The Thrive Approach is designed to support and encourage the development of confident, curious, creative and capable young people who are open to learning and better equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs. 

At Transitions we offer the Thrive Approach as a service to schools as well as offering ‘Thrive Outdoors’ which are sessions that bring together elements of Thrive and Forest School and are specifically aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing.  

 Thrive consists of an approach to working with children that is dynamic, as well developmental and trauma-sensitive. It aims to help adults know how to be and what to do in response to children's behaviour thus working towards a world in which children's emotional and social needs are better understood and met. 

Thrive online is a web-based assessment, action-planning and monitoring tool. It is used to assess the young person or group’s current developmental needs which enables specific, accurate action plans to be created. It allows professionals and parents/ carers to track progress and therefore establish if the needs of the young person are being met effectively. 

Underpinning theory and science  

It is underpinned by a theoretical base of attachment theory, child development, neuroscience and an understanding of the role of play and the creative arts. At its heart is the understanding that all children's behaviour is an expression of their underlying needs. If these needs are recognized and met, children and young people will be able to flourish and learn. 

Attachment Theory 

These theories focus on the deep and emotional bond that connects one individual to another across time and space. The Thrive Approach uses this to show the importance of a trusting relationship between an adult and young person, and how as the young person develops the relationship can be adapted to support optimal social and emotional development. 

Child Development Theory 

These theories explain how children change and grow during childhood and adolescence. The Thrive Approach uses these to focus on how to support healthy social, emotional and cognitive development as the young person grows. These theories also provide a lens through which to look at and interpret behaviour, and enable us to determine how best to respond. 

Play, creativity and the arts 

The Thrive Approach uses interactive activities to help expand how children and young people express themselves. Through repetition this also helps to reinforce new learned behaviours. 


Recent advances in neuroscience have informed our understanding of the brain and nervous system, and how these develop during childhood and adolescence. The Thrive Approach uses the latest insights to focus on the impact these changes can have on behaviour, the opportunities these developments offer to help young people engage with life and learning, and how it is never too late to help make a difference.