Our ‘Attachment Friendly’ Approach to learning at Woodfield Primary School


Attachment is described as the long lasting psychological connection we have with a meaningful person that causes pleasure while interacting and soothes in times of stress. The attachment children have with their primary care giver can greatly impact on a child’s development, and has been linked to various aspects of positive functioning, such as psychological well-being. There is wide-ranging evidence that people with close social attachments are happier, healthier and live longer. Working out how we can promote meaningful attachments from infancy has great potential for our communities.

According to the Attachment Theory, there are four main types of attachment and as humans, we all hold the core beliefs of one of these attachment styles.  All staff at Woodfield Primary School are ‘attachment aware’ and adopt a developmentally sensitive informed approach, creating experiences for children that can shape, reshape and transform their developmental journey. We strive to promote emotional and social experiences for all of our children which give them the confidence to explore the world around them and begin to learn important skills for life. We do this by tailoring our teaching in order to meet the emotional needs of all children, whatever their attachment style may be. Staff are aware of what attachment behaviours may present themselves in a classroom environment and how best to effectively support and guide children in understanding and managing these feelings. We do not shame children for feeling any type of emotion but teach them that it is ok to feel a range of emotions including anger. However, what we do teach them is that in order to keep ourselves and others safe, we need to learn a range of techniques and strategies that we can use if these feelings do arise.


Research on the importance of attachment

  • Nurturing adult attachments provide children with protective, safe havens and secure bases from which to explore and engage with others and their environment (Bowlby 1988)
  • Early care-giving has a long-lasting impact on development, the ability to learn, capacity to regulate emotions and form satisfying relationships (Siegel 2012)
  • Attachment is crucial to children’s psychological welfare and forms the basis of personality development and socialisation (Bowlby 1988)
  • Teachers, youth workers and significant adults in a child’s life can provide important attachments for children (Bergin and Bergin 2009, Riley 2010)


At Woodfield Primary School we believe that positive relationships between adults and children are paramount. We teach our children that we are safe, consistent and trustworthy adults, who are reliable, approachable and who will listen. We provide excellent nurture and care for our children, valuing and respecting their opinions and beliefs through positive role modelling and quality interactions.


If you would like to know more about our ‘Attachment friendly Approach’ or would like to attend one of our parent ‘Attachment Aware’ courses, please ask at Reception.


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