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Thrive at Holly Meadows School


At Holly Meadows we embrace the Thrive approach to improve and support children's personal development and mental health, ultimately ensuring they are ready to learn. The Thrive approach is based on current neuroscience and has been developed over many years to help children flourish.

Our Thrive practitioners have undergone training to ensure they are fully equipped to work with the wider staff team to deliver effective strategies and activities which support the development of each unique child.

These tried and tested strategies and activities are individualised for children and their families to provide unique experiences, which done repeatedly with a familiar adult do many things including:

  • developing a child’s strong sense of self-worth
  • supporting a child’s growing capacity to make sense of the world
  • supporting the development of neuronal pathways in the brain that positively contribute to healthy stress management systems
  • enabling a child to be able to think whilst having strong feelings
  • building a child’s ability to be able to make choices about their behaviour
  • building a child’s capacity to self-soothe and understand their emotions 

Holly Meadows Thrive Hive

Our ‘Thrive Hive’ is a designated space for individual and group Thrive sessions.




.Holly Meadows School Dogs

At Holly Meadows we are very lucky to have two school dogs who come in one day a week each to support wellbeing and learning.

Wilma is a Shiba-Inu trained and owned by our Head, Mrs Wildsmith-Garton and Lupin is a Whippet, trained and owned by our Thrive Practitioner, Mrs Riviere.





We would like to reassure you that we have carried out a significant amount of research about having dogs in school and believe the positive effects far outweigh any negatives.

Some of the many benefits for children include:

  • Cognitive development – building a companionship with a dog helps children stimulate their memory, problem-solving and game-playing skills. Having a school dog is known to increase enthusiasm for, and enjoyment of animals, which motivates children to think and learn.
  • Social skills – dogs provide a mutual topic for conversation with others, and encourage responsibility, wellbeing and focussed interaction with others.
  • Emotional skills – dogs improve self-esteem, acceptance from others and are known for improving moods. Dogs can also help children’s anxiety. Building respect can improve children’s relationships with each other, parents and teachers and shows them how to nurture and care for another living thing. If any children are suffering from bereavement or are particularly sad, dogs can provide children with comfort and friendship.
  • Physical development – interaction with dogs known to reduce blood pressure, provide tactile stimulation, assist with pain management and give motivation for children to move and walk.


We have undertaken a full risk assessment to ensure that any hazards can be adequately controlled. Please follow this link for more information.