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St Michael's CofE Primary School

- Let Your Light Shine -



St Michael's is a Thrive school!

Thrive is a specific way of working with children that helps to develop their social and emotional wellbeing.

It supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable and adaptable. It can also address any troubling behaviours providing a firm foundation for academic achievement.


The Thrive Approach

Thrive is a specific way of working with all children that helps to develop their social and emotional wellbeing, 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 and 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 helps us to better understand the children’s needs being signaled 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 They may signal their distress by becoming more withdrawn, or distant, or perhaps more challenging or disruptive, or even by trying too hard to please.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, sometimes they need a small group and sometimes they may need additional one-to-one time to help them along.


How will my child be involved in Thrive?

School staff 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 they are as emotionally and socially supported as they can be. Using Thrive-Online we will also identify any children in need of extra help. If the screening process suggests that your child would benefit from additional support, we will put this in place and carry out a more detailed assessment to develop an action plan. The action plan gives specific strategies and activities for supporting your child within our school. The plan can also suggest activities you can do at home so we can work together to help them through any difficulties they may be experiencing.


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 and they are encouraged to do some of the activities at home if possible. They are reviewed regularly to see the progress children have made.


 So who gets Thrive?

Everyone gets class Thrive activities (although they might not realise it); most art and sport activities are taught within the Thrive Approach and we want to use specific whole class Thrive PHSE across our curriculum. But if your child needs regular out of class Thrive time, one-to-one or in a small group, you will be consulted and asked for your input into their assessment and Action Plan.


Our licensed Thrive practitioners are:

Mrs Eva Stewart

Mrs Dawn McCann

Mrs Trina Childs


The whole school staff have had training on the Thrive approach.


More information about the Thrive approach can be found on the Thrive website.





What is ELSA?

The ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) intervention was originally developed within Southampton, then Hampshire, by Sheila Burton, Educational Psychologist. It was designed to build the capacity of schools to support the emotional needs of their pupils from within their own resources. This is achieved by training teaching assistants to develop and deliver individualised support programmes to meet the emotional needs of children and teenagers in their care. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. This intervention is now widely implemented by educational psychologists across Britain.

ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists, who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need experienced by pupils. They provide on-going professional supervision to help maintain high quality in the work undertaken by ELSAs, thereby helping to ensure safe practice for ELSAs and pupils alike.

ELSA's support children to make sense of their emotions and express them in a positive way.

They provide 1:1 tailored interventions, 1 x weekly for 6 weeks.

They help the child work towards a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time sensitive) target.

If you feel your child would benefit from receiving ELSA, please fill in the referral form below and send it to Danielle.offord@stmichaelssg.org.uk


If you are interested in knowing more, please visit the ELSA website via this link https://www.elsanetwork.org/.

ELSA Referral form.xlsx 

Our qualified ELSA is Miss Danielle Offord.