Otter’s (Nurture Group)
Otter’s is a small social group running three afternoons per week. (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1.00pm - 3.00pm). The group aims to support children in the afternoons who may find it challenging to access the full curriculum in a formal structure.
The aim of the group is to help children develop their skills needed for learning by developing their watching, listening, and concentrating skills and use of the spoken language and more willingness to join in. It helps promote their self-esteem and confidence to try new skills.
The children are encouraged to talk about their feelings and learn to express them, which they will do when they become more confident within the group.
Children are given unconditional warmth and acceptance and activities are chosen with care. Activities are successful, engaging and involving with a clear successful outcome.
Otters is run by two, trained and experienced members of staff and no more than 12 children ever attend. The staff members work closely with teachers and the SENCO to incorporate any PLPs or learning goals.
Otters is held in St Catherine’s room. The room is set up to mirror a home setting with a sofa, toys, books, games, and creative activities. The group sessions are divided into small chunks of time with each activity serving a clear purpose. Each session offers the security of a consistent and familiar structure as follows:
Each session has a structured routine e.g. (routines provide security and success)
Meet and greet (develops a positive group dynamic and routine)
Circle time activity (promotes a sense of belonging, enhances social skills, and raises self-esteem)
Turn taking games (develop social, emotional skills and language)
Free play (valuable time for adults to observe interaction between children. Gives children opportunities to practice positive interactions modeled by adults)
Snack time (children help to set up, serve refreshments and help clear away. This helps children develop a sense of achievement and confidence. It gives the children opportunities to talk in a more relaxed and low-key manner)
Story and Goodbye (helps children to develop routines, good sitting and listening skills. There is a focus on celebrating children's achievements during the goodbye, allowing children to share their achievements with the group)