Thrive Approach

What does it take to develop healthy, happy, confident children who are ready and open to learning? Recent advances in neuroscience, attachment theory and child development have provided some of the answers to this question.

The Thrive Approach draws on insights from these fields to provide a powerful way of working with children and young people that supports optimal social and emotional development. In addition, the Approach can equip staff to work in a targeted way with students who may have struggled with difficult life events to help them re-engage with life and learning.

Thrive Approach uses a developmental model to help us understand how we develop socially and emotionally from birth through to adulthood. This model gives us a framework for understanding what healthy child development looks like in terms of behaviour and learning and clarifies what the role of adults should be in facilitating a child’s development at each of the different stages. In addition, the model gives a lens through which to look at and interpret children’s behaviour, enabling us to identify the particular developmental needs being signalled by their behaviour and to choose appropriate, targeted interventions designed to meet those needs.

The emotional regulation system in all of us is made up of three levels. These three levels are shaped in our early experience in our closest relationships. They are addressed within the Thrive model: Being, Doing and Thinking. Caring and attention and repeated experiences can reshape these three levels – or fill in any gaps – at any time if we are in a positive significant relationship. The Thrive Approach shows Embelton View how.

Because our emotional state has such an impact on the way we think and act, it profoundly affects our behaviour choices. Our behaviour in turn helps us to get on with others and to be able to settle to learning.

Thrive uses arts and play-based activities with children to support healthy neural development, promote a positive sense of self and build optimal learning capacity. There are many artistic mediums that you can work with in the Thrive Approach, sand play, puppetry, storytelling, music, drama, movement and dance, painting and drawing, each of which has particular benefits and strengths. The Thrive Approach integrates arts and creativity to support children’s emotional and social development.

Eric Yates

Emotional Coach / Mentor

Eric is an active partner at Embleton View, supporting students to meet their potential. Eric works with students and staff at School, developing individual strategies for students to manage their own emotions and strategies for staff to support students with their emotions.

Eric has experience working with children and young people who have challenging behaviour starting in the youth and community sector. Working as a street-based youth worker, Eric supported young people with the many challenges they faced, including homelessness, drug addiction, crime and youth unemployment (both in the USA and the UK). Outdoor education became the main body of his work, empowering young people and helping them turn their lives around. He initiated a project in conjunction with RANK film foundation and the probation service, working with young offenders in the outdoors. A high percentage of which did not return to crime.

He then moved into the care sector running a 10-bedded unit for young males with SEMH needs, developing an independence unit and post-care package for the service. Eric then moved on to formal teaching, and as a qualified teacher, he specialised in working with children with SEMH needs and when working with supply agencies, he often chose to work in the most challenging classrooms within mainstream schools.

During this time, Eric trained with George Matthews, director of Team-Teach Ltd in 1994 and later begin training the approach to others. Eric is currently a Principal Trainer with Team-Teach Ltd and licensed to deliver their full range of courses. Moreover, he delivers and has designed a range of bespoke products, training and services for the health, care and education sectors.

Eric is also an ITA certified Master NLP Practitioner and certified NLP Coach/Trainer, which forms a large part of his teaching and coaching style.   He uses this skill set to work with Heads of services, management and staff teams in mentoring programmes, ethos and culture change, and behaviour modification systems, as well as direct work with young people in the development of mentoring programmes, anger management and choices-based training programmes.

Eric believes ‘behaviour’ is nothing more than ‘output’, with often limited choices for the individual concerned. Therefore services should be working towards creating choices and resourceful states, not solely focused on restriction.

Carol Watterson

Educational Psychologist

Carol Watterson is an Educational Psychologist, Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC) registered, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (CPsychol, AFBPsS) and a member of the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP). She became a partner of Embleton View in September 2018 to provide assessments to inform a young person’s strengths and additional needs, how best to support them to make progress and move forward in their preparation for adulthood. This involves collaborative working with the young person, parents/carers setting staff and other relevant professionals. Carol also provides consultation with staff to identify objectives, provision and approaches to best support the young person, and training for staff as required. Through the identification and meeting of individual needs, barriers to learning can be reduced, emotional literacy can develop and improved outcomes and life chances can be achieved.

Carol graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Social Psychology from Loughborough University and then undertook a postgraduate teaching qualification (PGCE) at Leicester University. She taught in a range of educational settings over the next 18 years, in early years, primary, secondary and further education, including some time working in a unit for young people experiencing social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties, attached to a mainstream school in Bedford. She also undertook a masters degree (MEd) in education during this time, focusing on the teaching and learning of children and young people who have additional needs.

In 1999 Carol completed a masters degree (MSc) in Applied Educational Psychology, at Newcastle University, having spent some time working in Sunderland, Hartlepool and Redcar Local Authorities as part of that training. She was then employed as a qualified main grade educational psychologist by Darlington Local Authority.

During her 19 years with Darlington she became a Senior Specialist and established and managed the Portage Service, before becoming Lead Educational Psychologist, managing the EP Service, from September 2011 until August 2018. As well as managing the team, Carol continued to have a caseload. This involved working with children and young people up to the age of 25, their parents/carers, staff from educational setting and a range of other professionals from education, health and social care who were also involved. She worked with children and young people with a broad range of needs, including SEMH, in mainstream settings, specialist provision, including the Pupil Referral Unit, and bases attached to mainstream schools. During 2017-2018 the team developed and delivered the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) Programme which was attended by SENCos, Teachers and Teaching Assistants from a number of schools across Darlington.