At Newcastle Academy our first priority is to care for every child in a secure, friendly environment.  As part of this caring role, we aim to support children’s emotional and social learning throughout their time at school.  We do this during lesson times, break times and through activities such as sport and extra-curricular activities.  We also now use the Thrive Approach across the school.

What is the Thrive Approach?

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 the latest research – from current neuroscience, recent attachment research, current studies of effective learning and models of child development – in order to help the school to understand the needs being signalled by children’s behaviour.  It gives us targeted strategies and activities to help them re-engage with learning and life.

Why do we need Thrive?

Unfortunately, like all of us at some point in our lives, children may face challenges that knock them off course.  What is needed then is understanding and support to get them back on track.  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.

What extra support can Newcastle Academy offer?

For some children there may be an obvious reason why they need a bit of extra support.  This might be bereavement, family break down or an identified medical condition such as ADHD.  For others, there can be no obvious trigger as to why they are finding some aspects of school and/or home life difficult.  Children who need a little bit of extra help are identified through our whole-class screening process by class teachers or through meetings between our House Leaders and parents/carers/guardians.  If we think your child needs some additional support, you will be invited to meet with their House Leader to discuss inclusion in the Thrive programme to help your child to become more engaged in their learning opportunities.

Working closely with House Leaders and class teachers, our Inclusion Manager Mr Finnemore carries out full assessments to identify children’s social, emotional and behavioural needs.  This helps us to build a bespoke Thrive Action Plan of activities to support their needs.

What is a Thrive Action Plan?

A Thrive Action Plan is a plan of activities tailored to support a child’s identified social and emotional learning targets.  The activities are one-to-one and small group relational, play and arts-based activities designed to help the child feel better about him/herself; become more resilient and resourceful; form trusting, rewarding relationships; be compassionate and empathetic; and/or be able to overcome difficulties and setbacks. They might include playing in the sand, puppets, 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 are shared with parents who are encouraged to do some of the activities at home if possible. They are reviewed regularly to see the progress children have made.

What makes Newcastle Academy a Thrive school?

At Newcastle Academy we don’t consider Thrive to be an intervention for just a few children, we consider it to be a whole-school approach and it is being introduced into our every day practice. We all believe that all behaviour is communication and that communication needs to be understood and supported – not “dealt” with.

If you want to know more about Thrive, you can visit the Thrive Approach website or speak to  your child’s House Leader.