Part of the Glyn Academies Trust


At Hillcroft, we embrace The Thrive Approach to improve and support children’s personal development, their mental health and ultimately ensuring they are ready to learn. The Thrive Approach includes a holistic, whole school approach which is taught alongside our PSHE curriculum, as well as an intervention for those children identified as needing additional support.  We have 7 trained Thrive Practitioners from Early Years to Key Stage 2, and are incredibly proud to have been awarded "Thrive School of Excellence" GOLD AWARD. We are currently only the 7th school in the country to receive this prestigious title (March 2022).

To support the delivery of our Thrive programme we have two areas dedicated rooms across the school – the Enchanted Woodland and the Treehouse.

What is the Thrive Approach

The Thrive Approach has been developed over many years to help children flourish: it supports their emotional and social development and helps them feel happy and secure; to be able to enjoy friendships; to relate well to others and be ready and able to learn.   Thrive supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable and adaptable. It can also address any troubling behaviours providing a firm foundation for academic attainment. Positive relationships are at the heart of Thrive. We use these relationships, together with play and creative activities, to give children key experiences at each different stage of their development. The Thrive Approach draws on the latest research into brain science, child development theory and attachment theory. It helps us to understand how babies’ and children’s brains develop, and how parents, teachers and other professionals can best support this development by providing the best experiences for the children at each stage. Thrive also helps us to better understand the children’s needs being signalled by their behaviour. Sometimes children may struggle as a result of temporary setbacks or other, longer term changes in their lives such as a separation, a bereavement, a family illness or accident, or even the arrival of a new baby. They may signal their distress by becoming more withdrawn, or distant, or perhaps more challenging or disruptive, or even by trying too hard to please. If this happens we use Thrive to look beyond the behaviour to give these children the support they need to get back on track. Sometimes they only need a little extra support in class and sometimes they may need additional one-to-one time to help them along. 

Assessment of need

We use a screening tool and activity planning resource called Thrive-Online. This allows us to check that children are working appropriately for their age and to develop the whole group with activities that ensure that they are as emotionally and socially supported as they can be. Using Thrive-Online, we also identify any children in need of extra support.

For further information on the Thrive approach please click on the download below - Thrive at Hillcroft. 

For a flavour of Thrive at Hillcroft click here to view our gallery.

Feedback from parents and carers following our Parent and Carer Thrive Workshops:

"Another interesting and useful session.  The information given is really interesting; its also great to hear other parents are experiencing the same as us!  Thank you!"

"A fun and informative session - I always leave these sessions full of knowledge."

"This week was really interesting again, and made me reflect on where I can do things differently."

 "Very good session, a real eye opener.  I cannot wait for the next session."

"Brilliant introduction to Thrive.  Thank you."

Thrive Practitioners:

Debbie Pearson                           Lead Thrive Practitioner    
Tara Copard  Thrive and Family Thrive Practitioner ( 
Louise Summers Thrive Practitioner
Katy Harborne Thrive Practitioner
Shannon McNeil  Thrive Practitioner 
Cornelia Cooper-Beirne Thrive Practitioner
Vicky Mitchell Thrive Practitioner
Stephanie Matthews Thrive Practitioner
Stella Mayhew  Thrive Practitioner 


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