How we use the Thrive Approach in our school

At Bishops Tawton Primary School, our priority is to care for every child in a secure, friendly environment, enabling them to enjoy their time in school and feel confident to learn and flourish. Building safe, trusting relationships with our children is central to who we are and what we do; working relationally underpins our core values and ethos.

We introduced the ‘Thrive Approach’ over twelve years ago and we continue to build upon and embed this practice across the whole school. Our staff work together to support all children’s social, emotional and mental health needs.

We strive to sustain this approach during lesson times, playtimes and through all activities that take place, to make sure our children feel safe and secure in school. We want every child to feel happy, enjoy friendships, relate well to others, develop their natural curiosity and be ready and able to learn.

What is the Thrive Approach?

The Thrive Approach is a specific way of working with all children that helps develop social and emotional wellbeing, enabling them to engage with life and learning. It supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable, and adaptable. It can also help address any concerning behaviours, providing a firm foundation for academic attainment.

Positive relationships are at the heart of this approach. We use these relationships, together with play and creative activities, to give children key experiences at each different stage of their development, helping them to:

  • feel good about themselves and know that they matter
  • increase their sense of security and trust
  • increase their emotional wellbeing
  • improve their capacity to be creative and curious
  • increase their self-esteem and confidence to learn
  • learn to recognise and regulate their feelings
  • learn to think before behaving in a certain way
  • …………and much more.

How does it work?

The Thrive Approach draws on the latest research from neuroscience, child development and attachment theory. It helps us to understand how babies’ and children’s brains develop and how parents, teachers and other professionals can best support this development, by providing the best experience for the children at each stage.

Thrive also helps us better understand the needs of the child, often signalled by their behaviour. We recognise that all behaviour is a form of communication and when we are curious and explore the feeling behind the behaviour, we can better understand what is happening for the child in that moment. Children may experience emotional difficulties as a result of temporary setbacks or other longer term changes in their lives, such as separation, bereavement, family illness or accident, or even the arrival of a new baby. They may signal their distress by becoming more withdrawn, or distant, experiencing difficulty with their emotional regulation, having outbursts or even by trying too hard to please and not meeting their own needs.

If this happens, we use Thrive to look ‘beyond the behaviour’, to give these children the support they need to get back on track. Sometimes they only need a little extra support in class, but in some cases a little one to one time can be beneficial.


Whole School Thrive Screening

We now check the EMSMH of all pupils using the Thrive screening tool. This will alert us of any child that is not working within their right time developmental strand. Using these results, we can then put individual provision in place where needed.

We have several trained, licensed Practitioners within our Federation and all our staff have regular Thrive based training to help support understanding and practise.

Working together with staff, parents, children and the wider community means we can expect the best possible outcomes for all our children and create a happy and positive experience for everyone in our school.