Southmead Primary School

Southmead Primary School

Headteacher: Mr Nicholas Plumb

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Our Pastoral Team (inc. Place 2 Be and Pets As Therapy)

Our Pastoral Team

What is Thrive?

We know that children learn best in school when they are happy and settled. At Southmead Primary School we are using the Thrive Approach to help us develop our pupils’ emotional and social well-being, so they can best engage with their learning.  Thrive helps us to check children’s readiness to learn, to identify any gaps and then plan to meet them.

The Thrive approach offers practical strategies and techniques and is built around online assessments which identify children’s emotional development and provides action plans for their individual needs.

Research has shown that how we behave is linked to how we feel and our emotions are linked to how we learn. By teaching children to recognise and notice these feelings and emotions it can help with their development and learning. Children sometimes need some extra support with their emotional growth and this can be temporary or over a longer period of time.

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.

Through using the Thrive approach, school staff;

  • gain an understanding of children’s behaviour as a way of their communicating their needs
  • can foster supportive relationships that enable productive learning for all children
  • develop the skills to support more vulnerable children, together with parents and other professionals.

Why might my child attend a Thrive session?

Many children experience difficulties during their time at school. These may include:

  • Difficulties with friendships.
  • Getting into trouble at playtime.
  • Finding it hard to settle in the classroom.
  • Finding it difficult to manage their strong feelings.
  • Not knowing who to turn to when feelings are too big to manage on their own.

These situations can lead to many different feelings which may seem overwhelming at times. They might include: anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, confusion or anxiety. 

All these feelings are very normal and happen to a lot of children. Thrive sessions help children learn to recognise and manage their feelings to develop strategies that will help promote their learning at school.

What will happen in a Thrive session?

The session may be on an individual, family or small group basis. Sessions are tailored to the developmental stage and needs of the child(ren). During each session there will be an activity which may include:

  • Story telling
  • Circle games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Sand play
  • Movement and relaxation
  • Hand and foot massage
  • Cooking and preparing food
  • Role play and puppet work
  • Games

 More information

For more information about the Thrive approach see the website: or contact Mrs Jo Matthews Pastoral Leads and Thrive Practitioners at Southmead Primary School on 01271 812448 or

Families in Grief supports children, young people and their families who have experienced the death of someone close to them.


Mrs Matthews is our Bereavement Lead and liaises with Fig.

If parents feel their child would benefit from some pastoral work with Mrs Matthews, please drop her an email at: or access FiG directly by filling in the referral form below.


There is also a leaflet below for more information.

Please see the documents below giving advice to children dealing with grief.

There are a selection of useful links regarding family support and pastoral issues on our Useful Links page.

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