NGN Annual Scottish Conference 2017

"A very enjoyable day. As a headteacher it has left me with much to reflect on. It was good to speak to other practitioners too."


 The Nurture Group Network Annual Scottish Conference

Theme: Teaching and learning for children with social, emotional and mental health issues

Date: 24 February 2017

Location: 101 Park Street, Coatbridge


The Conference

It is more than 40 years since educational psychologist Marjorie Boxall decided something had to be done about the huge number of children being put forward for special schools in the Inner London Borough of Hackney.

She understood that these children were not ‘maladjusted’ or ‘educationally subnormal’, but had simply not had adequate emotional and social support from their earliest months to be able to deal with the demands of school life. And so nurture groups were born.

Since then thousands of children have benefited from spending time in small part-time groups in their schools and being given the experiences they missed in their early lives.

The Boxall Profile now underpins everything that nurture groups can achieve and groups are being set up in primary and secondary schools, in special schools and units in the UK and throughout the world.

Come and learn why nurture groups are achieving such acclaim from teachers, parents, pupils, educationalists and others.

Who should attend?

The conference is open to nurture staff, education staff, health staff, social workers, police, policy makers, family support workers and all who are interested in effectively supporting vulnerable children and their families.


Conference Chair

Dr Karen Goodall - Clinical Psychology – University of Edinburgh

Karen completed an MA (Hons) Psychology in 1997 and a PhD in Developmental Psychology in 2002, both from the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD focused on collaborative problem-solving in children with Down syndrome. From 2002-2015, Karen was a senior lecturer at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, where her teaching focused on developmental psychology and atypical development. In 2015 Karen joined the department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, where she is programme director for the MSc Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Psychological practice programme and a member of the Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology. Karen’s research broadly focuses on the impact of childhood experience on later mental health outcomes. Karen has a particular interest in attachment and self-regulation, avoidance of positive affect and the impact of emotional abuse/neglect. Karen is a chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society



Tina Rae - Fostering Children

Dr Tina Rae has over 30 years’ experience working with children, adults and families in both clinical and educational contexts, within local authorities and specialist educational services. Tina specialises in social, emotional and behavioural disorders and difficulties. She is an academic and professional tutor for the Doctoral programme in Educational and Child Psychology at the University of East London. She has undertaken research in the areas of engagement and disaffection with learning in young people, debriefing following critical incidents, attachment disorders, emotional wellbeing and the psychological assessment of young offenders. Tina is also a prolific author and has written extensively on topics such as wellbeing, attachment, emotional literacy, behavioural problems, anger and stress management, critical incidents, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, solution focused grief therapy, loss and bereavement in young people, youth offending and social skills development and building resilience. In this keynote, Tina will focus on fostering children.

Kevin Kibble – The Northern Ireland Signature Project

Kevin is CEO of The Nurture Group Network. Previously he was chief executive at educational charity The Caspari Foundation, and also at Transplant Sport – the organ donation charity. With over 30 years’ experience in management, communications and marketing, 17 of which have been in the voluntary sector, Kevin is passionate about education effecting change. This keynote will focus on the significant outcomes that nurture groups have achieved, not only in helping children to cope with social, emotional and mental health barriers to learning, but also in the increase in students’ academic achievement. Kevin will discuss the positive outcomes of the Northern Ireland Department of Education funded nurture groups study released by Queen's University Belfast earlier this year. 

Kirsten Mann - Nurturing Schools

Kirsten joined NGN in 2015 as the National Training Officer for Scotland. As an experienced Primary teacher with a background in support for learning she has taught in a range of settings, has set up and ran nurture groups, was a school based dyslexia adviser and, just prior to joining NGN, was Principal Teacher of a Language and Communication Resource.  Kirsten mentored newly qualified teachers for many years and has an interest in teacher professional learning. In this keynote, Kirsten will talk about The National Nurturing Schools Programme. She will also show how a whole school approach to nurture can benefit your school, and how the programme allows staff to develop personally and professionally whilst embedding a nurturing culture throughout their schools.

Amy Woodhouse - Supporting wellbeing in Scottish schools

Amy Woodhouse is Head of Policy at Children in Scotland. Amy has 16 years’ experience working in the mental health sector having previously worked for the Mental Health Foundation, Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health and Mind.  Her areas of interest include long term conditions and mental health, mental health support for young people aged 16-25, peer support, looked after and accommodated young people and self-harm. In this keynote, Amy will discuss the current climate in Scotland, as well as exploring her work with schools to support teachers to have conversations about wellbeing, as part of the implementation of GIRFEC.

Tina Hendry - Reattach Parenting

Tina Hendry has been a kinship carer for the past 7 years. Prior to this she was employed as a staff nurse, and also as a police officer for 13 years in Glasgow. She is also a restorative justice practitioner and a Reiki practitioner. Tina is passionate about raising awareness of attachment theory. In this keynote, Tina will discuss her journey as a kinship carer.

I learned about attachment on the job, as they say, bouncing from one crisis to another, what am I doing wrong I wondered almost daily. Having grown up birth children, I couldn’t understand why my girls were so angry so distressed, so volatile. I was a police officer struggling to manage a 3 year old. I studied the work of experts to help me understand my girls’ behaviour. That’s when I realised that my girls required to be parented in a different way to my birth children. I studied more, introduced a peaceful approach to parenting, I realised that the crisis situations were becoming less and less.”



Wendy Roden - Understanding Sensory Issues

Wendy has a long career in teaching and in developing and supporting nurture groups. She joined The Nurture Group Network Board of Management in 2010, stepping down when she was appointed National Training Officer in 2012.

"Sensory Integration is the ability of the brain to organise information received from the senses so an appropriate response is made" (Rae, 2016)

Children and young people often display considerable difficulties in terms of managing their sensory world both in learning and social contexts.

It is vital for practitioners to be aware of sensory differences as it impacts upon learning, social communication skills, memory and the wellbeing of children and young people.

This workshop is a brief introduction to sensory integration, how it may impact on everyday life and it introduces Dr. Tina Rae's new resource "60 Sensory Minutes" following on from the successful "60 Mindful Minutes"

Rae, T. (2016) 60 Sensory Minutes: Developing Sensory Skills in the Nurture Group. London: NGN

Clare Reed - An introduction to Nurture Talk @ Primary

Clare Reed has over 20 years teaching experience, mainly in inner-city schools working across the Primary phase as a class teacher, language specialist, Science Coordinator, Learning Mentor Manager, Performing Arts Coordinator and Literacy Coordinator. Clare has been a Speech, Language and Communication Consultant since 2006.
Nurturing Talk @ Primary was developed and written by Clare Reed of Education Works Ltd in conjunction with Helen Stollery and Claire Eccleshall from The Nurture Group Network. It is a targeted and flexible intervention programme to develop children’s language and thought processes, helping them to talk effectively with other children and adults. It is designed to be used with children with social, emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties, initially on a one-to-one basis but moving on to partner work and then being able to operate successfully in small groups. Each child will have a different time scale working with the programme depending on their personal needs and developmental stage.

Aimee Canavan - Wholistic Life

Wholistic Life is an organisation based in South Lanarkshire with aim to provide children and young people with essential life skills that assist them in discovering their own strengths and capacities. The organisation is invaluable in assisting them to deal with the challenges that they face and also helps to prepare them for those often difficult transitions through childhood into adolescence and later into adulthood.                                                          

The wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of what Wholistic Life does and their our work supports both GIRFEC and Curriculum for Excellence.

Their unique, fully customisable programmes are produced with a focus on the key areas of Mind, Body and Soul and are delivered in schools over six weeks. The 60 minute sessions are fully interactive, encouraging participation both verbally and through written exercises and workbooks.

They also plan to open a drop-in facility in Larkhall town centre which will provide additional services and support for young people. 

Helen Stollery - Wellbeing Toolkit 2

Helen joined the Nurture Group Network as a National Training Officer in September 2007 and is now the Head of Training. She comes from a teaching background, working as a mainstream teacher for some time. Whilst teaching, she set up and ran a nurture group within an infant school.

Wellbeing in schools is a fundamental prerequisite for healthy and productive quality teaching and learning.  Both children and teachers need to be supported, fit and well to be inspired and inspiring.  This workshop is an introduction to the Wellbeing Toolkit 2, which is a programme of professional development to promote and maintain resilience and personal effectiveness.  The 20 sessions in this toolkit aim to provide the necessary resources to enable staff to enhance their own wellbeing.  Each of the key topics provide a package of training and resources that include information leaflets, strategies, skills-based activities and a power point presentation. 

Leisel Harvey - New to Nurture Groups

Are you in the process of setting up a nurture group? Are you unsure of what you need to do or what it should look like? This workshop will give you lots of ideas and information about what your room should look like and how to create a safe and secure environment. It will also help you think about the structure of your day and what kind of learning activities you can use to support the children in the group and strategies for managing transitions in and out of the group and how to set targets and track progress. Filled with top tips and useful ideas to get you going and help you run your group confidently.

Practitioner Showcase - Nurture Practitioners in Action

We all like to see practical examples of the work undertaken in nurture groups. This year we have invited six nurture group practitioners from Inverclyde and West Lothian Education Authorities to showcase their work in nurture groups. They will present stalls on a range of topics from numeracy, literacy and HWB to developmental play all in the context of the nurture group.

This workshop allows you time for professional dialogue, to interact with practitioners working in nurture groups within Scotland, to gather ideas and inspiration from interactive displays and review pedagogy and resources they have found to be effective. 

Claire Murray - Emotions Works!

This workshop will provide an overview of the Emotion Works programme as a curriculum for emotional learning and literacy, and also as a framework to support more focused interventions for children and young people with a range of support needs. In the context of this conference, we will take a particular look at how Emotion Works can contribute to nurturing environments and practices, while developing emotional language and awareness for longer term mental health and wellbeing. Some case examples will be shared to help bring the approach to life, and there will be an opportunity for you to try out some of our learning and communication tools for learners across different ages and stages of development.


Booking form

All applications to Gillian Fewins, The Nurture Group Network, 18A Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PB T: 020 3475 8980 E:

Closing date Friday 17 February 2017


Conference Programme

08.30 – 09.00 Registration

09.00 – 09.30 Kevin Kibble The Northern Ireland Signature Project

09.30 – 10.00 Kirsten Mann – A whole school approach to nurture

10.00 – 10.30 Amy Woodhouse - Supporting wellbeing in Scottish schools

10.30 – 11.00 Break

11.00 – 12.00 Workshops

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

13.00 – 13.45 Tina Rae – Fostering Children

13.45 – 14.30 Tina Hendry – Reattach Parenting

14.30 – 15.30 Workshops


A Nurture Group Network Conference:

The Nurture Group Network Annual Scottish Conference

Friday 24 February 2017

101 Park St
Kildonan Street

Cost £150 + VAT (£180)

Cheque made payable to the Nurture Group Network, 18A Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PB



Detailed directions are available
For information on bus and rail services to
this campus, contact Strathclyde
Passenger Transport on 0141 332 6811 or
visit their website at

Positioned next to Coatbridge College in the landscape of North
Lanarkshire, 101 PARK ST is ideally located 20 minutes from
Glasgow and 40 minutes from Edinburgh. With a nearby train
station at Coatdyke, located 5 minutes away from the venue, all
visitors will be able to reach our venue via a direct train line from
Glasgow City Centre and Edinburgh. Other local train stations
include Coatbridge Sunnyside, Coatbridge Central and Whifflet.
101 PARK ST can also be ideally located from the M8.