• Translate
Home Page

'Smarties' Page

Smarties - Nurture Group


Our Well being Nurture Group in Plasmarl Primary is called SMARTIES.


I set up Smarties for Trauma Informed practice and nurture when I became Wellbeing Officer in 2017.

Nurture Group rooms are carefully arranged to have the best of both classroom and a home environment.

They are designed to be warm and welcoming to provide a consistent, predictable, and safe place for children. Provision should be of a high quality and link to curriculum activities, just as any classroom there are areas for sharing stories, circles times and for completing tasks, there is an additional area for hosting ‘Snack and Chat’ time’ where children are able to sit as a group to share a meal.

Within SMARTIES there is also a quiet area for children to use for thinking time or for finding their own space.

The group is run by staff who are qualified in Relationship based Play and Trauma Informed practices.


What is the purpose of SMARTIES Nurture Group?


The Nurture Group is a small class of 8-10 pupils. The children are carefully brought together to make a balanced and functional group. The Nurture Group continues the ethos of an already nurturing environment within Plasmarl Primary School and provides inclusion for all children promoting PSHE provision.

Therefore, the children are supported within SMARTIES to raise their emotional well-being, self-esteem and have a sense of belonging to the school community.

We provide a structured routine with clear boundaries, so the children feel safe and secure.


We follow the 3 models of Trauma Informed School practice, which are:

* The Ace Study

* Panksepp's brain systems and Motional recording tool.



SMARTIES Nurture Group is a place of learning.



We also follow the six principles of the Nurture:



  1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom/school offers a safe base
  3. Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem
  4. Language is understood as a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. Transitions are significant in the lives of children


Reasons Children might attend SMARTIES Group?


  • Low self esteem
  • Find it hard to listen to others or join in
  • Family illness or break up
  • Bereavement
  • Find it hard to share and take turns
  • Find it hard to settle into class
  • Friendship difficulties – keeping/making friends
  • Find it hard to accept losing a game
  • Quiet, shy, withdrawn


A teacher might identify a child with any of the above needs. A discussion would then take place with the Wellbeing Officer.

A MOTIONAL Profile will be completed to identify possible areas of which a child might need support. If it is felt the child would benefit from a Nurture Group environment the class teacher and Wellbeing Officer will speak to the parent/carer and they will be given the opportunity to accept a place for their child to attend SMARTIES.


How will the SMARTIES group help a child?


The nurture group will help to boost confidence and self-esteem and provide children with extra skills to improve social skills and independence for example:

  • To engage
  • To settle
  • To listen
  • To concentrate
  • To share and take turns
  • To accept losing a game
  • To build friendship with their classmates
  • Gives opportunities to talk about and understand their feelings.
  • To experience and practice the development of positive relationship


Does this mean my child is naughty?


No. These sessions are meant to help them manage situations and increase their skills to become more successful learners.


How long will a child attend SMARTIES?


Currently SMARTIES runs every Thursday in two sessions, 9.15 am to 10.45 am and 1.20pm to 2.50pm.

A child may attend for 1-2 terms. However, we do ensure that children do not miss special assemblies, guests in school, outings or any special events that the rest of their class are taking part in.

Are parents/carers involved?


Yes, we like to feel there is an open-door policy where parents/carers can come and chat with the class teacher or the Nurture staff with regard to their child.


What does an afternoon in SMARTIES look like?


Children follow a structure and routine that is clear to both staff and children which includes group listening and speaking, individual and shared playing and social skills. The group runs on consistency, positive reinforcement, and praise.

Within the session we share Snack and Chat Time together – a chance to talk around the meal table, listen to each other, take turns to speak and practice using manners.

Taking part in a game, sometimes board games or team games, to encourage turn taking and coping with losing.

Circle time and sharing news – taking part and listening, sharing in a small group to build self-esteem and confidence.

Role play and drama – communication, listening to other ideas, taking on the role of different characters.

Cooking / Stories / puppets / music.


SMARTIES is a place where we want to see children grow in confidence and become engaged and be successful learners in their classrooms and the school community.


Helen Davies

Wellbeing Officer/Trauma Practitioner

Plasmarl Primary School


Iestyn & Smartie enjoying the lego in Smarties!