The Dragons

Our Nurture Group, The Dragons, was named by our first cohort in 2015.  The aspiration is that all our Dragons, different as they are, can fly high!

The Dragons operate on the six principles of Nurture:

  1. Learning is understood developmentally.
  2. The classroom offers a safe base.
  3. Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
  4. Language is understood as a vital means of communication.
  5. All behaviour is communication.
  6. Transitions are significant in the lives of children.

Nurture Groups were first conceived in the 1970s by Marjorie Boxall, an educational psychologist in London. She had identified that a lack of early-years social and emotional experiences meant that some young people were unable to meet the expectations of mainstream school. She drew upon John Bowlby’s work on Attachment Theory and Abraham Maslow’s work to inform the concept of the Nurture Group.

Fram Dragons
Our Nurture Group was conceived after witnessing a growing need to develop resilience in some of our students. As a result, we now offer those students an extended transition period in order to bolster the underlying skills needed to be successful at Fram.

It provides time-limited group intervention to support students with transition from primary to high school. The small group environment nurtures a strong relationship between the student and teacher, akin to a primary school, whilst guiding them through the routines and expectations of a high school. It is a safe stepping-stone, with classes taking place in the ‘Den'.

Students attend the Den for part of their school day and remain fully involved in many main school classes at all other times. They belong to a form group and attend most lessons with their form or teaching group. Some lessons take place in the Den. Students who attend Dragons do so with the aim of moving to a full high school timetable within 1 to 4 terms.

The Dragons’ provision supports students from a range of backgrounds, prior academic attainment and strengths and difficulties. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Students who have suffered trauma.
  • Students with Special Educational Needs.
  • Students with social and emotional difficulties.

Student Centred Approach
Membership of the Dragons is based on the needs of the child. Assessments of need are made for each student upon entry into the Den. These include the Boxall Profile Assessment and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which parents and carers are also asked to complete. This allows the Dragons’ team to plan a programme for each child and also show when progress has been made.

The Dragons’ programme is planned and differentiated to meet the needs of each individual in the group and is a mix of social and emotional development activities and academic learning.

Just as membership of the Dragons is based on the need of the child, and the timing of students wholly entering a full timetable is led by the student with support of teaching staff.

Parent and Carer Involvement

Integral in the child’s success in the Dragons’ Den is the relationship between home and school. The Dragons’ Team value parent and carer involvement. We use the online app, Class DoJo, for real-time communication between home and school. We stage events and activities with the involvement of parents and carers and celebrate their achievements together.

The Dragons’ Team
Students are supported in the Den by a well-qualified team. Mrs Cox has extensive experience in both Early Year and Primary teaching and Miss Thompson as a qualified secondary PE teacher, brings specific skills of teamwork, communication, collaboration and problem solving. Mrs Cox has recently undertaken The Theory and Practice of Nurture Group Training. The group also has Learning Support Assistants working closely with teachers. The Dragons’ Nurture Group is part of the School’s Learning Support Department and is overseen by Mrs Harvey, the Director of Learning Support, who has also achieved The Theory and Practice Nurture Group level 7 qualification.

Plans for 2019/20 and Beyond
Our Nurture Group will see its first cohort of students leave in the summer of 2020 and we are undertaking a full review of the provision. As we have developed over the last 4 years, we recognise the need to evolve with the cohort of students who attend the Dragons.

Click here to find out more about the Nurture Group Network.


© 2018 Framingham Earl High School