England. Specially selected pupils from Year 7 take part in structured nurturing activities for two terms before returning full time to their mainstream class.

As the NG teacher aiming to improve our practice I collected quantitative and qualitative data relating to four consecutive years of NG pupils, comparing them in each case with the same number of similar pupils who did not attend the NG and addressing the following research questions:

1. Does the NG improve pupil motivation and achievement?
2. Do pupils who attend the NG tend to achieve better academic results than peers with similar backgrounds and academic records who have not attended the NG?

I also aimed to obtain a view on the value that the NG added to the school. Overall the research indicated that learning levels, along with levels of motivation and classroom focus, were positively influenced by attending the NG. It would appear that the NG is likely to have been an effective use of resources..

​nurture groups, secondary school, learning

Perkins, J. (2017) Improving our practice: a small-scale study of a secondary nurture group, The International Journal of Nurture in Education, 3(1), 18-30.