We realise that some students who join us in Year 7 find the transition from primary school to OCA more difficult than others. They may have struggled in primary school to make adequate levels of progress, for a variety of reasons. In light of this, we run a ‘Nurture Group’ in Year 7 for our least able students. The aim of this provision is to support students in their transition from primary to OCA, with a particular focus on improving literacy skills. 

The Nurture group have Mastery English lessons delivered by a qualified SENDCo to ensure that effective adaptive teaching takes place to address the needs of students within the Nurture group, improving their literacy and providing specialist support ensuring a smoother transition to OCA. This group normally consists of around 16 students who are supported by a Teaching Assistant.  

In addition, they have subject specialist teachers for their remaining subjects. This ensures that these students are not disadvantaged and enables Nurture students to access the full curriculum available at OCA. Teachers of the Nurture group are aware of all needs of students in the group and are responsible for effectively adapting their teaching to meet these needs whilst delivering the same curriculum. As with all teachers at OCA, support is available from the SEND and Teaching and Learning Team. 

Some Nurture lessons are taught in the ‘izone’, a classroom in the school which feels more similar to a primary based classroom. This room allows students in the Nurture group access to a ‘safe space’ in school where they are better able to build relationships with specialists, including the SENDCo, Assistant SENDCo and Teaching Assistants. This provision is also accessed by some students who are allocated break and lunch passes for the izone, as they may find the school facilities too overwhelming during these times.  

The aim of this approach is to offer an excellent transition pathway and promote an inclusive culture for learners providing expertise and support to enable their transition into the wider community and empower them to have the best life chances in their future.