Nurture Group theory and practice

This programme is suitable for all schools, primary and post primary, with or without a Nurture Room already. 

The Nurturing Schools Programme is a whole-school approach that helps schools to embed a nurturing culture to improve the teaching and learning, engagement in school life, and wellbeing of all pupils and staff.  The NSP can help schools develop a happier, more resilient and more successful school community.

Nurture interventions are educational psychologist-designed, teacher-led interventions for disengaged and troubled children that remove behavioural barriers to engagement and attainment in schools, through recreating missing or distorted early attachments.

The NSP is based on the six principles of nurture that have successfully underpinned nurture groups for 50 years. These are:

  • Children’s learning is understood developmentally 
  • The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  • All behaviour is communication
  • The classroom offers a safe base 
  • Language is a vital means of communication
  • The importance of transition in children’s lives   

Six Principles of Nurture

Teachers are trained to focus on emotional needs and development as well as the academic learning of all pupils, and to embed the six principles of nurture throughout the policies and practices of a school. This enhances teaching and learning and promotes healthy outcomes for children, young people and the staff in the school. 

Through the Boxall Profile, the NSP supports schools in identifying children and young people who need additional, more focused support or interventions, such as to be part of a nurture group. Through whole-class assessments using the Boxall Profile, overviews of nurture needs and challenges for class groups can be used for planning interventions and strategies across the school. 

Through regular monitoring of the social, emotional and behavioural needs of all pupils (through the Boxall Profile), a whole-school nurturing approach to support the wellbeing of all pupils and staff (the Nurturing Schools Programme), and targeted support interventions for those pupils who need it (Nurture Groups) can be developed. 

The Nurturing Schools programme takes place over a two-year period and requires the commitment of both senior management and teaching staff.  The training is offered to principal, and/or deputy principal, and the coordinating teacher/s. The programme can start at any time of the year.

Year 1: Initial training for one afternoon and one full day (consecutive days) 

   Check-in day/progress day six months later. 

Year 2: Two full-day consultations – six months apart

End of Year 2: Optional assessment for Nurturing Schools Award

This programme requires a two-year commitment during which each school will undertake a nurture/wellbeing audit of their school, identifying challenges to teaching, learning, engagement and wellbeing of staff and students, and will plan towards addressing those challenges. It works very successfully when schools cluster together and provide support and encouragement for each other (maximum of 5 schools in a cluster). 

Our Nurturing Schools Team, comprised of facilitators who have vast experience of school leadership in Ireland, will be available throughout the programme to train, support, guide and advise. 

This Information Session will give an overview of the Nurturing Schools Programme and will facilitate questions and queries about Nurturing Schools and Nurture Rooms. 

For enquiries/expressions of interest please e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nurture Group Flyer

Nurture Training

County Wexford Education Centre


Milehouse Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford



Local Buses and ample carparking available


Tel: (053) 92 39100
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


DES logo 2
NDP trans 0
Registered Charity Number 20065232
Dept of Education
Arts in Education