Therapies and Nurture Groups

Therapies and Nurture Groups

Bucks Children and Young People’s Integrated Therapies Service

The Integrated Therapy Service in Buckinghamshire is provided by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. Our service offers Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.

We see children and young people from birth to age 19 who live in Buckinghamshire or have a Buckinghamshire GP. We offer information, training, advice, assessment and ongoing therapy as appropriate. 

Our services are delivered in a range of settings including home, educational and healthcare settings around the county. We work in partnership with families, early years settings, schools, the iSEND service and other professionals to ensure children and young people can access the right support from a therapist at the time when they need it most.

Further information on the services we provide (NHS - new window)

Occupational Therapy

We work with children and young people, their families, and health, education and social care colleagues, to help them get the most from their lives and achieve their potential. We support children and young people who have ‘functional difficulties’ or a physical and/or learning disability which impacts upon their daily participation in activities. For children and young people this means their ability to learn and develop, socialise and play may be compromised.

Information on how to access Occupational Therapy webinars and advice sessions can be found on Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Speech and Language Therapy

We support children and young people to develop effective speech, language and social communication skills. Where appropriate we help children and families to learn to use alternative means of communication such as signing. We also work with children and young people who have problems eating or drinking.

School advice sessions and training for schools


We support children and young people who have difficulty with movement and treat short and long-term conditions that impact on physical development, activity and their ability to participate in play, learning and socialising. 

We work with the child/young person, their family and health and educational colleagues to encourage each child to get the most from their lives and fully develop their potential, from birth to the time they transition to adult services.

Nurture Groups

As the situation regarding the Coronavirus pandemic continues to change, the Nurture team will be in contact about upcoming training and events as and when it is possible for these to resume.

If you have any questions please contact the Buckinghamshire Nurture team at

For more information about Nurture Groups please see the NurtureUK website.

About Nurture Groups

Nurture groups were first devised by Marjorie Boxall in the early 1970s.

They consist of small ‘classes’ in mainstream schools for pupils with social and emotional needs. The Nurture programme is a targeted intervention for children and young people who may have ‘missed out on’ early family / home experiences that promote positive development. The aim of Nurture is to enable children to better manage without the support of the nurture group within 2 to 4 terms.

The Six Principles Of Nurture

  1. Children's learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom offers a safe base
  3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  4. Language is a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. The importance of transition in children's lives

The six principles of nurture were developed by educational professionals Eva Holmes and Eve Boyd (1999).

Background and theoretical underpinnings

Nurture is underpinned by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and Attachment theory. The practices within Nurture groups are based on building positive and affirming attachments with children.

Through these attachments, practitioners are able to alter how children view themselves so that they develop a clearer understanding of themselves and are more able to regulate their responses to stressful situations.  Nurture practitioners model appropriate behaviour and social skills to children and provide a ‘secure base’ within the school setting.

Educational Psychologists’ involvement

  • Providing initial training to school staff wishing to become Nurture practitioners and refresher training to existing practitioners
  • Offering supervision sessions each term to existing Nurture practitioners
  • Offering CPD events to Nurture practitioners to continue their knowledge and skills development

Boxall profile

As part of the programme, Nurture practitioners should assess pupils with the Boxall profile before joining a Nurture group and at the end of their time in the group. The Boxall Profile is a two-part assessment tool designed to track the progress of cognitive development and behavioural traits of children and young people through their education.  It identifies the levels of skills the children and young people possess to access learning.

In setting up a Nurture group, schools will now need to set up an account to access the Boxall Profile online. For more information about this please see: Boxall Profile.



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