"Thrive training instrumental" in Ofsted turnaround

13th February 2018 | News

At Thrive we are always delighted to hear of a school's success, especially when it's one of the school's we work with. So, we were delighted to learn that The Mill Academy school, Barnsley shifted from Ofsted special measures to a 'Good' ranking in three years after implementing the Thrive Approach.

Here is a little more about their success:

The Mill Academy, under the leadership of Head Teacher Tamara Gulliver, has transformed from a 'failing' school that was in special measures in 2013, to an Ofsted rated 'Good' primary school - in just three years.  The 2017 Ofsted report scored the school as 'Outstanding' in the early years and personal development, behaviour and welfare sections. Tamara explains some of the key steps made to facilitate these changes. Thrive training, with a whole school approach, has been key in her school's progression.

The Mill became an Academy in 2013 with Tamara being appointed in 2014 and tasked with making improvements within three years.  Interestingly, Tamara found that although the school was in special measures, behaviour was reported as 'Good'.  However, Ofsted's 'Good' measurement didn't translate to good in terms of academic attainment

"What startled me most about pupil behaviour at The Mill Academy Trust three years ago, was not poor behaviour in 'Ofsted' terms - but poor engagement in the classroom.  Pupils appeared to be well behaved, but in fact they were quiet, dis-engaged and didn't believe in learning.  Many had a built-in fear that they were only going to fail in school and therefore it was best to stay silent, struggle on and do the bare minimum to get by," explains Tamara.

"I strongly believe that bringing the Thrive training approach into our whole school was instrumental in our outstanding score in the personal and social development section of our 2017 Ofsted report," adds Tamara.

The Mill Academy started training their team in the Thrive Approach in 2014, starting with School Meals Supervisory Assistants (SMSAs). These trained team members were then able to share their skills with other staff members, resulting in the adoption of a whole school approach.

"Thrive gives staff a deeper understanding of how children cope emotionally in a range of situations and it gives staff a fresh approach to deal with the way these coping mechanisms manifest - even if, at first, it can put staff out of their comfort zone. For example, the 'old way' of working was simply to tell a pupil off following an incident that escalated towards poor behaviour.  Thrive encourages us to consider why a child reacted in a particular way and intervene appropriately. Staff will now talk calmly to children and allow them time to discuss their emotions and feelings both prior to an incident and after, and support them with strategies about how to manage their feelings differently," continues Tamara.

Over to you

Reduced anxiety and behavioural incidents. Calmer classrooms filled with engaged leaners. Improved relationships with parents and carers. These are just some of the outcomes reported by settings embedding Thrive’s whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. Are you ready to join them? Click here to get started.

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