Whittington Moor Nursery and Infant Academy has transformed an unused classroom into a home-from-home nurture room to support mental wellbeing among its pupils and the community.
The room, called The Saplings, comes complete with house plants, informal seating and an upcycled dining table where children are encouraged to share positive news,
Its aim is to support the development of the social and emotional aspects of the curriculum – and although it’s already being used, it isn’t yet fully complete.
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Headteacher Lauren Kay said the school is still seeking resources such as children’s books and resources, bean bags, sofas and a kettle which will finalise the project.
They are also hoping to be successful in their bid for a Tesco Community Grant where they could receive up to £1,500.
Ms Kay said: “The Saplings was an old classroom but we didn’t want it to look like an old classroom; we wanted it to be a calm and cosy place, a home-from-home where our children would feel comfortable to talk about things that were maybe worrying them.
“Amanda Cheffings, our nurture lead, has done a fantastic job in upcycling furniture for The Saplings.
"The pandemic has led to an increase in the need for such a room in school; children’s social skills and behaviour has been affected during the subsequent lockdowns. The Saplings promotes and can assist with improving these skills. It has been a fabulous and much-needed resource for our school.”
Whittington Moor Nursery and Infant Academy are working hard to aid not only the mental wellbeing of pupils and staff, but to support families with other aspects such as health, finance and diet.
Miss Kay added: “Community is important to us here at Whittington Moor Nursery and Infant Academy and we want to support our children and families with their mental health and wellbeing.
“We have an excellent relationship with nearby Cavendish Junior School, which was recently graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted - and there are exciting plans in place to build on this, including a teddy bear’s picnic in the summer ahead of transition from Infant to Junior school.
“We want to ensure that the school experience for our children is a magical time.”