In 2016 I was fortunate enough to be appointed as our school’s Learning Mentor. This was a completely new role for our school and I wanted to be able to support the children with their barriers to learning. I decided to visit a neighbouring school to see how the team there approached their roles and they spoke proudly about the Thrive Approach® which they were embedding in the setting. I remember the buzz of talking about how Thrive® had made such a difference to their children and it was contagious. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful leadership team who were equally intrigued and excited about the Approach.
That was it: within a month I found myself attending my first session to become a Thrive Licensed Practitioner®. I remember having the words of the team I had met in my mind: ‘Thrive training is like no other’. Those words were so true. I remember feeling very nervous as I began the first day. When everyone introduced themselves I felt imposter syndrome creeping in, saying: ‘I’m in a room of leaders and professionals and I’m way out of my depth’. I soon overcame this feeling as I came to realise we were all feeling the same way, and we helped each other along our journey. Each individual brought something special to the training and the bond we formed was like our own little Thrive family.
The Thrive theory blew me away. It was amazing to think that we would be equipped to share our knowledge with staff back in our own settings; to support the children and to empower others to be able to match their stress responses to emotions, and make sense of how they were feeling. This was something which was life-changing for me, personally.
We then began embedding Thrive in our amazing school. It was a challenging start – without the training and the Thrive theory it was hard for staff to understand what children were experiencing during their sessions with a Thrive Practitioner. Then came the lightbulb moment – staff began to see the impact Thrive was having on our children. The use of Thrive language was a huge breakthrough in helping to embed Thrive as a whole school and for me, personally. I began wondering, imagining and noticing all the behaviours of communication with our children, staff and in my personal life. We wanted to spread this wonderful approach further into our community, so I then upskilled to become a Family Thrive course leader, again a transformative course for me, which deepened my knowledge and increased my confidence.
With the great support of our Thrive Relationship Manager, we then began looking at Thrive’s Ambassador School Scheme. We considered each strand of Excellence carefully to develop the elements we were doing well, but also to identify the gaps which we needed to fill to embed Thrive further. This was an amazing tool to strengthen our practice and to celebrate what we were all doing so well. We achieved Ambassador status for Environment, Leadership, Relationship, Right-time and Reparative in that order, resulting in our phenomenal school being the first school in our borough to achieve the Thrive School of Excellence award. During this journey, Thrive became so contagious we now have a team of 13 Licensed Practitioners and all our staff embrace the Approach. We have half-termly insets and knowledge-sharing sessions with our amazing Thrive team.
During this process, I had a dream; a dream to empower others with this amazing Approach. That dream became reality when I completed my Train-the-Trainer course to enable me to deliver Thrive courses. The journey from the start to the present time has really been monumental in more ways the one. We at Hunters Hall have achieved this dream together and without the Thrive knowledge, a supportive Relationship Manager, leadership team, family and colleagues guiding me, I would not have had the courage to believe in me.
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