St Andrew's C of E Primary Academy

Inspiring children to achieve their personal best

Trauma Perceptive Practice (TPP)

“The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health." (The Mental Health Foundation)


What is Trauma Perceptive Practice (TPP)?

Trauma Perceptive Practice is an Essex initiative led by Senior Educational Psychologist, Stephen Whitfield.  It is an approach that helps educators understand and know how to help all children and young people, especially those who are vulnerable. It is an approach to understanding behaviour and supporting emotional wellbeing. It is a whole school approach that is built on the core values of: 

  • kindness
  • compassion
  • hope
  • connection
  • belonging.


How is it being introduced and developed at St Andrew's Primary Academy?

The staff at St Andrew's are implementing the TPP approach over the next 18 months (starting from September 2023) through the delivery of the TPP training programme led by two members of staff who are trained in delivering the approach.  So far our staff are trained in elements 1,2 and 3.


There are 9 key elements of TPP which staff receive training on: 

1) Whole school/setting investment and mindset.

2) Looking after adults

3) Brain development and mental health and childhood trauma. 

4) Attachment

5) Understanding behaviour- the stress response

6) Relationships matter

7) Co-regulation of stress and distress

8) Self-regulation

9) Building resilence. 


What does TPP do?

It encourages our staff to think and act more boldly, through our values, policies and practice. Research tells us that if children and young people have consistent experiences of being safe, healthy, active, nurtured, achieving, respected, responsible and included, then they will develop the skills and brain systems that provide resilience to stressors. 


It also:


  • Provides understanding for all pupils, not just those who have experienced trauma. 
  • Helps us all to support pupils whose emotional wellbeing needs manifest themselves in behaviour that challenges. 
  • Enables adults to recognise and respond supportively to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress so that pupils can make progress with their learning. 
  • Helps staff to understand pupils' behaviour; 'What has/is happening?' rather than 'What is wrong?' Allows staff to ask themselves Why? Why now?
  • Promotes a school culture of emotional containment through relationships for all.
  • Supports staff to provide an environment which promotes the sense of belonging. 
  • Enables staff to be more knowledgable and skilled to effectively support pupils. 
  • Enables staff to be aware, understand and meet the pupils' emotional needs so that they can make progress with their learning. 
  • Enables staff to have healthy and helpful conversations using reflective practice. 
  • Creates an underlying culture of respect and support so that pupils are provided with clear expectations. 
  • Develops an understanding of co-regulation/ self regulation to guide them through stressful situations. 
  • Enables us as a school to realise the prevalence and impact of trauma and respond by building resilience, relationships and safety for children, families and staff. 


TPP will not: 

  • Provide a 'quick fix' or 'magic want' for sorting out children who have difficulties. 
  • Isn't a specialist support fix for mental ill health issues. 
  • Isn't a check list or ticklist
  • It will not label pupils. 


At St Andrew's we understand and accept that every behaviour is a form of communication and adults are aware of factors that could affect a child's emotional wellbeing. 


For more information about TPP, please see the attached leaflet below.