This month our Member Services Co-ordinators Sam and Grace visited the Devon Studio School in Torquay. Read on to find out how they have embraced the Thrive Approach within their inspiring adolescent setting:
A few weeks ago, Grace and I were delighted to be invited to visit Devon Studio School’s Thrive space. The school is a 14-18 years provision providing a pathway into Health and Social Care services for future health care professionals.
We were warmly welcomed by the school’s Thrive Practitioner, Rosie Mitchell, the Deputy Principal, Stuart Heron, and some of the students who use the Thrive room. The room was funded by the Paignton Rotary Club who also kindly contribute to maintaining Rosie’s Practitioner licence.
The room divides into two halves: a sitting room with soft seating leading into a workspace for arts and crafts. The divide between the two rooms provides privacy for students, especially handy when Rosie is having a timetabled session and others need to use the space. Students know they are welcome to visit the room anytime and more importantly this is supported by classroom teachers and peers alike.
The celebrity of the Thrive room (closely followed by Rosie with her ever-popular hot chocolate and biscuits!) is George the hamster. As we know, animals can play an important role in supporting developmental interruptions and enhancing social and emotional development in young people; George has already proven to have an instrumental role in this setting.
Creativity is genuinely encouraged and proof can be found in the beautiful crafts covering the room; paintings, collages, Papier Mâché faces, tissue paper bouquets… the list is endless. One of the students shared their melted crayon art with us, a stunning piece that he wanted to share with you all.
It has been so refreshing for us both to see how the Thrive Approach has been embraced in an adolescent setting, helping prepare young people to take their place in society. The school is understandably proud of the fact that all students under Thrive supervision achieved higher grades than predicted in their GCSE exams. Most inspiring is the real focus placed on investing in the relationship with the individual, which comes right from the very top of the school.
One of the Year 12 students that Rosie sees regularly wrote a poem explaining how it felt to have a panic attack and how accessing Thrive and the emotional support provided by Rosie has begun to help her. We felt so moved by this powerful and emotional piece and are delighted the student is happy to share this with you.
Samantha Cross, Member Services Co-ordinator