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Norton Fitzwarren Church School

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Social and Emotional Support

Susan Withers BA(Hons), M.Ed, MBACP (Accred)
Accredited Thrive Practitioner & Deputy DSL



My name is Su Withers and I am a Thrive practitioner, teacher and qualified and accredited BACP counsellor. I work Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday.


My name is Kelly Jones and I am a Thrive Practitioner and Deputy Safeguarding Lead. I also have a (Ba Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies. I work 5 days a week in our designated Thrive room.

Embedded in our Christian value of compassion, we are very privileged at Norton Fitzwarren School, to have a therapy room available 5 days a week and our role within the school is to support all children with their social and emotional mental health and wellbeing. This can look different for all children and can vary from 1:1 sessions to group or family sessions. We are also available to support parents and families, whose children are struggling.




What is it?

The Thrive Approach prepares children and young people for life's emotional ups and downs. Based on neuroscience and attachment research, it is a rigorous, targeted and measured approach. It is a specific way of working with all children that helps to develop their social and emotional wellbeing, enabling them to engage with life and learning. It supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable and adaptable. It also provides a firm foundation for academic attainment.


You can find out more about Thrive by following the links below:

A Parent's Guide to Thrive

How will a child be referred?


Children may be identified by a member of staff or through a class screen (these are completed termly). You can also speak to your child's class teacher if you think your child may benefit from Thrive. Together you may decide to complete a referral form which will then get passed on to the SENDCo (Emma Morris), for consideration. Children, themselves, can also ask for support by posting a note in the post box next to the Thrive room or by contacting the Wellbeing Champions in Sycamore, Willow and Maple Class. If we feel your child would benefit from Thrive, we will ask you to sign a consent form. 


Mindful Mornings 

Each morning from Monday - Thursday, Mrs Page runs 'Mindful Mornings' in the school hall. This is a good way to aid children with the transition between home and school. The sessions involve some gentle exercises and relaxation techniques. The focus is to enable children to be able regulate their emotions and to learn strategies to calm themselves when they feel anxious or angry. For many children, it provides a calm and supportive start to their school day.  

Free Counselling for Adults

We also have another qualified counsellor who works in our school on a Thursday.  Anne, our counsellor, is a member of the BACP.  


You can send an enquiry about accessing counselling to the school office Someone will respond to your email within a week.

Pets as Therapy - Dogs


We have 5 trained therapy dogs who regularly come into school to be with the children. 3 of these dogs belong to Mr Benjafield in Willow Class and 2 belong to Mrs Withers. These dogs can attend Thrive sessions but are also used in classrooms to read with children and support them emotionally. Pets as Therapy is a national charity that was founded in 1983 by Lesley Scott-Ordish. 


Read2Dogs Scheme


Research shows that young people can become nervous and stressed when reading to others. However, when a Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog enters the group, they often become less stressed, less self-conscious and more confident as the dogs are non-judgemental. We have found that before long, the young people start looking forward to reading as they are reading to their new friend, the PAT dog. PAT dogs provide comfort, encourage positive social behaviours, enhance self-esteem, motivate speech and inspire young people to have fun. 


Some useful websites: a free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults. - advice for young people, parents and schools - support for young people written by young people Quality assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.  Website dedicated to Children and Young People's mental health Confidential advice and support for those suffering with anxiety.  Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.


Corona Virus, - advice for young people, parents and schools - Has a Covid-19 Toolkit for Schools  - guide to working from home, information how to help young people


Bath & Wells MAT