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Applying nurture as a whole school approach - A framework to support self-evaluation

Last updated:
12 June 2017

What is this?

​This self-evaluation framework provides a tool to support schools and early learning and childcare (ELC)settings who are applying a whole-school approach to nurture. It provides:

  • links to the Scottish drivers and policy context;
  • a definition of nurturing approaches;
  • a guide to the self-evaluation process and a framework that links nurturing approaches to the Quality Indicators used in How Good is Our School (HGIOS) 4? and How Good is our Early Learning and Childcare (HGIOELC)?;
  • explicit links between the Quality Indicators and the Nurturing Principles so that schools can link their self-evaluation with these principles.

It also provides a range of practical tools that can be used to triangulate self-evaluation information and support the implementation of nurturing approaches, along with focus group prompts, a questionnaire for staff and parents, and readiness checklists.

Who is this for?

​Explore this approach

How to use this self-evaluation approach to improve practice

This self-evaluation approach can be used to complement self-evaluation through HGIOS 4? and HGIOELC?

It looks at school improvement through a nurturing lens and includes features of highly effective practice and challenge questions that would support schools and ELC settings when they are implementing a nurturing approach.

It also provides tools to support learning conversations, learning rounds, peer support and PRDs/PDP structures for staff.

The tools, which are provided as appendices, have a range of purposes including supporting the triangulation of self-evaluation evidence.

They also support schools to explore how a nurturing approach is being applied in the classroom/playroom and wider environment; how staff can attune to children and young people; and the extent of staff knowledge and attitudes to a nurturing approach.

The tools will help schools to examine their own readiness to implement a nurturing approach and provide a means of exploring the views of children, young people and parents and carers regarding a nurturing approach.

Key questions for schools/ELC settings might include:

  • To what extent are we able to demonstrate a nurturing approach in our setting and how well do Senior Leadership Teams support this?
  • How well have we embedded nurturing approaches in our school/ELC setting and are able to demonstrate this in classroom practice and within the school /ELC environment?
  • How well do staff understand the nurturing principles and apply these in their daily practice and interactions with children and young people and the wider school community?


Inclusion and Equality; Self-evaluation and improvement; School Improvement