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Title: How do Nurture Group practitioners make sense of their relationship with the Nurture Group child?
Author: Gibb, A. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 9446
Awarding Body: University of Essex and Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2017
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Nurture Groups are targeted, school based interventions, aimed at meeting the developmental needs of vulnerable children identified as having social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Staffed by two ‘nurturing’ adults, Nurture Groups provide a safe, containing, and highly structured environment to support children’s social and emotional wellbeing, and their capacity to learn and achieve. Past research has focussed on the impact of Nurture Groups on children’s outcomes, with some highlighting the importance of the relationship between the Nurture Group practitioner and child. This research aims to explore and explain the practitioner-child relationship, asking Nurture Group practitioners how they make sense of their relationship with the Nurture Group child. The purpose of this research is to identify what makes a successful nurture relationship, and identify factors which challenge it. A symbolic interactionist and critical realist ontological and epistemological position was taken, and a grounded theory methodology adopted. Five Nurture Group practitioners from three full-time, Key Stage 1 Nurture Groups were interviewed. Results revealed a ‘relationship journey’ between the Nurture Group practitioner and child, which develops into a ‘close’ relationship. As the practitioner and child get to know and understand one another, the practitioner becomes attuned to the child’s needs and emotional experiences, enabling them to provide containment to the child and put appropriate support in place. The relationship journey contains a number of challenges, which the practitioner tries hard to overcome. These challenges place a significant emotional load on the practitioner, who in return, seeks containment. However, these challenges contribute towards the development of the relationship, where trust emerges, and a ‘close’ relationship forms. The relationship journey is discussed in relation to psychodynamic and attachment theories, and implications for Nurture Group practitioners, stakeholders and Educational Psychologists explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ch.Ed.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; LB Theory and practice of education ; LB1501 Primary Education