What is The Thrive Approach?

The Thrive Approach is a dynamic, developmental, trauma-informed approach to meeting the emotional and social developmental needs of all children and young people. It is informed by recent developments in neuroscientific research, and is underpinned by a theoretical base in child development theory, attachment theory and research into creativity, play and the arts. 

Fundamental to the Approach is the finding from neuroscientific research that children's brains develop in response to their experiences in relationships. This means that if we want to support optimal development in children, we need to understand their specific social and emotional needs at each age and then provide them with the right set of experiences and relationships to meet those needs. 

Thrive helps us to do this in our setting by providing online training, tools and resources to support us.

Animals provide children with:

The opportunity to form and sustain relationships.
Emotional connection.
An object of attachment.
A focus of attention other than what is happening in their lives.
Support with regulating themselves.
The ability/willingness to accept support.
Opportunities to learn new skills and ways of thinking and behaving.

But what does the Thrive approach look like at Discovery?

Embedded as a whole-setting approach, Thrive not only supports the social and emotional development of our young people but also helps to manage distressed behaviour.

Using a positive relational stance with children, through working outdoors, in nature and alongside our equine colleagues the Thrive Approach helps them make the most of their learning opportunities.

Seizing these, and meeting developmental needs at the right-time, can help young people become more resilient, open to learning and able to thrive.

It is this approach that ultimately makes a difference in the lives of students and enables them to fulfil their full potential.

In practice, Thrive offers Discovery practical strategies that support optimal social and emotional development and make a lasting difference. This has involved creating dedicated Thrive spaces, like our nurture trailer, engaging children in activities that reduce stress and developing an underlying focus on the wellbeing of pupils, staff and parents.

The Thrive approach is weaved through everything we do here on Discovery, from using the online profiling of students to make tailored action plans that meet the children where they are, to greeting every visitor with a huge smile and warm hello. 

We look at the behaviour of our students and our equines as a means of communicating a need, with all our Discovery staff having some level of Thrive training and continued CPD we have the necessary tools to interoperate and respond to each behaviour and using PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, and Empathy) and the VRF’s (Vital relational Functions) we are more equipped to meet each need. 

With Licensed Practitioners in both Childhood and Adolescence we have the combined knowledge and understanding across the team to embed the approach across Discovery and this can be seen through our policies, environment, leadership and relationships with our young people their families/careers as well as schools, colleges and other professionals. 

Find out more

For more information please get in touch or visit the Thrive website.