Attachment - Intensive Support Pathway

At Elm Tree School, we have developed an intensive support/attachment/nurture pathway for those pupils that have and continue to experience difficulty integrating and regulating in larger classes.  This pathway accommodates children who have found significant difficulty managing behaviour and establishing trusting and appropriate peer and staff relationships in previous settings.  These children are often highly dysregulated and lacking control and understanding of emotions and reactions resulting in severe difficulties in previous settings.


The focus of this pathway is to provide a platform where there is a reduction in stress and anxiety and open channels with reliable, consistent and dependable staff members to access school, the curriculum and enjoy learning and experiences.  Empathy, validation and co-regulation are all high priorities in this pathway.  A key element to consider is the development of trust and confidence to try and to enjoy school life again.  The ultimate aim will be to reintegrate into the school community and progress with national curriculum targets and personal and social development.


The classroom has homely feel to the environment, a quiet, low stimulus calm and safe environment which is self-contained and familiar all help the pupils to relax and form bonds with staff and peers whilst attending to curricular and experiential learning.  Thrive input is a constant in this pathway, the development of trust, understanding and the growth of relationships along with exploring of emotions and feelings in a subtle, structured way is a key focus to enable these pupils to develop relationships and grow as individuals.

The reduction of toxic stress (associated with mistrust, anxiety, hyper awareness and fight flight freeze state) is the key to help these pupils access education and enjoyment.


Aims of the Attachment Pathway

-          Emotional regulation / reduce toxic stress / recover from trauma

-          Emotional growth and support

-          Positive communication/relationships and positive behavioural support modelling

-          Improve self-esteem

-          Positive communication – Parents Carer


Outcomes for the Child

-          Feelings of security/ safety

-          Confidence to explore/ try/ attempt/ fail / succeed

-          Acceptance of challenge and independence

-          Social competence

-          Emotional regulation

-          Positive self-esteem

-          Understanding/ accepting feelings

-          Reintegration to school cohort

-          Bridging gaps to ECHP targets


The ultimate aim is to help these pupils develop strategies and tools that are part of their make-up to utilise and rely on with the view to reintegrating into a larger class community.


Learning Characteristics

  •         Child needs to feel safe
  •         Unable to demonstrate empathy
  •         Transitioning across settings is difficult and often too stressful
  •         Unable to comply with school, class and community expectations /+ or directions


Approaches to Learning on Admission

  •         Disengaged, unwilling to learn or attempt (fear of failure)
  •         No worth / risk taking is too dangerous
  •         Easily distracted - hyper aware - anxious
  •         Trouble with organisation and easily dysregulated
  •         Trouble problem solving


The timetable has a curricular focus for the morning with many of the lessons having a practical element to engage the learners with context and relevance.  Lots of the Maths and English curriculum has links to visits/trips/experiences and themes to make it as engaging as possible.  Practical activities such as building, cooking, shopping, trips and experiences, school visitors and workshops all help develop the pupils to work and progress.


Throughout every day there is a huge focus on communication and development of relationships through staff:pupil and pupil:pupil with staff support as this proves to be one of the biggest barriers to reintegrating into class.  Relationships and management of emotions/feelings and behaviour are addressed, worked on, developed and communicated to parents and carers for a consistent, trusting approach.




Attachment classroom







8.45 – 9.20



9.20  -  10.00

Weekend chat till 9.40








9.15 – 9.30




Based on theme/visit



Spelling test & reading

9.30 – 10.15



10 – 10.45

ICT / Topic / DT





Basic maths & Maths assessment

10.15 – 10.45


10.45 - 11

Break 10.45 - 11


11.- 11.20

Newsround & snack


11.20 – 11.40

Maths games / daily 10 / TT rockstars

Maths games / daily 10 / TT rockstars



Covered by Jane


11.20 - 12


1:1 and group


11.40  - 12.10


Practical learning


Practical learning


Social games / art/ DT


12.10 – 12.40

Book talk carousel

Book talk


Book talk carousel


12.40 - 1

Games time / sensory activities

Games time / sensory activities


1 – 1.30

Options 1pm


1.30 – 1.45

Family service Lunch  1.30 – 1.45


1.45 – 1.55

Register and class read


1.55 – 2.45





Experiments and investigations



Covered by Jane

Life skills/ experiences/

Social games

Outdoor activities – Horse riding, forest school


2.45 – 2.55

Reflect & getting ready for home





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