BBC Documentary Explores how Thrive has Helped to Reduce Behavioural Problems at Mangotsfield School 

Certain classroom behaviours are compromising the learning potential of many at Mangotsfield School in Bristol. Last night BBC Two aired their documentary ‘School’, a film exploring how Thrive is used to support the Ready to Learn scheme.

Chief executive Will Roberts and his team at the school decided to introduce Ready to Learn: a strict behaviour management system. Disruptive students are removed from the classroom to work in the Ready to Learn room for the rest of the school day. Conditions in the room are silent and if the rules are broken, the students face temporary exclusion.

Head Teacher, David Spence, has 1100 young people at his school. He is passionate about improving classroom conditions, boosting the schools’ overall results and providing intervention for those who find mainstream learning difficult.

Many students who do find themselves unable to sit in the classroom need bespoke support. The Ready to Learn scheme has been successful at Mangotsfield, but staff are concerned that individual’s needs are not met. It is a ‘one size fits all’ approach, which is inappropriate for those finding school life particularly difficult.

This is where Thrive comes in.

The Thrive Approach draws on established neuroscience and attachment theory to offer a powerful way of working with young people to support their social and emotional development. Using an online profiling tool it equips staff with targeted strategies and activities to work with those who may be struggling with difficult life events, helping them to engage with life and learning.

Used in conjunction with the Ready to Learn scheme, Thrive enables students to access individual support with planned, rather than reactive, sessions. The aim is to help young people understand why they might behave in certain ways. It allows for a comprehensive analysis of the social and emotional needs that they have and provides the tools, strategies and insights needed to address them.

Adolescence can be a turbulent time. There are huge developmental changes during this period which can significantly affect their ability to learn. The Thrive Approach focuses on these developmental changes, helping them to navigate a potentially rocky path towards positive mental health.

The documentary shows that if Thrive action plans are implemented and time is set aside for Practitioners to work with the pupils, they can avoid winding up in the Ready to Learn classroom. They are given the space to calm down, think and work on any developmental ‘interruptions’ or ‘right time’ work they need to do, which can help to facilitate a positive attitude towards learning.


Useful links

Click here to watch the film.

To find out more about how Thrive can help secondary settings, click here.

Alternatively, click here to view our free Online Awareness Session.