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Nurture Provision



Miss B Geraghty - Class Teacher

Miss E Wyer - Classroom Assistant

Miss S Collins - Pastoral Support Officer


Some Year 9 nurture group pupils producing water colour paintings. A lovely way to end a hard weeks work.

Holy Trinity College is proud of its warm, inclusive and pastoral ethos where every child is nurtured, valued and empowered to succeed.  We understand and appreciate that children’s emotional and mental well-being is critical to success in school.  Our outstanding Pastoral Care to the pupils, with our emphasis on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable, is reflected in a meaningful way through our Nurture Provision.    We are exceptionally pleased to be one of the few secondary schools in Northern Ireland to offer a Nurture centre, suitably called ‘The Haven’.  The quality of our Nurture provision was recognised in 2017 when, out of 350 applications, Holy Trinity College achieved the Derrytrasna Pastoral Care Award for exceptional pastoral care for the emotional health and well-being of pupils and their families.  The dedicated staff in the Nurture Centre offer identified pupils a safe and stimulating base to learn, to develop positive self-belief, expectations and relationships, so that the pupils can engage more confidently with their learning.  Through carefully designed and evaluated programmes and individualised support, the Nurture staff help pupils to cope with the transition process and the demands of secondary school within a small and structured setting.  Our staff create trusting relationships with the pupils and they, supported and valued, can engage more fully in all aspects of school life.

What is Nurture Provision?

Nurture groups are founded on evidence-based practices and offer a short-term, inclusive, focused intervention that works in the long term. Nurture groups are classes of between six and 12 children or young people in early years, primary or secondary settings supported by the whole staff group and parents. Each group is run by two members of staff. Children attend nurture groups but remain an active part of their main class group, spend appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need and typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms. Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give whatever help is needed to remove the barriers to learning. There is great emphasis on language development and communication. Nothing is taken for granted and everything is explained, supported by role modelling, demonstration and the use of gesture as appropriate. The relationship between the two staff, always nurturing and supportive, provides a role model that children observe and begin to copy. Food is shared at ‘breakfast’ or ‘snack time’ with much opportunity for social learning, helping children to attend to the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to.


As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving. Nurture groups have been working successfully for more than 40 years in the UK and now in other countries including Canada, New Zealand and Romania, and have been praised, supported and recommended by organisations such as Ofsted, Estyn and HMIE.

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