At Willows Academy, we embrace The Thrive Approach to improve and support children’s personal development, their mental health and ultimately ensuring they are ready to learn. The Thrive Approach includes a holistic, whole school approach which runs alongside our PSHE curriculum, as well as an intervention for those children identified as needing additional support.

What is the Thrive Approach? The Thrive Approach has been developed over many years to help children flourish: it supports their emotional and social development and helps them feel happy and secure; to be able to enjoy friendships; to relate well to others and be ready and able to learn.   Thrive supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable and adaptable. It can also address any troubling behaviours providing a firm foundation for academic attainment. Positive relationships are at the heart of Thrive. We use these relationships, together with play and creative activities, to give children key experiences at each different stage of their development.

The Thrive Approach draws on the latest research into brain science, child development theory 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 experiences for the children at each stage. Thrive also helps us to better understand the children’s needs being signalled by their behaviour.

Sometimes children may struggle as a result of temporary setbacks or other, longer-term changes in their lives such as a separation, a bereavement, a family illness or accident, or even the arrival of a new baby. They may signal their distress by becoming more withdrawn, or distant, or perhaps more challenging or disruptive, or even by trying too hard to please. 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 and sometimes they may need additional one-to-one time to help them along. 

Assessment of need

We use a screening tool and activity planning resource called Thrive-Online. This allows us to check that children are working appropriately for their age and to develop the whole group with activities that ensure that they are as emotionally and socially supported as they can be. Using Thrive-Online, we also identify any children in need of extra support.

What does the provision for Thrive look like?

Willows believe that children need a space that is safe for them to explore their feelings with clear boundaries. We have recently developed our Thrive room to create a dedicated space, so that children can engage in art activities that reduce stress and develop an underlying focus on the wellbeing of pupils.

If you would like to know more about Thrive please download the resources below.