The Thrive Approach
Let's help every child to Thrive

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties that manifest in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated and displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.

These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harm, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

According to the DFE 'Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils.' The Department for Education publishes guidance on managing pupils’ mental health and behaviour difficulties in schools.

Our trained Mental Health Lead in school is: Mrs K Johnson.

We began our Thrive Whole School Journey in September 2023.

What is the Thrive Approach?

At Kippax Ash Tree our staff team is trained in the Thrive Approach. Our mission is to help children and young people become more emotionally resilient and better placed to engage with life and learning. This whole-school approach to wellbeing is proven to improve attendance, behaviour and attainment. Ultimately Thrive helps children and young people feel safe, supported and ready to learn.

Thrive is a specific way of working with all children that helps to develop their social and emotional wellbeing, enabling them to engage with life and learning. 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. 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.

The Thrive Approach is based on neuroscience.

The main benefits of Thrive for our children at Kippax Ash Tree:

  • Helping children and young people learn about their emotions and regulate their own behaviour.
  • Reduce exclusions and improve attendance and attainment by helping children and young people to engage with learning.
  • Strengthen links with parents and carers, ensuring a joined-up approach to supporting children and young people's emotional and social needs.


How will my child be involved in Thrive at Kippax Ash Tree?

At Kippax Ash Tree we have two licensed Thrive Practitioners; Mrs Dickinson and Miss Whiteley. Our Thrive practitioners assess children's SEMH needs and behavioural needs using the Thrive Online Toolkit (TOL) and then work reparatively both one to one and with small groups of children in our dedicated Thrive Room. Action plans and strategies are tailored to each child’s individual need according to their assessment outcome.

Assessing Social and Emotional Needs: We 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 to develop the whole group with activities that ensure that they are as emotionally and socially supported as they can be. Using Thrive-Online will also identify any children in need of extra help. If the screening process suggests that your child would benefit from additional one-to-one support, your school will contact you and, with your consent and involvement, they will carry out a more detailed assessment to develop an action plan that gives specific strategies and activities for supporting your child within our school. The plan will also suggest specific activities that you can do at home, so that together with your school, you can help them through any difficulties they are experiencing. We understand that some circumstances may be sensitive and confidentiality will be paramount at all times when you are discussing your child’s needs with us.

Whole Class Thrive Sessions: All children across school are assessed each half term using Thrive Online. This allows teachers to understand the Social and Emotional Needs at 'right-time' for their class. Each morning from 9am until 9.05am we have our whole class Thrive session where we work on our class target.

Small Group Thrive Sessions: Using the Thrive Online assessments we identify small groups of children who have emerging Social and Emotional Needs. These sessions take place weekly in the Thrive room.

One to one Thrive Sessions: We identify these children from the Thrive Online assessment tool. These children need reparative focused work with Mrs Dickinson or Miss Whitely to secure their Social and Emotional foundations.

Thrive Well-Being Ambassadors: Our Year 6 Well-Being Ambassadors have been specially trained to support our children on the playground at playtime and lunch time using a restorative approach. This supports our children to take responsibility, reflect on their behaviour and repair relationships.

Our dedicated Thrive Room where our Thrive practitioners work with children in small groups and in one to one sessions.
We use resources to support children to name, tame and talk about their feelings and emotions.
Each class has a Thrive Charter which is developed as a class each September.

Our Well-Being Ambassadors

At our Kippax Ash Tree we have a group of trained Well-Being Ambassadors who work both proactively and reactively to support other children at lunchtimes. The proactive work that the Well-Being Ambassadors (WBA) do is around friendships, play and community building. We believe that the tighter communities are, the less likely children are to harm or hurt one another. The WBA work proactively each playtime and lunchtime to encourage children to play nicely with one another and they ensure that everyone has a friend and is welcome to play. The WBA are a very active group, and they work brilliantly alongside the adults who are outside.

When something has gone wrong, or is going wrong, the WBA reactively to support our children to repair relationships as quickly as possible. The WBA do this by leading a reflective conversation in a designated space on the playground where they can have quality conversations and use the ‘reflection book’.

The WBA use a series of key reflective questions (see below) to guide the conversation, and they do so with pleasing success. This is a process that puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over and above blame and punishment.  It shifts the emphasis from managing behaviour to focusing on building, nurturing and repairing relationships. We currently have WBA in Year 6 who work with children across all ages of school. 

We are incredibly proud of the work that our WBA do. Our WBA are clearly visible on the playground as they wear a purple high visibility vest and a purple lanyard. 

Indie our Pastoral Dog is part of our Well-Being provision.

Application timetable

The below timetable applies to applications made to Leeds City Council. If you apply to another local authority, they may have different dates

Admissions Timetable (2023 start)
Applications Open
1 November 2022
Deadline date for applications for Reception places in September 2022
15 January 2023
Late applications
12 February 2023
National Offers Day
17 April 2023
Deadline date for parents wishing to lodge an appeal (please return appeal forms to the academy)
16 May 2023
Date on which Year Reception appeal hearings will be held
June – July 2023
Appeal decision letters to be sent
Within 5 working days from date of hearing wherever possible

Application timetable

The below timetable applies to applications made to Leeds City Council. If you apply to another local authority, they may have different dates.

Admissions Timetable (2024 start)
Applications Open
1 November 2023
Deadline date for applications for Reception places in September 2024
15 January 2024
Late applications
12 February 2024
National Offers Day
16 April 2024
Deadline date for parents wishing to lodge an appeal (please return appeal forms to the academy)
14 May 2024
Date on which Year Reception appeal hearings will be held
June – July 2024
Appeal decision letters to be sent
Within 5 working days from date of hearing wherever possible