Big gains for Alloa nurture group

4th June 2004 at 01:00
Nurture groups to help reintroduce vulnerable four and five-year-olds into mainstream classes are being extended to nurseries.

An extension to the on-site nursery at Park Community Learning Campus in Alloa is under way after the success of a two-year pilot. Pupils, on average, have made "significant gains" in their development and are now within normal limits after entering P1 unable to cope with the daily routine, Clackmannanshire councillors heard this week.

An early years nursery group for 3-5s is now working on the same principles with the nursery adapting its layout and organisation to bring in the small group approach.

Further up the primary in the P5-P6 class, the school has established a similar approach for children with emotional and behavioural needs.

Glasgow City Council runs the largest number of nurture groups north of the border but others are catching up fast.

In the Alloa group, named the Sunshine Class, seven of 14 pupils have been able to return to mainstream classes full-time and others are in the process. During their spell in the nurture group, they join the majority of their classmates for whole-class activities and gradually reintegrate.

One parent said: "I feel he has learnt things in the group that he would not have picked up on in the big class. He is more disciplined in class now, but he loved his wee group."

The primary nurture group has one full-time teacher and a full-time supervisory assistant.

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