THRIVE supports children with their emotional health, well-being and social skills, all of which are needed to enable learning to take place. The THRIVE Approach draws on the latest research from current neuroscience, recent attachment research, current studies of effective learning and current models of child development, in order to help us to understand the needs being signalled by children’s behaviour.
Here at Mayfield, we are proud to have three fully licenced Thrive practitioners who are able to provide support for all our pupils throughout the school from early years, childhood to adolescence. Along with one-to-one sessions, our practitioners also offer staff training and support as well as running the Thrive for Parents course.
Mayfield is the first school in the country to be awarded the ‘Silver Award for Sensory Inclusion’.
This award acknowledges the work that we do with our sensory students. We have worked hard all year to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our students, planning and implementing strategies so that they are ready to learn and offering training to parents to encourage continuity between home and school.
We have changed and adapted learning environments, implemented sensory circuits and sensory diets for those that need them and we have seen the massive positive effect on our pupils.
A selection of pupils with identified social or emotional needs regularly attends ‘Dog Squad’. Luna the Terrier helps the children develop their interpersonal skills along with confidence and self-esteem. Working with animals has also been shown to increase the consideration of others and empathy. Children have the opportunity to walk Luna in small groups as well as individually and encourage Luna around different obstacle courses.
Children from several classes come together one afternoon a week to renovate our sensory garden. They have used shears to cut back the bushes and spades and trowels to dig up the weeds. They have planted bulbs which are now flowering, potatoes, peas and herbs. The children learn to work together as well as gain a sense of ownership of the school.
Pupils also benefit from the positive effects on mental wellbeing that comes from outside work. We have achieved the level two award from the Royal Horticultural Society’s campaign for School Gardening and are currently working towards level three.
Many of our pupils have an aversion to certain social situations. The Desensitisation Club aims to address these issues through a fun, relaxed, step-by-step process utilising our immersive theatre. We have identified those pupils who do not like to have their hair cut and those who are anxious around medical professionals. The impacts of which can be massive for our families.
MATP, our newest physical development opportunity, is a sports-based mobility programme for students with complex physical needs that provides every student with competitive sports opportunities. MATP is a movement-based sports curriculum designed by Special Olympics that delivers meaningful sport and physical activity to young people with severe/profound multiple disabilities (PMLD) and Complex Support Needs. It consists of FOUR MATP core sport-specific skill areas: 1. Mobility (any activity involving an individual moving themselves) 2. Dexterity (fine motor manipulation and throwing) 3. Kicking (moving anything with the lower body) 4. Striking (moving anything with the upper body)
Our students have fun, make friends, enhance their self-esteem, and gain confidence through the DofE programme. They learn important life skills and traits such as resilience, problem-solving, teamwork, social skills, employability, leadership, communication, and drive.
Achieving a DofE Award is not a competition or a race to the finish line. It all comes down to defining personal goals and pushing personal boundaries.
Our pupils are able to succeed at the same level as any student in a mainstream setting.
Rebound Therapy is the therapeutic use of the trampoline and has been used in special needs education since the 1970s. At Mayfield, we have our own rebound therapy trampoline, trained therapists and a dedicated timetable. Children who attend these sessions have a range of disabilities and health needs. In addition to providing physical therapy, rebound therapy provides the opportunity to enjoy movement and interaction while having great fun!
Our mindful morning session allows those children who may be dysregulated on their arrival a gentle start to their school day. Based in our immersive theatre, the children experience guided breathing and relaxing music and visuals. This calm environment is often invaluable to a successful start to the school day.
The MOVE programme is offered to all pupils at Mayfield with physical disabilities and forms an integral part of their daily routine and their learning.
MOVE is a positive approach which focuses on what the pupil can do, not what the pupil can’t do. The aim of the programme is to acquire and maintain functional skills which can be generalised to be used in their daily lives.