At Grimsdell we really have found the path to happiness and wellbeing through the simple yet brilliant Thrive in 5! The purpose of Thrive in 5 is to feel happy and secure; described to the children as having ‘smiles in our tummies’ and ‘sunshine in our brains’.
The strategies and language we are teaching the children all come under the umbrella of being your very own superhero, known as a ‘Super Selfer’. A ‘Super Selfer’ quite simply is your best self and this concept is already having an incredible impact on pupil effort levels and their willingness to have a go.
Thrive in 5 relies utterly on staff engagement and the embodiment of positive qualities and minds-set by the adults around the child. Parents too have been infused with the language and messages used by Thrive in 5. Here is a flavour…
The most important elements of the Thrive in 5 approach are the first two;
Choose to be positive and take personal responsibility. This is the notion that we CHOOSE our own story and that people cannot make us feel things, although they can have an impact. You cannot control what other people do but you can control your reaction to it and how you decide to feel inside, by taking responsibility. Here are some phrases we use with the children to achieve that:
Flip it to positive – ‘It might be raining but at least my garden will grow’
Bat away the clouds – ‘bat away the negative thoughts from my mind – they are not welcome!’
Choose a new story – ‘I find maths hard but practice makes progress and I am getting better’
What would my best ‘self’ do? – ‘my best self would forgive my friend and spread a bit of kindness and good will’ …..or deliver an act of kindness, like the one below
Building on this, we have also introduced our five Mental Health First Aiders to the children in the school. All five are volunteer teachers or teaching assistants who have given their time to be trained and ready to listen to children who may need or want to share their worries. They gave us a message about how sad and upset feelings can be normal and that batting them away or ‘flipping’ them to the positive can often work really well. Sometimes however, these feelings won’t go away and that’s when we need to do something about it –the Mental Health First Aiders are there to listen and guide them to the next step. Each Mental Health First Aider of staff wears a special badge to identify them with the words ‘Hear to Listen’. Children are encouraged to go to any of these people if their negative feelings are taking over.
The combination of Life Coaching our children through Thrive in 5 and offering them an outlet for more complex and enduring negative emotions empowers our children to make their own happiness whilst having the support or safety net to know there is also help when you need it.
Life is good!