Thrive is an enhanced nurture provision in Inverclyde to support children of primary school age with attachment-based difficulties and/or experience of trauma and adversity.
What is a nurturing approach?
To understand what we offer at Thrive (Inverclyde Enhanced Nurture Provision); it is important to develop a shared understanding of nurturing approaches within schools. The following statement is taken from Applying Nurture as a Whole School Approach, Education Scotland and Glasgow City Council, 2017:
A nurturing approach can be applied at both the universal and targeted level and promotes inclusive, respectful relationships across the whole school community, including learners, staff, parents/carers and partners.
Marjory Boxall gave the following description of a Nurture Group:
“The emphasis within a nurture group is on emotional growth, focusing on offering broad-based experiences in an environment that promotes security, routines, clear boundaries and carefully planned, repetitive learning opportunities. The aim of the nurture group is to create the world of earliest childhood, build in the basic and essential learning experiences normally gained in the first three years of life and enable learners and young people to fully meet their potential in mainstream schools.” (Boxall, 2002 13).
A nurturing approach recognises that positive relationships are central to both learning and wellbeing. A key aspect of a nurturing approach is an understanding of attachment theory and how early experiences can have a significant impact on development. It recognises that all school staff have a role to play in establishing the positive relationships that are required to promote healthy social and emotional development and that these relationships should be reliable, predictable, and consistent where possible. A nurturing approach has a key focus on the school environment and emphasises the balance between care and challenge which incorporates attunement, warmth and connection alongside structure, high expectations and a focus on achievement and attainment.
It is based on the understanding of 6 Nurturing Principles which have been adapted and are outlined below:
- Children’s learning is understood developmentally (NP 1)
- The environment offers a safe base (NP 2)
- The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing (NP3)
- Language is a vital means of communication (NP 4)
- All behaviour is communication (NP 5)
- Transitions are important in children and young people’s lives (NP6)
What do we offer?
At Thrive we support learners with attachment, trauma or adversity-based difficulties who require specialised and targeted interventions to address their social, emotional, and behavioural needs. Whilst we are geographically situated within our own spaces (Thrive Hive) at St Michael’s Primary School, and are organisationally part of Lomond View Academy, we offer a shared placement for children from schools across the authority and work in partnership with the learner’s school, parents/carers and partner agencies. We can also offer support and guidance to the learner’s base school through our Thrive outreach service.
Initial enquiries regarding a child’s suitability for Thrive should be made directly to the Principal Educational Psychologist. Decisions around placement are made by Inverclyde’s ASG (Authority Screening Group) based on findings from contextualised assessments that include submitted paperwork, observations, pupil voice, staff testimony and so on, always with the make-up of the nurture group in mind to ensure greatest impact for all children involved. Any decision made as to whether outreach work or a shared placement within the Thrive Hive is needed will be agreed upon in consultation with the child, their family, the school, staff at Thrive and partner agencies, and will be reviewed at regular intervals. The long-term goal will always be to find the most effective and appropriate way to allow the individual learner to access the curriculum within their mainstream class and school, always with the child’s wellbeing at the centre.
Children in the core nurture group would usually attend for 2-4 terms, however this will be reviewed regularly. Children attending in the afternoon (1-2 sessions per week) may attend for shorter periods of time e.g., 1 term but again, this will be subject to review.
Thrive has three overarching tenets-
Being: the child is accepted for who and where they are right now in terms of their development, interests, and achievements,
Belonging: the child is accepted as a valued part of Thrive Hive as well as their base school, and is always ‘kept in mind’ by both parties,
Becoming: by meeting the child where they are, we can plan responsively and intentionally to progress the child’s development and learning appropriately and sensitively.
Who can access a shared placement?
As we are a targeted and specialised intervention, Thrive Enhanced Nurture Provision is set up for learners who will already have had a wide range of supports and strategies in place for them within their base school(s) over a significant period and are still requiring additional support for their social, emotional, and behavioural needs. There will be evidence of different interventions by the school Nurture Teacher, Support for Learning team and Senior Leadership teams. Other professionals such as the Educational Psychologist, CAMHS, Occupational Therapists, Play Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Family Support Workers may have been involved at some level. This ensures that any barriers to learning have already been considered thus enabling Thrive to quickly focus on specific targets and interventions and if appropriate, continue any previous/current multi-agency input.
Role of Thrive Enhanced Nurture Provision and Base School:
The base school is responsible for passing on any current information such as an IEP, CYP MAP or Child’s plan that includes current interventions and the names of key individuals involved with the learner. Once the learner is given a shared placement within Thrive Hive, these documents will be reviewed and updated together forming action points for the base school, Thrive and any other relevant professionals. The base school is responsible for coordinating the Review process, where relevant professionals and parent/carers meet approximately every 8 weeks and evaluate current approaches and identify next steps. The base school will be open to recommendations from ASG and Thrive and implement trauma-informed, nurturing approaches across the setting, with support from Thrive and other partners as appropriate.
Thrive is responsible for providing a supportive and nurturing environment with a broad range of learning opportunities to support social and emotional development. This includes planning engaging and responsive experiences within a variety of interesting spaces that includes opportunities for play, sensory input, rest, breakfast and other meaningful, authentic experiences that children generally experience in their early years, with a focus on attachment, conversation and emotional growth. Thrive Hive learning journals will be shared weekly with school and family. More general snapshots of experiences that the children are having may be shared on twitter (with permission). Parent/carers will be invited in to the Thrive Hive for informal chats, seasonal events or ‘stay and play’ as appropriate.
Clear lines of communication between school and Thrive are necessary to ensure smooth transitions throughout the placement. This will include keeping each other updated on changes to a child’s circumstances, attendance, late-coming, lunch orders, transport issues etc.
Thrive staff will ensure that each child is greeted warmly on arrival and is safely in transport to return to school/home. Base school will ensure that a key adult is ready to receive the child on return to school to reassure them that they have been kept in mind and support them in rejoining their peers
The main responsibility of our Outreach service is early intervention and building capacity within a child’s base school. Any outreach support will be a bespoke offer, dependent on the unique needs of the child and school, taking into consideration any existing supports that are already available to the child and school e.g. school nurture teacher, CMO wellbeing & nurture etc. The following, therefore, is a typical timeline of support but would vary from child to child and from school to school, neither is it exhaustive.
Before placement begins-
- transition to Thrive (observations at school, meetings with child, family, school staff, visits to Thrive increasing in frequency and duration until placement begins)
Term 1 may include:
- Responsive advice & guidance to school based on ongoing observations at Thrive (practical support implementing these if requested)
- Signposting to appropriate online training e.g. play, trauma and to other agencies/supports
- Visits back to school to observe as schools begin to act on suggestions
- Attendance at TAC meetings etc
- Adhoc support as required for school and family
Terms 2/3 may include:
- As above
- Coaching and modelling of successful approaches with class teacher and PSAs
- Collaboration with available in-school provision e.g. nurture teacher and whole school nurture implementation teams to identify and act upon school needs such as staff development or environmental changes
- Collaboration with CMO and/or Ed Psych to plan and deliver identified training needs or other supports
Terms 3/4 may include:
- As above
- Additional time at school supported by a member of Thrive staff to aid the transition back to school full time
- Child continuing to increase time in school until back full-time, this process will be supported by Thrive Staff at set times
- Regular visits to check-in with child at school- showing them that they are ‘kept in mind’
- Regular invites to Thrive Hive for child to reconnect with Hive buddies and staff
For further information related to Thrive Enhanced Nurture Provision please contact:
Jane Aitken, Principal Teacher Enhanced Nurture
Louise Campbell, Thrive Nurture Teacher
For general information regarding potential referrals to Thrive, Head Teachers should first contact:
Laurence Reilly, Principle Educational Psychologist