The Harbour Programme focuses on supporting children’s social and emotional needs to help them flourish. The programme highlights children’s strengths in order to better support their needs.

The basic needs of all children are to be safe, healthy and understood. At different stages of development children may need some support with understanding their thoughts, feelings and emotions.

The Harbour supports children by helping them make sense of their thoughts and feelings. This helps them to develop a more positive relationship with themselves and others.

Children develop a better sense of belonging and greater engagement at home and school.

How It Works

You know your child more than anyone else and your contribution and collaboration in The Harbour Programme is key.

The Harbour Programme is a collaborative approach bringing together key school staff, parents and carers to have a greater understanding of your child’s strengths and needs. Read our Harbour Programme Overview for Families here.

Whilst the basic principles of The Harbour Programme are consistent for each child, the collaborative approach will result in a different, personal experience for each child and family.

This personalised approach means that sometimes we might support your child’s school staff – this could be through consultations, meetings or training. Sometimes we might support your child directly – this could be at The Harbour, or in their own school. You may also be asked to attend sessions alongside your child. Find out more about inreach and outreach support here.

Parent and Child Voice

We will always listen to your views, and do our best to ensure they are heard as part of what we do. Your views, and those of your child, will be captured by the school prior to the review meeting. The Harbour provides school staff with a format to help them with gathering parent information, and ideas for gathering your child’s voice. The school might ask you to talk about:

  • Strengths – tell us about your child’s interests, strengths and what’s important to them
  • Family – tell us about the family and the relationships your child has at home
  • Early Developmental History – tell us about pregnancy, birth, developmental milestones, medical etc
  • Relationships with others – tell us about relationships with other children and adults; sharing, taking turns and how your child plays
  • Feelings – tell us about how your child reacts in different situations
  • What are we noticing? – tell us about what you are noticing at home and at school; what is your child doing? What are they saying?
  • What would be great? – tell us about your hopes for your child

The Thrive Approach

The Harbour uses the Thrive Approach, which is an intervention based on principles of neuroscience, attachment theory and child development in order to promote the emotional intelligence and social and emotional development of children. Thrive provides a model of development comprised of a number of stages that all children experience.

The model offers a range of play-based and creative activities that can be used to support children to progress through these stages and to identify experiences that they may need to develop their independence.

The Thrive Approach also offers an online assessment tool, Thrive-Online. We use this to help identify what your child might need support with. Your involvement at every stage of the programme is important as a key part of your child’s social and emotional development and increased independence.

We are now closer than we were, and it is much easier to have conversations about her emotions and what she needs, all because of the things that I have learned from doing these sessions

Five To Thrive

The ‘Knowledge Change Action’ (KCA) Five to Thrive approach to support attachment and attunement between children and carers is used by The Harbour Programme. The approach focuses on developing positive relationships between children and their carers using five relational building blocks.  

KCA describe these as ‘the building blocks for developing a healthy brain,’ and considers how and when we Respond, Engage, support to Relax, Play and Talk with children in order to secure attachment, aid recovery from possible trauma and promote building resilience. 

At The Harbour we offer Five to Thrive awareness sessions for carers up to three times each academic year.