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Backworth Park Primary School



Thrive offers a trauma-informed, whole school or setting approach to improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Here at Backworth Park Primary School we strongly believe in the Thrive Approach. We believe that a child’s mental health is as important as a child’s physical health. At BPPS we are very happy to be able to offer the Thrive approach within the school to help with the growing number of children that are showing signs of social and emotional health barriers. We have trained Thrive practitioners in school and all staff have been trained in the ethos and ideologies around the Thrive approach.

We have put together some information on what Thrive is, the impact of it and some helpful links.

We currently work with a range of children within school and are currently working towards achieving a Thrive Ambassador award. Follow this link to view a further information video:

About us | The Thrive Approach

The Thrive approach is a dynamic, development and trauma-sensitive approach to meeting the emotional and social needs of children and young people.  It is proven to improve attendance, behaviour and learning outcomes.


The 4 pillars informing the Thrive Approach

Thrive has been developed over the past 25 years, with its architects drawing from a wealth of research and experience in social work, psychotherapy and education.

Combining their collective knowledge and experience, our founders developed a social and emotional development model that looked at children and young people's needs and provided responses and activities to engage them with life and learning.



Attachment theories focus on the deep emotional band that connects one individual to another across time and space

The Thrive Approach use evidence from attachment theory research to highlight the important of building trusts relationships between adults and children/young people and that can evolve as the child develops in a way that supports the child’s optimal social and emotional development.


Child Developmental Theory

Thrive has created a developmental model, grounded in child development research, that identifies the social and emotional learning experiences required from birth through to adulthood.

Organised into six stages, the model helps us to understand what healthy child development looks like in terms of behaviour and learning at each stage. The model also explains how the role of the adult in facilitating a child’s development changes at each stage.

When combined with attachment theory, the Thrive developmental model provides a lens through which to look at and interpret children and young person’s behaviour. When, for whatever reason, the adults in a child/young person’s life are not able to meet the child/young person’s needs and are unable to provide the necessary support and experiences for the child/young person’s optimal development, the child/young person will have interruptions or gaps in their development.

These developmental interruptions, which all of us have to varying degrees, can mean that children and young people find it difficult to cope with events in their daily lives, and are more likely to display distressed behaviours as a result. The Thrive model enables us to identify the particular developmental gaps signalled by children and young people’s behaviours and to choose appropriate, targeted interventions designed to meet their needs and fill the gaps.



The field of neuroscience has undergone rapid advances in recent years, prompted by significant innovations in brain imaging.

These have yielded important insights about how the brain and nervous system function and develop. In particular, scientists have discovered that the neural pathways of the brain and wider nervous system are relatively unformed at birth, undergoing much of their development during the first three years of life in response to relational experiences with primary care-givers.

A key development during this period is the establishment of the body’s stress-regulation system. This lays the foundation for our social and emotional development throughout life, affecting our capacity to relate, love, learn and manage stress in healthy ways.


Play, Creativity and the Arts

Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognised by the United Nations High
Commission for Human Rights (1989) as a right for every child.

Thrive incorporates play-based activities to optimise the wellbeing of all children and young people. The activities help children and young people to share thoughts, feelings and ideas, supporting social and emotional literacy.

In some cases, children and young people may find it difficult to play or not want to play because of their earlier experiences. This lack of playing can lead to various cognitive, social, emotional and psychological issues later in the child or young person’s life. The Thrive Approach uses creative activities to gently and sensitively invite these children and young people to play. Over time, the children and young people learn to feel safe in expressing their feelings. They then feel more able to integrate in social settings and can regulate their behaviour more appropriately.


The impact of Thrive

This video shows case studies from a few different schools that have taken on the Thrive approach.

This video showcases the short and long-term impact of Thrive on different settings and how it benefits staff, children and young people, and the wider community.

Impact of Thrive | The Thrive Approach


Please see below the Thrive School Parent/ Carer flyer as well as a Thrive Book List. 


Our Thrive Practitioners