On Track Wisbech: The ‘extraordinary’ independent school re-engaging young people with learning

On Track Wisbech, part of the On Track Education group, is an independent school providing specialist education for pupils aged 11-16. Supporting young people with a range of educational needs, including communication difficulties, behavioural issues and social, emotional and mental health needs, On Track offers a bespoke learning experience.

Their therapeutic and holistic approach aims to ignite a passion for learning and develop the skills young people need to take the next step in their education and eventually into the workplace. Personalised programmes focus on building confidence, self-esteem, motivation and self-control.

As each learner has different and sometimes complex needs, On Track Wisbech introduced Thrive to help staff better understand pupils’ behaviour and how best to support them so they can flourish in life and learning.


Pupils at risk of exclusion re-engage with learning

To cater for the varying needs of their learners, On Track use Thrive-Online – Thrive’s assessment, action-planning and progress monitoring tool – to identify areas of social and emotional development that require extra support. This systematic approach enables the team to identify gaps in learning and put targeted provision in place quickly.

The staff at On Track have seen first-hand that addressing pupils’ social and emotional needs has a knock-on effect on their resilience and resourcefulness as well as their appetite for learning. Thrive has helped to reinvigorate the school’s provision and enabled young people at risk of underachieving or exclusion to stay in school and re-engage with education.

Since implementing Thrive, On Track has trained four Thrive Licensed Practitioners. One Licensed Practitioner is also a Course Leader for Family Thrive, running sessions with parents and carers to help them better understand the Thrive Approach and the work they’re doing to support their children.

Quote from Gemma Adams, Deputy Headteacher at On Track Wisbech



Thrive School of Excellence 

To recognise the extraordinary impact On Track is having on its pupils, and the wider community, the school has been named as a Thrive School of Excellence.

The award is the highest level of achievement in Thrive’s Ambassador Schools scheme, which shines a light on settings showcasing outstanding mental health and wellbeing support. Deputy Headteacher, Gemma Adams, is delighted with the award and said: “It is such a proud moment for us. Thrive has been part of the school’s journey from the start and its success is down to the commitment of our staff.”

“Thrive allows us to look at the behaviour of the child to gain a more in-depth understanding about what they may be experiencing. We have seen that a consistent use of the Thrive Approach has helped improve attitudes to learning, increased attendance, and improvements in learners’ emotional and social skills and relationships within peer groups.”

“The children are also delighted that their school has been recognised for its amazing work – they are so proud of their school.”

On Track Wisbech celebrating their Thrive School of Excellence award

Anna Smee, Managing Director of Thrive, said: “On Track Wisbech is an extraordinary school which puts the wellbeing of pupils at the very centre of their work through their use of the Thrive Approach. This award is recognition of that amazing work.”


“Thrive gives me a space where I can be myself”

To mark the school’s achievement, On Track hosted a celebration event which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Wisbech, Cllr Peter Human and Mrs Janet Tanfield, as well as Jennie Hogan and Lewis Griffiths from Thrive, who presented the school with their award. Students also spoke at the event and shared their experiences of Thrive and the difference it has made to them.

“A lot more schools should offer Thrive sessions. It helps with mental and physical health and also stress. It also helps with problems at home. We get to have an outstanding teacher deliver it to us. My favourite thing about Thrive is to learn and colour with all the different colours. You can have time to be yourself.” – Theo, Year 10.

“During my Thrive sessions, I have been focusing on the next stages of my education which for me, will mean going onto college to study sports. I have been applying for courses and learning the skills I will need to be fully independent. Thrive gives me a space where I can be myself, chat with others about my interests and get emotional and wellbeing support.” – Dylan, Year 11.

“I was asked ‘what does Thrive mean to me’? To me, it means a soft space where you can talk to adults about your emotions and all that kind of stuff, you can talk to teachers about it and students. I get loads of support in Thrive, it can also be fun. We sometimes play games and do activities and I have been able to practise my colouring. Since joining On Track, Wisbech, Thrive has helped me to better manage my anger. Thrive is really fun and really supportive.” - Tomi-Lee, Year 7.

Quote from a pupil at On Track Wisbech about their Thrive support


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