Providing Positive Experiences for Children

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Holly Branch Nurture Centre


“The Pod”

A small protective environment out of which great things can grow!

What is the POD?

The POD is a nurture room.  We call it the POD because it is a small, protective environment, out of which great things grow!

 Key principles should include valuing the child, responding to them at whatever development stage they may have reached, helping them to reach any development stages they may have missed and developing language skills to support the child in expressing emotions.

Nurture Groups help children to re-establish good relationships with adults and peers.

The structure & ethos of the POD


The Pod is staffed by Rebecca Chester (Teacher) and Nicola Biggs (Teaching Assistant) who:

  • Model positive adult relationships in a secure environment.
  • Provide support for individual emotional & behavioural needs centred on the Social Emotional Aspects of Learning programme (SEAL).
  • Ensure national curriculum work is followed in line with their peers, but tailored to specific individuals needs.
  • Provide a variety of opportunities for children to explore and develop as individuals, focussing on their strengths and positive qualities.
  • Offer an “open door” policy to staff, parents and carers.
  • Ensure school policies and procedures are followed.

How can children access the POD?

Teachers identify children in their class who might benefit from the POD.  These are then initially discussed with Senior Leadership Team. (SLT)


  • Initial assessment; A Boxall Profile is completed by the class teacher, analysed and discussed at a meeting with SLT, Nurture Centre staff and class teacher. A variety of other assessments may be used.
  • Parents are informed by letter if their child is selected.  They may be invited to visit the Centre.
  • Places in the Nurture Centre (The POD) will become available as and when children return to the class or if a child leaves the school.
  • It may be necessary, in some instances, to offer an emergency placement without initial assessments.

What happens in the POD?

 Most of what follows is an integral part of the day in the Nurture group at Holly House.  However the routines of the day may vary and be dependent upon:

  • The needs of the individuals and/ or group at that time.
  • Whole school organisation & routines.  (ie, assemblies, break times etc.).










What we do   Why we do it
12.00 – LUNCH Children and staff eat lunch together. This promotes social skills and good manners.
 12.30 – Activities\ games    Pupils take part in a variety of games. This is to promote physical fitness, develop team building skills and a sense of identity to the group. 
 12.50-LITERACY1.20 –TOPIC  To help build confidence in Literacy. To get children interested in Literacy and to support their reintegration. Pupils will work in groups or individually on literacy targets that are differentiated to their needs. 
 1.40 SEAL curriculum2.00 –circle time  The children do a variety of activities based on social, emotional and behavioural skills. This is giving them chance to be introduced to and to practice new skills which they will hopefully use in everyday life.
 2.20 – POD CaféRota/Jobs    The children follow the rota to prepare & serve snacks.  This helps the children work together as a larger team and encourage their social skills to develop.  It also encourages responsibility and independence.
 2.50- REFLECTION TIMERewards and target setting   This time gives chance for staff to feedback to pupils on the achievements of the session. Pupils are encouraged to evaluate their progress too. Rewards are given.Rewards promote positive behaviour.




Contact us

Holly House School

Church Street

Old Whittington


S41 9QR


Tel: 01246 450530

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