ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
Welcome to our school ELSA page.
Here, parents and carers can access information about Emotional Literacy Support and its aims.
What is ELSA?
There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that affect their ability to engage with learning. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by Educational Psychologists to help schools support the emotional needs of students in their care. Research has shown that children are more able learn and feel happier in school if their emotional needs are met.
Our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA), Mrs Tims, has been trained by and, receives ongoing supervision from Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs.
ELSA support is about developing a respectful relationship in which the young person is enabled to think about their situation without judgement or criticism. Rather than teaching and telling them what to do, it is facilitating greater self-awareness in pupils and helping them to reach their own solutions and coping strategies. Sessions are designed to be fun using a range of activities including games, stories, mindfulness and arts and crafts.
ELSA work happens 1:1, but sometimes small group support may be more appropriate to support social and friendship skills. Sessions take place in our Rainbow Room providing a calm and safe place in which each child feels supported and nurtured.
ELSA aims to provide support in these areas of emotional needs:
Social skills, Anxiety, Self-esteem, Friendships and relationships, Anger Management and Loss and change
How does ELSA work?
Children needing additional support are referred by class teachers and each half term referrals are considered and prioritised. Based on the aims of the programme, sessions are then planned that help the child to develop specific new skills or coping strategies that can help them manage social and emotional demands more effectively. Programmes last between 6 and 12 weeks and are divided into one/two session per week.
ELSA – Supporting not fixing
It is intended as a short-term intervention to facilitate the development of specific skills or coping strategies. Remember change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly. For pupils with complex or long-term needs, it is unrealistic to expect ELSA to resolve all their difficulties.
Training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA, the supervising psychologist or the educational psychologist that usually works with the school will be able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.
As a parent/carer, how can you help?
By informing the class teacher if there are any issues that may be affecting your child. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or Mrs Tims if you have any concerns.
Childline is a counselling service for parents, children, and young people. Help and advice is free and confidential.
0808 802 5544
Parent email: email@example.com for general enquiries
YoungMinds is a charity committed to the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. It also offers parent advice.