Unified Academy’s curriculum approach is underpinned by nurture principles.
Staff support, encourage and develop students to become independent, confident learners. We focus on developing quality relationships that build resilience, improve self-esteem and drive students to make good decisions for themselves and those around them. Students learn social empathy by being thought about, valued and encouraged.
The classroom offers a safe base.
There is a consistent structure to each day. Staff create a supportive learning environment where clear boundaries are set and provide security and reassurance for students.
Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
- being responsive
- remembering and engaging
- shared activities such as play, having meals, reading, talking about events and feelings
Students respond to being valued and being thought of as individuals.
Language is a vital means of communication.
Language is more than a skill to be learnt, it is the way of putting feelings into words. Students can ‘act out’ their feelings when they find it difficult to describe how they feel.
Staff facilitate informal opportunities for talking and sharing, for example, welcoming students into the group or having breakfast together is as important as the more formal lessons teaching language skills.
Staff create opportunities for students to use words instead of actions to express their feelings, such as, extended conversations or encouraging imaginative play to understand the feelings of others.
All behaviour is communication.
Understanding what a student is communicating through behaviour helps our staff to respond in a consistent but not-punitive way.
When a student can sense their feelings are understood this can help to diffuse difficult situations and challenging behaviour. Staff will think, ‘Given what I know about this student and their development, what are they trying to tell me?’.
Transitions are significant in the lives of children.
We understand that some students find the transition from home to school difficult. There are also numerous transitions throughout the school day. Staff are prepared for and carefully manage and support students between sessions, classes and different teachers.