We know that when learners have a positive sense of well-being, they perform better in all areas of their lives. Having good well-being can help a learner to:
- feel valued and have a sense of belonging;
- better self-regulation their behaviours;
- feel and express a range of emotions;
- foster positive, constructive relationships with others;
- better deal with change and the stresses associated with change;
- improve confidence and self-esteem;
- engage more and better enjoy the world around them.
Well-being/therapeutic interventions are tailored to the individual learner’s need and we recognise that well-being is influenced by many different things including their previous life experiences, attitudes, beliefs and outlook. The overall aim of well-being interventions is to help the learner to build positive social and emotional skills by giving them a safe space in which they can process their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
As a school, we have embraced The Thrive Approach is a whole-school approach to well-being. Thrive training, online assessments, and expert strategies for working with learners enables us to improve attendance, behaviour and learning outcomes, and aligns with Public Health England’s eight principles for a whole school and college approach. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/promoting-children-and-young-peoples-emotional-health-and-wellbeing
Thrive helps children and young people feel safe, supported and ready to learn through individual interventions and class-based lessons. Thrive focuses on the emotional needs of learners informed by established neuroscience and attachment research. Through supportive relationships learners are able to better understand the changes they are going through and how to manage their emotions in a healthy way.A number of staff are now trained to be licenced Thrive practitioners.
More information can be found at https://www.thriveapproach.com/
Art Therapy is a creative form of psychotherapy and it can be helpful for a variety of problems. It offers an opportunity to think about current situations and past experiences in a totally confidential and relaxed environment. Art Therapy can be helpful in addressing individual needs and issues of access to the National Curriculum.
Research shows that when children are experiencing emotional difficulties their general functioning can be affected, and they find learning very hard. Art Therapy as a form of intervention can assist with a learner’s psychological, emotional, educational, physical and social development.
Cooking as therapy
Cooking is a basic life skill, yet many people do not feel comfortable around food or in the kitchen. In addition to learning a valuable everyday skill, cooking offers the following benefits:
- improved physical and mental health;
- improved social skills;
- improved self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment;
- improved memory, attention and focus;
- relief from stress and/or boredom;
- better balance and coordination;
- sensory awareness;
- enhanced ability to plan and organise;
- better time management skills;
- increased awareness of health and safety of self and others;
- improved ability to follow instructions by following recipes;
- increases knowledge about sustainability eg food miles and eating seasonally & locally.
Drawing and Talking Therapy
Drawing and Talking therapy is a school based therapeutic intervention using a person centred therapeutic play-work approach. Staff are trained to facilitate sessions where learners draw with a trusted adult. The adult is trained to ask a number of non-intrusive questions about the drawing which promotes discussion and potential resolution for issues that may be concerning them. This enables them to develop confidence, self-esteem and resolve potential conflicts in a safe environment with a trusted adult.
More information can be found at https://drawingandtalking.com/
Gardening as therapy
Gardening interventions enhance children and young people’s skills and boost their development. The direct benefits of gardening for our learners can be wide ranging:
- improves physical and mental well-being;
- builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication;
- enhances literacy, numeracy and speaking skills;
- enriches the entire curriculum from science, maths and geography, to art an English;
- encourages a better and healthier lifestyle;
- teaches about the environment and sustainability;
- helps young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility.
Lego therapy is a social development programme that uses LEGO-based activities to draw out learners’ social skills. Playing with Lego in a social setting can draw out children’s hidden abilities to cooperate with others. It promotes social interactions, turn-taking skills, sharing, collaborative problem-solving and the learning of concepts.
Lego therapy can be a collaborative play therapy where learners work together to build Lego models in teams of two or three or it can be an individual therapy where learners have the opportunity to think, reflect and explore their thoughts and feelings. This therapy improves independent social motivation and social competence. It needs both social interaction and communication with peers, and gives an engaging and safe experience for learners who find peer group settings a challenge.
Lego therapy shows an impact for learners with Autistic Spectrum conditions, anxiety disorders, social adjustment difficulties, childhood abuse/neglect/trauma, social isolation, physical or sensory disabilities. This therapy improves independent social motivation and social competence.
Lego Therapy is frequently incorporated into our Thrive lessons.
Thrive helps children and young people feel safe, supported and ready to learn through individual interventions and class-based lessons. Thrive focuses on the emotional needs of learners informed by established neuroscience and attachment research. Through supportive relationships learners are able to better understand the changes they are going through and how to manage their emotions in a healthy way.
We have a number of staff who are trained as Thrive practitioners who work with learners for whom past traumatic events have been a barrier to them engaging in school. Individual profiles are completed using Thrive Online which provide suggested activities drawing on trauma and attachment based frameworks. These sessions are bespoke and person centred but can include a number of activities including talking and art related therapeutic programmes.