Long Toft Primary School

Church Road, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN7 5AB

01302 841246



What is the approach?

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

Why use it?

Because addressing emotional developmental needs builds resilience and resourcefulness, decreases the risk of mental illness, reinvigorates the learning provision and it helps those children who are at risk of underachieving or exclusion to stay in school and re-engage with learning.

Who is it for?

Children come to school to get an education that will equip them for life. Most of our children do well in school. In some cases though, life has already proved harsh and unsupportive so that school provision may seem to have little to offer that will prove directly useful.  Some of our brightest children may struggle to make best use of what school can offer. Their earlier experiences may not have equipped them with a stress management system that enables them to settle, to feel safe, to concentrate, to be curious or to be willing to work alongside peers in collaborative ways.

The Thrive approach can make learning more accessible, more effective and more fun. It enhances emotional literacy and directly contributes to the development of learning power: resilience, resourcefulness, reflective capacity and reciprocity.

It is useful for:

All children: as it sets out the age appropriate developmental tasks of children. This knowledge can be used to shape provision to make the best use of life’s learning opportunities. This enhances their emotional and social skills, improves their emotional; well being and develops their emotional literacy.

The vulnerable and challenging: those children whose early life experiences have not equipped them to manage their strong sensations and emotions well. These children might be under achieving, or causing concern because of their behaviour. They may not be able to assess personal risk or function well in social situations.

 When life happens: for those who have had ‘good enough experiences in their early life but who suddenly experience hurtful, shocking, strange or traumatic life events. A bereavement, a redundancy, a depressive episode in a close relative, the death of a grandparent: when these life events happen we all return to our most basic needs.

So, most of us, if not all of us, would benefit from the Thrive Approach to help us through.

How does work at Long Toft?

Our teachers work hard to ensure all children in their class have the right support at the right time. Many interventions are included in the school day to give all children the best opportunities to progress both social and emotionally as well as academically. If a teacher has a concern about a child or a parent has raised concerns the Inclusion Team discuss potential support that could be offered, Thrive being an option that supports many children.

If Thrive is considered most helpful, a screening is completed between the class teacher and Kate Dalton. This quickly and accurately assesses the child’s emotional and social skills against aged-related expectations. It identifies if specific support is needed. If it is, Thrive plans are put in place to focus on specific learning targets. The plans are simple, practical and easy to put in to classrooms as well as providing plans for individual Thrive sessions and for home.

Each child accessing Thrive is reviewed every term, although at times children may be screened earlier than expected if another life event has happened that may have caused a disruption. The screening is completed again and new plans are put in place. In time, as the child is meeting age-related expectations, they will be discussed again within the Inclusion Team and they will ordinarily stop having Thrive sessions/plans in place. Teachers continue to monitor their classes and if the need arises again, Thrive can be reintroduced.

Embracing Thrive: A parent's guide
The Thrive Approach has been developed over many years helping children to flourish. It supports their emotional and social development and helps them feel happy and secure, able to enjoy friendships, relate well to others and be ready and able to learn.

The Thrive Approach
Thrive is a specific way of working with all children that helps to develop their 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 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. Repetition of these activities supports their development, helping them to:

  • feel good about themselves and know that they matter
  • increase their sense of security and trust
  • increase their emotional well being
  • 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?
Appropriate for all children from birth to adulthood, 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.

How will my child be involved in Thrive?
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 ensure that they are as emotionally and socially supported as they can be. If the screening process suggests that your child would benefit from additional support, an action plan that gives specific strategies and activities for supporting your child within our school will be used in class and/or during individual sessions. The home plan will also suggest specific activities that you can do at home, so that together with school, you can help them through any difficulties they are experiencing.


© Fronting the Challenge Projects Ltd 2017.