Last Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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

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.

Who is this for?

​Managers and practitioners in early years, primary and secondary school settings. It can also be used to support wider staff groups within these contexts.

​​This self-evaluation framework can be used to complement self-evaluation through How Good is Our School 4 (HGIOS4) and How Good is our Early Learning and Childcare (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 provides tools to support learning conversations, learning rounds, peer support and PRDs/PDP structures for staff.

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 HGiOS4 and 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.

Explore this approach

How to use this self-evaluation approach to improve practice

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?


**NEW** PDF file: Supporting inclusive transitions: using the nurture principal self-evaluation framework to ensure effective support for children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic (553 KB)

PDF file: Applying nurturing approaches (2.7 MB)

PDF file: Appendix 1a - Whole-school readiness checklist (755 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 1b - Individual readiness checklist (720 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 2 - Attunement profile (45 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 3a - Observation profile - The classroom (459 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 3b - Observation profile - The playroom (472 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 3c - Observation profile - The school environment (372 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 4a - Teacher and early years practitioner staff questionnaire (94 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 4b - non-teaching staff and support staff questionnaire (90 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 5a - Children and young people focus group discussion prompts (51 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 5b - Children in ELC settings focus group discussion prompts (43 KB)

PDF file: Appendix 6 - Parent/carer questionnaire (57 KB)