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Nurturing North Ayrshire’s Recovery

Return.. Recovery… Respond.. Refocus.. Restart

To support ongoing recovery work across our educational establishments the Nurture Team, North Ayrshire’s Educational Psychology Service and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team developed a comprehensive professional learning programme.

The programme is a series of seven units focused on recovery using the six principles of nurture.

The 2020 Nurturing North Ayrshire staff survey showed that staff had confidence in their knowledge of the nurture principles and wished to further embed application.

We have deepened this knowledge by using the principles to explore recovery strategies.  The survey showed that staff wellbeing was an area of particular interest and relevance and so wellbeing became a dominant theme through all seven units.

Guidance on how to create personal wellbeing plans and how to collectively recognise the impact of the pandemic is shared, and the importance of being aware of our own wellbeing and putting on our ‘own oxygen masks’ before we support others is highlighted.

Education’s Heads of Service, Caroline Amos and Andrew Mcclelland, have prioritised the mental health and wellbeing of staff and learners: the mantra, “Together, every day, we will try to do the right thing” runs through all communications with staff.

The recovery units use the six principles of nurture: The Environment Offers a Safe Base; Learning is Understood Developmentally; All Behaviour is Communication; Nurture is Important for the Development of Wellbeing; Language is a Vital Means of Communication; and Transitions are Important in Children’s Lives. The principles provide a framework for interacting with our colleagues and learners that contribute to a culture ensuring we are continuously promoting positive relationships across all establishments.

The foundation for recovery was based on nurturing approaches as we already have a key focus on embedding nurture and wellbeing.  Nurturing approaches have a central role to play in helping children and young people come to terms with the impact of the pandemic and in enabling them to thrive, whatever difficulties they and their families have been through.

Nurturing approaches have the capacity to help heal loss, support children to recover from trauma, help staff to understand where children are in their continuum of readiness and support resilience and wellbeing for children and staff as we return to school.

In addition to the seven units the North Ayrshire Change and Loss programme has been updated, ‘A short guide to helping children and parents/carers dealing with school-based anxiety’ and ‘A short guide to helping deal with covid19 related stigma’ has been created and shared as well as a Looking After Yourself presentation for all NAC staff.

Our twitter accounts @NANurturing, @NAC_eps, @HealthNAC, @NAC_Education, @NAC_FLT, @NACEdLeadership are a wealth of information as well as podcasts produced by Educational Psychology and Leadership departments @WaysLearning. In addition, as part of the National Overview of Practice – “Sharing What’s Working Well” series, some of North Ayrshire’s work has been added to the exemplar materials, specifically in relation to quality assurance and wellbeing/safeguarding:

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