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New Road

Primary School

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'New Road Primary in Kent is a Thrive School of Excellence.  It is an inspirational setting where staff have placed mental wellbeing at the heart of school life and have seen impact for their pupils, staff, parents and their community.'   Jessica Foweraker  Thrive Regional Development Manager - South-East

The Thrive Approach

The support for your child’s emotional well-being will be through The Thrive Approach. Thrive is a dynamic, developmental approach to working with children and young people that helps teachers and adults to interpret their behaviour and address their emotional needs.
Thrive is a specific way of working with all children that helps to develop their social and emotional well-being, enabling them to engage with life and learning. It supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable and adaptable. It can also address any troubled, or troubling, behaviours providing a firm foundation for academic attainment. Informed by The Thrive developmental model, we use relational, play-and arts-based activities in one-to-one sessions, in small group sessions, or whole class.


There are four 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 his/her 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.


The Thrive Relate-Rupture-Repair Cycle

The Relate-Rupture-Repair Cycle is at the heart of building trusting and safe relationships between adults and children. The phases in this cycle are as follows;


  • The ‘relate’ phase refers to the times in a relationship when we feel connected and attuned with one another
  • Things are going well, and we are making efforts to maintain this positive and mutually beneficial relationship.
  • We are effectively building a bridge of connection between ourselves and the other person.
  • Caregivers and their infants start building this bridge from before the baby is born and continue to build it after birth and throughout the child's life.
  • In the relate phase of the cycle, the adult can monitor their own emotional state and can regulate themselves to be optimally present and accessible for the child.
  • The adult can connect with the child and focus on their needs being met. The adult is present and can contain the child’s emotional experience for them.
  • The connection between the two is reciprocal.


  • The ‘rupture’ phase refers to those times in a relationship where there is a misunderstanding or when we don’t get it right for the other person and we feel like the relationship experiences a setback.
  • At this point the bridge of connection might feel weakened or more vulnerable.
  • Although we might think of ruptures as being problematic and therefore to be avoided where possible, in fact, they are an inevitable part of any relationship.
  • They become a crucial component in the relationship when the rupture is subsequently repaired because this helps to develop the child’s resilience.
  • Ongoing attunement between the emotionally available adult and the child will inevitably move through different phases, being at times fully synchronised and all-encompassing and at other times disconnected and misattuned.


  • The ‘repair’ phase of the cycle involves correcting the misunderstanding or misattunement of the rupture i.e. non-judgemental
  • We must try to share understanding of intentions, feelings, thoughts and actions in order to come back into relationship. Make your intentions transparent and communicated (think aloud).
  • The repair part of the cycle is an essential component of healthy growth, boosting our resilience and helping us to cope with challenges by giving us greater trust that difficulties can be resolved.
  • The emotionally available adult becomes aware that there is a misattunement between him/herself and the child.
  • The adult is able to deal appropriately with their own reaction, in that moment, to stay regulated
  • They are then able to reach out to the child and repair the rupture in their relationship.
  • The adult may do this by apologising and reaffirming the attuning and validating stance, and by demonstrating acceptance, curiosity and empathy to the child.
  • In this situation the adult has the capacity to stay steady and regulated in the presence of the dysregulated child.
  • By repairing the relationship, the child’s arousal state can settle and the relationship can continue in an attuned way. 
  • The adult must always repair the relationship, not the child.