Nurture base wins national award

Published Monday, 21st July 2014

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The Harbour Nurture Base, a council funded facility that provides specialist support to primary school children who have social and emotional difficulties has received the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark

The Harbour is based at Thorpedene Primary School, and is one of two in the Borough, with the other situated at Eastwood Primary School. This is called The Rainbow Room and is currently working towards the Award. Both bases work with primary aged children from schools in their locality. The teachers also support local schools with their outreach work.

To achieve the Award, the staff at the base have been able to demonstrate their success in working with children using the following Nurture Principles:

  1. Children’s learning needs are to be understood developmentally
  2. The classroom/School offers a safe base
  3. Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem
  4. Language is understood as a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. Transitions are significant in the lives of children


Cllr Anne Jones, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, says: “This is a great achievement and I would like to congratulate all of the staff involved. These bases are so vital to help give young people the best start in life.

“Along with our own very successful nurture bases, we are also encouraging schools to develop their own nurture bases to support young people where social emotional problems affect their ability to learn in a large group.

“Through this approach we are looking to raise standards, reduce bullying and exclusions, improve attendance and support young people and their families in improving well-being and thereby creating a stronger more caring community in Southend on Sea.”

Dr Tina Axup, the Council’s Senior Educational Psychologist said: “This is a well-deserved award and it is wonderful to be recognised nationally.

“Evidence from the past 40 years shows just how important the nurture principles are and Southend has adopted this approach to support all of our young schoolchildren. I am delighted that our own nurture base has received this award.

One schoolgirl, who is now back in school said: “I used to be scared to put my hand up to answer questions, but can do it now after spending time at The Harbour!”

One of the boys said, “I’m don’t feel sad! I really love coming to the Harbour and I want to come here all the time!”

A parent wrote, “Time at the Harbour has been extremely beneficial and positive. My child has improved both academically and socially. The extra ‘special’ time she has received has helped her through difficult times.”