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Student wellbeing is key to the personal success and academic achievement of young people, and so here at Brunel College we take a holistic approach. Both onsite and through partnerships with external agencies we have array of support in place so that students are best able to grow and thrive.

The Thrive Approach

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THRIVE supports children with their emotional health, well being and social skills, all of which are needed to enable learning to take place. Children cannot always put their feelings into words, but the way children behave can tell us a lot about how they are feeling. For some children there may be an obvious reason why they need extra support. This might be due to bereavement, family break down or an identified medical condition such as ADHD. For others, there may not be any obvious trigger as to why they are finding some aspects of school and/or home life difficult.

At Brunel College, we have two fully trained Licensed Thrive Practioners: Kerry Williams and Jen Dear, who together with Frances Rowe form the pastoral support team. Please contact them if you want to know more about how Thrive is used at WASP.

What is the Thrive Approach?

The THRIVE Approach draws on the latest research from current neuroscience, recent attachment research, current studies of effective learning and current models of child development, in order to help us to understand the needs being signalled by childrens' behaviour. Working with parents and class teachers, our THRIVE practitioners carry out assessments of identified childrens' social, emotional and behavioural needs which help us to build an Action Plan of targeted strategies and activities to help children re-engage with learning and life. The THRIVE approach is based on growing evidence that the brain develops through personal and social interaction. The relationships that we have with significant adults is fundamental to who we grow up to be. Our brain is built through trillions of brain-cell connections made by sight, sound, smell, touch and movement. Positive experiences enhance brain connections, and sustained negative experiences can restrict them. Through simple, repeated activities over time, within a safe and caring environment, THRIVE aims to compensate for interruptions in emotional development, when they affect a child’s ability to enjoy life and learn. A THRIVE assessment helps us to identify emotional developmental needs as early as possible, in order to support and meet those needs on an individual basis. As well as offering new ways of dealing with challenging behaviour, THRIVE also offers both teaching staff and parents useful approaches to working with and helping any child who is experiencing emotional upheaval, whether short or long term. This is not a quick-fix; it takes time and commitment to see results. However, from research it is clear that early intervention to support childrens' needs is the most effective approach to preventing issues becoming more problematic in later life. A THRIVE Action Plan is a plan of activities tailored to support a child’s identified social and emotional learning targets. The activities are one-to-one and small group play and arts-based activities designed to help the child feel better about themselves; become more resilient and resourceful; form trusting, rewarding relationships; be compassionate and empathetic; and/or be able to overcome difficulties and setbacks. Activities might include playing in the sand, cooking, painting, model making, exploring difficult situations through role-play or comic strips, playing strategy games or projects focusing on the child’s own interests. Action Plans are shared with parents who are encouraged to do some of the activities at home with their child. Action Plans are reviewed regularly to monitor the progress children have made. If you would like further information on The THRIVE Approach, please go to: Alternatively, you can speak to our school THRIVE practitioner, Kerry Williams.

Guidance for Parents

There are many ways in which parents can support with their child's social and emotional growth, and Thrive assessment score. Click on the links below for ideas on how you can support your child, as well as information on what Thrive can do for your child. 














Drawing and Talking


Drawing and Talking is a therapeutic intervention. It is designed as a short-term pro-active intervention intended to complement the work of Specialist Mental Health Services. Through a 12-week cycle of sessions this non-intrusive tool allows children and young people to bring what they need to their sessions. Utilising drawing as a way to help them express their feelings differently in ordinary verbal language. The Drawing and Talking therapeutic approach allows individuals to discover and communicate emotions through a non-directed technique. This is what sets Drawing and Talking apart from existing solution-focused and cognitive based therapies and interventions.

Drawing and Talking is delivered by our in house, fully trained practitioner: Adriana Binks


An educational psychology led intervention for promoting the emotional wellbeing of children and young people.

ELSAs are Emotional Literacy Support Assistants. They are teaching assistants who have received specific additional training from educational psychologists from whom they receive on going supervision following training. Their role is to support children and young people in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst also respecting the feelings of those around them.

ELSA is delivered by our in house, fully trained practitioners: Susie Major and Adriana Binks


External Agencies


Motiv8 is a substance misuse service for young people aged 11-18 in Wiltshire.

They provide advice, guidance and one-to-one sessions for young people who are having problems with drugs and/or alcohol. The service is confidential, and aims to provide a flexible and non-judgemental space for young people to be open about the problems they are facing.

School Nurse

Weekly drop-in sessions provide students with the time to talk to the nurse in confidence one to one about any health, wellbeing or personal concerns. Referrals to the school nurse can be made by students or their parents/carers. 

Youth Offending Team

Wiltshire's Youth Offending Team (YOT) works with children and young people who are involved in offending behaviour. They do this by working with the young person, their parents or carers, the victims of crime, volunteers and the local community. The YOT is made up of staff from a range of organisations including the police, probation service, education and children's social care, all working together to tackle youth crime in Wiltshire.

Children's Services

Children's services are responsible for supporting and protecting vulnerable children. This includes providing children and their families with extra help. Where children are thought to be at risk of harm, children's services will take steps which aim to make sure they are kept safe.

Educational Psychologist

The Wiltshire Educational Psychology Service is made up of a team of psychologists who have specialised in the application of psychology in educational settings.

They work with schools to improve pupil outcomes through joint problem solving, identification of suitable strategies and targeted interventions. In addition, they provide training workshops designed to meet the needs of individuals or groups of children, support schools to meet the objectives of a statement of special educational needs through the annual review process, and provide parent support programmes.

Quench Mentoring

Community First

We have a new opportunity for our students to sign up to the new mentoring service that the Quench Cafe Salisbury has to offer.

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