At Kellington Primary School we are proud to be a school that embraces the Thrive Approach. Thrive has been developed over the past 25 years with a development model supporting children's social and emotional needs, providing responses and activities to engage children with life and learning.

We know that children learn best in schools when they are happy and settled and the Thrive Approach supports all children with their social and emotional well-being. Thrive allows us as staff to develop better relationships, healthy stress-regulation systems and increase your child's ability to access learning. Thrive recognises the importance of positive relationships, empathy and safety. We use the Thrive Approach to help us check children's readiness to learn, to identify any gaps and then plan to meet them. Through doing so, we will be able to make sure that all of our pupils have what they need to make the best possible progress in their learning. Through play, creativity and relational experiences, staff can help reduce the impacts of stress on the brain and body and in turn support children to become more self-assured, capable and resilient individuals.

At school we respond to children's behaviour in a specific and targeted way, providing appropriate strategies and activities, in order to allow them to engage positively during their time in school.

Mrs Fox is our Licensed Thrive Practitioner and Miss Hale is currently training to become a Licensed Thrive Practitioner. They will help establish Thrive across Kellington.

Our Thrive cabin here at Kellington.

Our Staff use PACE: Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy.

PACE is a trauma-informed and therapeutic approach to supporting children and young people, developed by clinical psychologist Dan Hughes over 20 years ago. The approach focuses on building trusting relationships, emotional connections, containment and a sense of security.

All our Staff use Vital Relational Functions ‘VRFs’ which are tools used in Thrive to address and support a child’s emotional state.

Attune: This is where we show we are alert to how the child is feeling. We connect with the child and match how the child is feeling through our pitch, pace, volume and body language.

Validate: This is when we let the child know that it is okay to have their feelings. (“I'm wondering if you might be feeling ____. If that had happened to me I would be feeling ___ too.)

Containment: This is where we catch and show that we understand the pitch, intensity or quality of their feelings. We break things down into manageable chunks. (First, we will...)

Regulate: This is where we must demonstrate emotional regulation by soothing and calming the child. The children must experience being calmed before they can begin to calm themselves.

Thrive Vital Relational Functions (VRF’s)


Catch ‘n’ match the feelings



Stop the behaviour, Validate the feeling



Make the unbearable survivable



Meet the intensity then calm and soothe


Why might my child attend a Thrive session?

Many children experience difficulties during their time at school.

These may include:

- Difficulties with friendships.

- Difficulties 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. Our 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:

- Arts and crafts

- Sand play

- Movement and relaxation

- Hand and foot massage

- Cooking and preparing food

- Role play and puppet work

- Games Outdoor activities

- Emotional exploration

Window of Tolerance

Everyone has a unique window of tolerance. When we are within our window of tolerance, we are at our personal best! When we feel pushed out of our window of tolerance our cortical brain gets disconnected from the rest of our brain and we can feel distressed. Watch this video to find out more about our window of tolerance.

The hippo and the dog

Join in with this video to help stimulate your endorphins and feel good! Can you copy the hippo or the dog? Our Children love doing this!