Every child matters and all children need to feel safe, valued, special, appreciated and included.
We want every child coming to our school to feel happy, content and confident, ready to embrace the day in our secure, caring and friendly environment.
However, some children face many challenges, which means that some of their social and emotional needs may be greater than those of others. By using The Thrive Approach and ELSA sessions, we aim to support and guide the children in our care to allow them to develop emotionally and distinguish between their feelings to help them manage these appropriately.
The Federation is very proud of its dedicated pastoral team that is able to offer support to both children and families with behaviour, special needs, attendance and emotional stability.
We aim to:
- Provide alternative support for children who are experiencing emotional, social or behavioural difficulties.
- Provide a safe and calm environment for children to develop their skills.
- Enable children to take pride in their achievements and enhance self-esteem.
- Help children to manage their feelings and develop skills to enjoy and participate in school life.
- Use positive approaches to manage all behaviours.
Thrive is a therapeutic approach to help support children with their emotional and social development.
The Thrive approach offers practical strategies and techniques and is built around online assessments which identify children’s emotional development and provides action plans for their individual needs.
Research has shown that how we behave is linked to how we feel and our emotions are linked to how we learn. By teaching children to recognise and notice these feelings and emotions it can help with their development and learning. Children sometimes need some extra support with their emotional growth and this can be temporary or over a longer period of time.
Thrive promotes their emotional and social growth by building positive relationships between a child and their peers and helps them explore and understand their feelings through various activities.
Why might my child attend a Thrive session?
Many children experience difficulties during their time at school.
These may include:
- Difficulties with friendships.
- Getting into trouble at playtime.
- Finding it hard to settle in the classroom.
- Finding it difficult to manage their strong feelings.
- Not knowing who to turn to when feelings are too big to manage on their own.
These situations can lead to many different feelings which may seem overwhelming at times. They might include: anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, confusion or anxiety.
All these feelings are very normal and happen to a lot of children. The Thrive sessions are to help children learn to manage their feelings and teach them strategies that will help promote their learning at school.
What will happen in a Thrive session?
The session may be on an individual basis or as part of a small group of children. During each session there will be an activity which may include: storytelling, circle games, arts and crafts, sand play, movement and relaxation, hand and foot massage, role play and puppet work, games.
ELSA is also provided within the Federation. It is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. There are two qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants in the Federation. They have been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft.
ELSA is not an initiative to fix problems but to provide emotional support.
The ELSAs aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with pupils and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need. Training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. The Educational Psychologist that works with our schools would be able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.