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 Akehurst, 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.
Most ELSA work happens on a 1:1 basis, but sometimes small group work may be more appropriate to support social and friendship skills. Sessions take place in our ELSA space 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:
Friendships and relationships
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 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 Akehurst 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Telephone: 08088 020 021
Helpline email: email@example.com
Crisis messenger (for urgent help) text WW to 85258
Winstons Wish offer bereavement advice and support to children and young people after the death of a parent or sibling. They also provide guidance on supporting a bereaved child and young person.
Beat offer information and support for people of all ages about eating disorders.
Adult Helpline 0808 801 0677
Studentline 0808 801 0811
Youthline 0808 801 0711
Under 18 firstname.lastname@example.org
Aimed at 8 -12 year olds, this app helps children understand their feelings and challenge negative thinking.
Dragon in the attic is a fun, replayable game, for 8 – 12 year olds about health and wellbeing choices.