At Granby Junior School we have embraced the Thrive approach to enable us to help our children better understand their feelings and emotions.
The Thrive Approach is a dynamic process which is used to support children’s emotional health and wellbeing. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, attachment theory, child development theory and the role of creativity and play, the Thrive Approach encourages us to understand that children’s behaviour is a way of them communicating an unmet emotional need. Using the Thrive Approach, we are able to reshape our conversations with children, meet them with assertive empathy and allow them the space, time, and resources to be able to appropriately communicate how they are feeling.
In order to manage and regulate our behaviour we all need to be able to access the thinking part of our brain. When children are unable to do this, they are unable to inhibit impulses and core emotions such as anger, frustration, worry or embarrassment and sometimes this can be overwhelming. The Thrive Approach is about modelling and supporting regulation until a child is able to do it for themselves, supporting them to access their thinking brain to make sense of how they are feeling, and develop their ability to stop, think and choose their behaviour.
Following whole school profiling and the creation of action plans, the Thrive approach is used as an intervention for all children within class to support them to acquire the expected ‘right time’ level of emotional development as well as an intervention to support small groups and individuals who need some ‘reparative opportunities’ to further develop their sense of self and others; to understand cause and effect; to recognise and express feelings appropriately; to be supported to be creative and encouraged to initiate, explore and do or to have a positive experience and understanding of themselves.
As co-regulator, co-adventurer and co-constructor of meaning for children, the way we respond to their stress and distress helps to shape their own stress regulation system and determines whether in times of challenge children can access their social engagement system for self-regulation or are triggered into flight, fight or freeze mode. Through building strong relationships, attuning to our children, validating, containing, and then regulating the behaviour through a playful, accepting, curious and empathetic approach, we are helping to build resilient, understanding, and resourceful individuals who are better able to approach the world around them with a positive, strong emotional understanding of themselves and others.