The Whole Child Approach

The Whole Child Framework is an evidence-based provision that pulls together known theories, models, and approaches:

  • Maslows – Hierarchy of Needs
  • Chimp Paradox
  • Internal Family Systems Model
  • Williams and Shellenberger – Pyramid of Learning
  • Dr. Porges – Polyvagal Theory

The goal of integrating these is to create a comprehensive holistic framework that acknowledges:

  • The importance of meeting basic needs
  • Creates optimal learning environments
  • The importance of feeling safe
  • Understands the impact of the autonomic nervous system on social engagement and overall emotional well-being


Attachment forms the foundation for all other interventions. Meeting a child’s attachment needs is essential for emotional well-being, social skills, neurobiological development, sensory regulation, and long-term emotional health.  Learn More


Having met the child’s attachment needs (Level 1), addressing somatic (body-based) sensory requirements becomes crucial for regulating the nervous system. Vagus nerve stimulation, movement, and sensory regulation are instrumental in promoting emotional well-being and enabling the child to progress to the next level.  Learn More


Having met the child’s attachment needs and addressed sensory overwhelm, we now focus on meeting the child’s emotional needs. At this level, we use the emotional scale to empower the child with knowledge about moving from activated states to a calmer, more balanced state.  Learn More

Connection (Social)

At this stage, the child is better regulated, recognising nervous system activation and sensory-based soothing techniques. They are developing a secure attachment and are ready to learn conflict resolution and building healthy relationships with peers and adults.  Learn More


We’ve reached the final level: the child can self-regulate their activated nervous system. With secure attachment and conflict resolution skills, they’re forming healthy relationships. Now, they’re prepared to explore self-identity, build self-confidence, embrace a growth mindset that can conquer self-doubt.  Learn More

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