What is THRIVE?
THRIVE supports children with their emotional health, wellbeing and social skills, all of which are needed to enable learning to take place. Children cannot always put their needs into words, but the way children behave can tell us a lot about how they are feeling. For some children there may be an obvious reason why they need extra support. This might be due to bereavement; family break down or an identified medical condition. For others, there may not be any obvious trigger as to why they are finding some aspects of school life difficult.
The THRIVE approach is a whole school, child centred approach that draws on the latest research from current neuroscience, recent attachment research, current studies of effective learning and current models of child development, in order to help us to understand the needs being signalled by children’s behaviour. Working with parents and class teachers, our THRIVE practitioners carries out assessments to identify children’s social, emotional and behavioural needs which help us to build an Action Plan of targeted strategies and activities to help children re-engage with learning and life.
The THRIVE approach is based on growing evidence that the brain develops through personal and social interaction. The relationships that we have with significant adults is fundamental to who we grow up to be. Our brain is built through trillions of brain-cell connections made by sight, sound, smell, touch and movement. Positive experiences enhance brain connections, and sustained negative experiences can restrict them. Through simple, repeated activities over time, within a safe and caring environment, THRIVE aims to compensate for interruptions in emotional development, when they affect a child’s ability to enjoy life and learn.
A THRIVE assessment helps us to identify emotional developmental needs as early as possible, in order to support and meet those needs on an individual basis. As well as offering new ways of dealing with challenging behaviour, THRIVE also offers both teaching staff and parents useful approaches to working with and helping any child who is experiencing emotional upheaval, whether short or long term. This is not a quick-fix; it takes time and commitment to see results. However, from research it is clear that early intervention to support children’s needs is the most effective approach to preventing issues becoming more problematic in later life.
A THRIVE Action Plan is a plan of activities tailored to support a child’s identified social and emotional learning needs. The activities are one-to-one or group play and arts-based activities designed to help the child feel better about themselves; become more resilient and resourceful; form trusting, rewarding relationships; be compassionate and empathetic; and be able to overcome difficulties and setbacks.
Activities might include playing in the sand, cooking, painting, model making, exploring difficult situations through role-play or comic strips, playing strategy games or projects focusing on the child’s own interests. Action Plans can also be shared with parents, who are encouraged to do some of the activities at home with their child. Action Plans are reviewed regularly to monitor the progress children have made.
If you would like further information on The THRIVE Approach, please go to: www.thethriveapproach.co.uk
Thrive have released a FREE online toolkit for parents to support their children’s emotional development at home. It has lots of age appropriate strategies and activities to try out. Their website is a little confusing, but hopefully this step-by-step guide will help!
Alternatively, you can speak to our schools THRIVE practitioners, Mrs Allen, Mrs McNamara and Ms Foster.