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Willow Group

The Willow Group Principles:

Children's learning is understood developmentally

The classroom offers a safe base

All behaviour is communication

The importance of transition in children's lives

Has a high adult to child ratio to provide lots of opportunities for speaking and listening activities

Builds a child's self esteem

Builds skills for classroom learning

Has daily crafts, games and a 'mini-tea'

Language is a vital form of communication

Is a short focused intervention of around 12 weeks


Before attending the group

Staff at school will highlight to the Willow Team children who may benefit from the programme.

Staff will complete a Boxall Profile to determine what targets the children will work on in the group.

Parents will receive a letter and be requested to sign a permission slip.


Willow Group

Our school Willow Group takes place once a week. Willow groups were originally set up in June 2019 at Tansley Primary School with the support of the Derbyshire County Council.


The Willow Group is designed to be a bridge between home and school; a place where children can feel safe and secure and therefore develop their individual needs further. The room has a table to share snacks and play games together and a seating area for stories and working collaboratively.


What is the purpose of the nurture group and its philosophy?

Willow groups are a small class of children (around 6-8). The composition of the group is carefully thought-out to create a balanced and functional group. The Willow Group is part of the school's PSHE (personal, social and health education) provision and promotes school inclusion. Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to re-visit early learning skills, promote and support social and emotional learning and allow children to build relationships with supportive key adults in school in an environment outside of the classroom.

There is much evidence to suggest that children's learning is most effective when they have a sense of emotional wellbeing, good self-esteem and a feeling of belonging to their school community. The Willow Group provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience. The Willow Room is a place of learning. 


There is much evidence to show that children have greater success in their usual class lessons after they have had 12 weeks in the nurture group.


Why might children attend?

Children may benefit from the Willow Group for a very wide set of reasons, but the most common are:

Friendship difficulties

Quiet, shy

Finding it hard to listen to others or to join in (or shouting out in class)

Being disruptive to others

Finding it hard to lose a game

Finding it hard to take turns

Finding it hard to settle in

Finding transition difficult


Low self esteem

Needing to develop relationships with adults in school




How can I find out how my child is doing?

Parents and carers are welcome to make an appointment to visit the group, and talk to staff at the end of a session.  Please contact the office to make an appointment with Mrs Pearson.

If you would like more information the following website may be useful: