Social and Emotional Development (Thrive & Forest School)


Supporting Social and Emotional Development and Mental Health
through Thrive and Forest School

Based on established neuroscience, attachment theory and child
development, the Thrive Approach® provides training and an online
profiling and action-planning tool to equip our adults in school with the
knowledge, insights and resources needed to develop the relationships that
help children and young people to flourish, understand their feelings and
behaviours and ultimately be ready to learn. It forms the basis of how we
talk and interact with our children, our behaviour policy and is the integral
into the strong relationships we form with our school community.

As well as being an approach that is used throughout school, we run a full
programme of interventions based on the individual child’s social and
emotional needs and have a fully staffed, full time facility known as The
Place. Here, children are able to develop the skills and strategies needed
to support their emotional development and tackle some of the challenges
they face both in school and the outside world in a safe and supportive

As well as Mrs Kerr and Mr Hogg who work in The Place we have 4 trained
practitioners and all our staff undergo CPD linked to the Thrive Approach.
We are also able to support our families using this approach and in the
future hope to extend this further.

Forest School

Much of the work done through Thrive is done using Forest School and the
outdoor environment and harnesses the benefits that being outside in
nature can do for our mental wellbeing. We have an amazing outdoor
space and we try, whenever possible to use the environment to support our
Thrive Approach. Every child is given the opportunity to participate in forest
school activities during their time at Horton Grange, led by Mr Hogg, a
qualified Forest School Leader.

The philosophy of Forest School includes;

  • Building confidence and self esteem through practical activities in an outdoor environment
  • Developing social and emotional skills as well as resilience
  • Developing problem solving skills, initiative and solution focused thinking
  • Learning about the natural environment, the seasons and how to care for surroundings
  • How to manage risk
  • Develop self regulation skills and motivation
  • How to work successfully with others using key communication skills

Children participating in Forest School activities learn how to use tools safely and effectively. Their success builds motivation and confidence and this is taken back into the classroom.