Thrive Approach at Seadown School

What is Thrive?

We know that children learn best in school when they are happy and settled. At Seadown School we are using the Thrive Approach to help us develop our pupils’ emotional and social well-being. The Thrive approach helps us to tune into children's' current developmental needs, identify any gaps and then plan to meet them. In adopting Thrive as a whole school, we will support all of our pupils to build a strong emotional intelligence toolkit, enabling them to make the best possible progress in their learning and THRIVE in school and beyond. 

Positive relationships are at the heart of Thrive and we use these relationships, together with sensory, play and creative activities, to give children key experiences at each different stage of their development to meet their needs.


What are the benefits of Thrive?

• Thrive teaches the understanding of children’s behaviour as communication, improves learning skills and leads to greater attainment.

• It promotes productive learning for all children.

• It supports staff, providing them with confidence to work with more challenging and vulnerable children, and with parents and integrated  teams.

• It leads to better relationships at home and in school.


How do we use Thrive?

Early identification of emotional development needs builds resilience and reduces the risk of mental illness. Thrive offers us a way of assessing and supporting children’s emotional and social development and real time needs, which can then be used to provide personalised programmes for classes, groups and individuals. The school Thrive Team use Thrive-Online to screen the pupil each term. These assessments help teachers to plan a social and emotional curriculum for the whole class, incorporating relevant strategies and activities into PSHE and RHE lessons, everyday routines and general Quality First Teaching. 


By using Thrive we will:

  • Further develop a holistic approach to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
  • Provide early identification and effective support for children who are experiencing emotional, social or behavioural difficulties.
  • Provide an environment for children to safely express and explore strong feelings which are creating barriers to learning.
  • Develop supportive relationships between peers, and between children and adults in school.
  • Support children to regulate and self soothe leading to resilience, academic progress and positive relationships.
  • Provide children with strong foundations that will carry them through into adulthood.

Who has Thrive sessions?

Everyone! Though they might not realise it, all of our pupils have access to regular class-based Thrive activities; most art and sport activities are taught within the Thrive approach. Each class has a Thrive session as part of PSHCE in areas such as sharing, turn taking, importance of rules and respectful behaviour. Many children will respond to the care, understanding and support given by parents, family, friends and teachers. However, some children need a little bit extra.

Some children will also require individual or small group sessions. Just like adults, some children experience difficulties during their time at school and these difficulties may also be present at home. The thrive approach enables us to pick out the specific difficulties and plan activities to address these difficulties. Some of the typical areas we work on in Thrive sessions are:

  • Unstructured time issues
  • Finding it hard to settle in the classroom or to task
  • Finding it difficult to manage their strong feelings/emotions.
  • Difficulties with friendships.
  • Not knowing who to turn to when feelings are too big to manage on their own.

These situations can lead to many different feelings which may seem overwhelming at times. They might include: anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, confusion or anxiety. 

All these feelings are very normal and happen to a lot of children. The Thrive sessions are to help children learn to manage their feelings and teach them strategies that will help promote their learning at school.


What will happen in a Thrive session?

The session may be on an individual basis or as part of a small group of children and will usually take place in our Thrive room.  During each session there will be an activity which may include:

  • Story telling
  • Circle games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Sand play
  • Movement and relaxation
  • Hand massage
  • Cooking and preparing food
  • Role play and puppet work
  • Games
  • Gardening
  • Sensory Sessions
  • Sensory Circuits


Our Vision is to:

Develop children emotionally so they are able to recognise and distinguish their emotions and learn ways of responding to their feelings appropriately.


We aim to:

  • Provide a safe and calm environment for children to develop their skills.
  • Enable children to take pride in their achievements and enhance self-esteem.
  • Help children to manage their feelings and develop skills to enjoy and participate in all areas of school life.
  • Use positive approaches to manage all behaviours.


For more information about the Thrive approach see the website: or contact our licensed Thrive Practitioner Claire Collacott if you would like any further information about how we implement Thrive at Seadown School.


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