SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING - THRIVE APPROACH
At Grundisburgh Primary School we know that the most important thing for all children is to feel safe and secure. We know that good relationships between staff and pupils helps with this. All this combined helps to make life long learners.
Just as we support all children to develop their academic skills, we strongly believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn about their emotions and how they influence our social interactions and ultimately our learning and lives. Every child at Grundisburgh, from Reception through to Year 6, will have the chance to develop their social and emotional skills and to learn how their brain works and influences their emotions.
Every child is an individual and will react differently to challenging emotional situations, whether they are day to day or unexpected life events. Since 2018, we have adopted a whole school approach to supporting all children with their social and emotional wellbeing and development using the Thrive Approach. By using the Thrive Approach, we are able to screen whole classes so that teachers can support all children to develop their social and emotional skills at an age appropriate level. We are also able to create individualised support offering tailor made sessions for children after consent has been given by their parent or guardian.
We recognise that life does not always run smoothly: sometimes unexpected events happen, such as family bereavement or families separating, as well as the usual developmental challenges of friendships, family relationships and challenges at school. By supporting every child to understand how emotions affect us and our decisions, we can support every child to become a successful life-long learner.
Helping you know what to do and how to be with your young people
The Family Thrive programme is run at Grundisburgh School twice a year, once in the Autumn and once in the Spring. The course helps parents and carers understand how the Thrive Approach can make a positive difference to the wellbeing of your children – and therefore the whole family, including you!
The Thrive Approach shows you how to be – and the impact this has on those around you. It helps you to understand why your children might behave the way they do. You will discover how to ensure your time and interactions with your children have a positive impact.
Family Thrive will offer you some strategies and activities that help build positive relationships in your family unit, for the wellbeing of each and every one of you. (from www.thriveapproach.com)
Each course is for 6 weeks and is for 11/2 hours per week. Any parent, carer or grandparent with a child(ren) at Grundisburgh is invited.
This course will tell you about:
- The Thrive Approach
- How the brain works
- How your right brain talks to your left brain!
- Why play and creativity are so important to you and your child
- How to support your child at times of change and difficulty
- Everyday trigger times and how to keep calm
- How to be a behaviour detective
Drawing and Talking is a safe and gentle attachment-based therapeutic intervention.
Through a 12-week cycle of half-hour sessions, this non-directed approach allows children and young people to bring whatever thoughts or feelings they need to explore to their 1:1 sessions. Drawing and imagining in a safe space can help individuals process difficult emotions, pain or trauma.
This non-intrusive and attachment-based approach is what sets Drawing and Talking apart from existing solution-focused and cognitive based therapies and interventions.
We offer bereavement support to children who are grieving the loss of a close friend or family member. This may be in a small group or individually. Sessions will usually focus on helping children understand their feelings, share memories, process their grief and find ways to move forward. Children often enjoy creating something tangible to take home to help them remember the person who has died.
Our approach to supporting bereaved children is based on training given by the charity Winston’s Wish. If we feel a child in our care has suffered a traumatic bereavement, we will refer them on.
Please speak to your child’s class teacher if you feel they would benefit from bereavement support in school.
Once it has been agreed for a child to take part in either a small group or individual session, the Thrive Practitioner along with the child’s class teacher will complete an assessment, from which an Action Plan of activities and skills to be developed will be created. You as a parent will help with this assessment.
The Thrive Practitioner will work with a child and continue to assess their progress in an ongoing manner.
The Thrive Team is happy to meet with parents/carers to create a ‘Home Action Plan’ if this is requested.
The Thrive Team will create an individualised plan for your child which they will work to in order to support your child to develop new social and emotional skills. This will include playing, arts and crafts, sandtray activities, being outside, puppet work and much more.
All sessions are based on the understanding of a strong and safe relationship with the child at the centre of the activities.
Sessions take place within the school day, and last for approximately 30 minutes per week.
Drawing and Talking
Drawing and talking sessions are also weekly and last about 30 minutes. These interventions are for a 12 week period. Each session is lead by the child’s drawings and the child uses the drawings to work though any big emotions or trauma that they have experienced.
Sometimes a child will be offered Sand Play as an alternative to Drawing and Talking. The principles of a gentle, attachment-based therapeutic approach in a safe space are the same.
Some children might take part in a block of group Drawing and Talking sessions, usually over six weeks, where they will use drawings and interact with others.
When your child reaches a level where we think they can manage their emotions, the weekly sessions will stop. They will continue to be able to speak to the Thrive Team and Drawing and Talking practitioners whenever they feel that life is becoming tricky, but they will be supported every day by their Teacher and TA. They will continue to develop their social and emotional skills along with their classmates in their weekly PSHE lessons.
The children will also have the chance to attend a weekly group session in the Thrive room each Tuesday. In this session they can talk to an adult and join in an activity.
If you have any concerns, please raise them with your child’s teacher in the first instance.
An easy introduction into mindfulness for children up to 11, this especially focuses on getting ready to sleep
A short film to support children who may have experienced bereavement
The Magic Shell guided meditation to help soothe and calm busy minds
A short video which will help explain to your child about their thoughts; how they pop up like bubbles and how we can learn to let them float by without their becoming a worry
WHY DO WE LOSE CONTROL OF OUR EMOTIONS - a great video to explain why we have emotions and how our brain works
LIFTED - a great Pixar short film to enjoy together
THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT – A story about having to do something when you don’t want to.
There are lots more videos on YouTube, covering all different emotions, which you may find useful if there is something in particular you would like to explore with your child.
Playing and making together is really important. Here are some ideas for shared activities that should be quite easy to do at home and do not need too many craft items. Lots of these will be things that you did (or may still do) with your children before they started school.
Many of these activities are a great way for your child to experience different senses and then think about times they might feel like this linked to their emotions (for example a spiky pine cone - they might feel spiky as they start to get annoyed).
Baking – this is a great activity to do together, it’s sensory, plus you all get to enjoy what you have made and your child will enjoy the feeling of success/independence throughout the experience as they improve their skills.
Junk modelling – robots, cars, unicorns etc. Use up all your old recycling, add some paint and see where your imaginations can take you!
Papier mache projects – these need a little more time to make, but they can be something simple and quick, or make masks and then have fun acting together or even make an ornament to keep to remember the fun time you had together.
I Spy – time together to look and notice what is around. Whether you are in the car or just filling time, this is a great game to help refocus if your child has started to become overwhelmed or a little wild.
Treasure hunts/ Den building, indoors or outside – these are great to develop that curiosity, to get hands on in nature. Once you have built something, it can become a safe cosy place to read a book or have some quiet chill out time. If you are outside, try using the 5 senses and practise grounding (a brilliant tool for adults and children when our thoughts start to run away with us).
Painting projects – you can put massive sheets of paper on the floor, or a small sheet on the table. This is fun to do, or a chance to ask your child to paint a feeling and see what they make. Remember if you are painting feelings, give it a go too.
Make a film, editing/photo taking – take those photos on a phone and tell a story, practise making funny faces, or record a family pet. Enjoy what you have made together.
Guided meditation – a fantastic skill for us all, there are brilliant videos on YouTube. This can help with getting to sleep, or if you have a child who finds it hard to switch their thoughts off. Drift off to another place and learn to let your thoughts just drift by and not have to do anything with them.
For the above ideas as well as many others, here are some of our favourite and tested websites. HAVE FUN!
Pinterest - millions of ideas of everything you can think of!
The imagination tree - arts, crafts and projects
Working mums - art & craft ideas
Go Noodle - meditation and yoga, healthy movement
Artful Parent - arts & crafts
Happiness is homemade - arts & crafts
Science - fun science experiments
Shambhala - simple mindfulness for calming children, supporting sleep and managing worries
Expressive art workshops - using arts to express how we are feeling, lots of free ideas
Kimochis - a fun website with characters for different emotions as well as lots of fun printables
Hey sigmund - strategies to manage perfectionism
Childmind - what to do when children are anxious
As we find more relevant articles and websites, we will keep adding them here, so keep an eye out!