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The Unheard Voices of Nurture: Exploring Children's Experiences of a Secondary School Nurture Group.

Griffiths, Laura J (2017) The Unheard Voices of Nurture: Exploring Children's Experiences of a Secondary School Nurture Group. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The first Nurture Group (NG) was established by Marjorie Boxall in 1969 to improve the emotional wellbeing of children in schools (Kirkbride, 2014). They aim to provide support to meet the individual needs of children with a focus on social and emotional growth away from the mainstream classroom in a safe and secure environment. There has been substantial evidence on the effectiveness of NGs (O’Connor & Colwell, 2002; Cooper & Whitebread, 2007 and Griffiths, Stenner & Hicks, 2014), but little research to attain the views of the children who attend NGs, this research aimed to do this. The two research questions aimed to explore the experiences of children attending a secondary school NG and whether these experiences were helpful, and if they were similar to or different from their mainstream classroom experiences. Participants were six children who were attending a secondary school NG in one Local Authority in the North of England, who took part in individual semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009). Five superordinate themes emerged from the interpretative analysis; control, systems, structural and physical elements, purpose of the NG and inter-relationships. The children’s experiences supported previous findings in that NGs provide a secure base where children can form positive relationships with their peers and adults whom they can trust and rely upon, something which they did not experience in the mainstream classroom. They also attributed an improvement in academic skills and feelings of confidence to their NG experience. However, the NG does not appear to be seen by the children or by their peers and mainstream teachers as an inclusive part of school with participants expressing a desire to return to their “normal” classrooms due to feeling different by being in the NG. Lack of power and choice over entering the NG and when they could leave was experienced by the children with no involvement from mainstream staff. Confusion over the purpose of the intervention is also apparent. These findings are discussed in relation to implications for Educational Psychologists supporting children and schools as well as making a set of recommendations for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.720085
Depositing User: Mrs Laura J Griffiths
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2017 09:40
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17963

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