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Belong, Believe, Become


Welcome to Dove Class!

Dove Class is a part-time small group ('class'), based upon the principles of nurture groups.


Nurture groups were the brainchild of educational psychologist Marjorie Boxall in 1969. Boxall understood that some children were not ready to meet the social and intellectual demands of school life, which further damaged their already fragile self-confidence and self-esteem. Nurture groups are founded on evidence-based practices and offer a short-term, inclusive focused intervention that works in the long term.


The Six Principles Of Nurture

1.       Children's learning is understood developmentally

2.       The classroom offers a safe base

3.       The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing

4.       Language is a vital means of communication

5.       All behaviour is communication

6.       The importance of transition in children's lives

Ref: Lucas,S., Insley,K. and Buckland,G. (2006) Nurture Group Principles and Curriculum Guidelines Helping Children to Achieve, The Nurture Group Network.


At Rocklands, children attend weekly sessions in Dove class but remain an active part of their main class group, spending appropriate time within the nurture group according to their needs, and typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms. During their time in Dove class, children's social and emotional needs are assessed using the Boxall profile and appropriate, individual targets and programmes are drawn up and delivered, identifying whatever help is needed to remove the barriers to learning.

Nurture principles

Dove class is led by Kirsteen. Kirsteen is accredited with the Nurture Group Network and has achieved the 'Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups' Certificate.

Kirsteen is also an accredited 'Thrive' Practitioner.


The Thrive Approach

In the Thrive Approach we use a developmental model to help us understand how we develop socially and emotionally from birth through to adulthood. This model gives us a framework for understanding what healthy child development looks like in terms of behaviour and learning and clarifies what the role of adults should be in facilitating a child’s development at each of the different stages. In addition, the model gives us a lens through which to look at and interpret children’s behaviour, enabling us to identify the particular developmental needs being signalled by their behaviour and to choose appropriate, targeted interventions designed to meet those needs.


What does it take to develop healthy, happy, confident children who are ready and open to learning? Recent advances in neuroscience, attachment theory and child development have provided some of the answers to this question.


The Thrive Approach draws on insights from these fields to provide a powerful way of working with children and young people that supports optimal social and emotional development. In addition, the Approach can equip you to work in a targeted way with children and young people who may have struggled with difficult life events to help them re-engage with life and learning.

Dove Classroom