At Salisbury Manor Primary School, we strongly believe in the Thrive approach. Thrive is a dynamic, developmental approach to working with children that supports their emotional and social wellbeing. It is based on the latest research in neuroscience, attachment theory and child development, drawing on research into the role of creativity and play in developing emotional resilience. Thrive is used at our school to help support children with their emotional and social development.

The Thrive approach offers practical strategies and techniques and is built around assessments which identify children’s emotional development and provides action plans for each child’s 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 supporting children to recognise and notice these feelings and emotions it can help with their development and learning. People sometimes need some additional support with their emotional growth, which can be temporary or over a longer time frame. Thrive promotes their emotional and social growth by building positive relationships and helps children to explore and understand their feelings through various activities.

Thrive is a whole school approach. We all believe that behaviour is communication, and the communication needs to be understood and supported. Thrive feeds into everything that we do and although not all children will have individual Thrive sessions, all children will be participating in Thrive activities throughout their school day.

We use the following guiding principles of the Thrive Approach:

  • Every child is a unique person, constantly developing and learning in different ways and at different rates, each with their own abilities, talents and potential to be fulfilled.
  • Children’s healthy development, emotional well-being and learning are crucially dependent upon, and promoted through, positive relationships.
  • Children flourish when they are confident, self-assured, capable and resilient.
  • Children thrive in enabling environments, in which their individual development, learning experiences and needs are understood, responded to and supported through strong partnerships with parents/carers.

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


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.


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 be I would be feeling ___ too.)


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...)


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. 

Our current Thrive practitioners are Miss Ward & Miss Tomkins. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Miss Ward via the school office to ask for more information.

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

oin in with this video to help stimulate your endorphins and feel good! Can you copy the hippo or the dog?

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