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Everyone Matters, Everyone AchievesPob Un Yn Cyfri, Pob Un Yn Cyflawni

The Thrive Approach

What is Thrive?

Thrive is a systematic approach to the early identification of emotional development need in children and young people so that differentiated provision can be put in place quickly by the adults working most closely with the child or young person. It is preventative, reparative, pragmatic and easy to use. 


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


The Thrive Approach draws on latest scientific neuroscience research, and attachment research, alongside current studies of effective learning and child development. Thrive is not just an intervention for just a few children, but a whole-school approach. Children who need that little bit of extra help.


The Thrive approach teaches adults how to respond and to support children with challenging behaviour by providing targeted strategies and activities to help children and young people re-engage with life and learning.


What is a Thrive Assessment?

The Thrive Approach offers practical, effective tools and techniques that work, built around a web-based assessment and action plan tool, underpinned by a programme of training and mentoring support. Thrive assessments help to identify emotional developmental needs; children are then able to have those gaps in emotional development needs met on an individual basis. The assessment is non-intrusive and confidential; children do not have to sit a test, it is carried out by trained staff that screens every child. This is done from using knowledge of each individual through on-going observation in and out the classroom. In the same way school offer additional support for pupils who are finding literacy or maths challenging, the Thrive Practitioners support children who need more targeted intervention when something has knocked them off track emotionally or to improve their behaviour. Wherever possible the Practitioner will work alongside parents/carers and teachers to assess individual children and create action plans for both home and school.


Who benefits from The Thrive Approach?

Everyone will benefit from The Thrive Approach however some children children will require individual or group support. The Thrive Approach will allow us to find out the child's specific difficulties and plan activities to address these. 


Why do some children need Thrive?

There may be an obvious reason why some children and young people need a bit of extra support. This might be bereavement, family break down or an identified medical condition. For others, there can be no obvious trigger to why they are finding some aspects of school and/or home life difficult. 


Other difficulties could include:

  • Difficulties with friendships
  • Finding it difficult to settle in the classroom 
  • Finding it difficult to manage strong feelings


We will all face situations in our life which will challenge us, emotionally. To help us to learn and grow from these challenges we need to have people around us who understand and support us to help us get back on track. Most children will respond to the care, understanding and support provided by parents, carers, family, friends and school staff. Some children need extra help and support for them to:

  • Feel good about themselves
  • Establish trusting relationships 
  • Recognise and manage strong feelings and emotions 
  • Become resilient 
  • To overcome difficulties
  • To be empathetic


Vital Relational Functions (VRF'S) 

Thrive Practitioners in Schools are trained to use Vital Relational Functions (VRF'S) 

  • Attunment - This is where we show we are alert to how the child is feeling. We connect with the child and match how the child is feeling through our pitch, pace, volume and body language.
  • Validation - his is when we are alert to and acknowledge the child’s feelings. (“I can see you’re upset and angry because…”). 
  • Containment - This is where we demonstrate that we understand the pitch, intensity and quality of their feeling or mood and that we can bear it. This is where we show that we can take their deep distress, raging anger or painful sorrow and make it a survivable experience. Catch it, match it and digest it by thinking about it and offering it back, named, in small digestible pieces. This builds trust for the child: in adults and in the world.
  • Soothing/regulating - This is where we must be alert to how a child is feeling and demonstrate emotional regulation by soothing and calming their distress. Catch it, match it and help the child to regulate the feeling up or down. They need to experience being calmed before they can do it for themselves.





Thrive Building Blocks

Thrive Activities - Provided during lockdown but can be used anytime