Emotional Literacy Support Assistant


Hello and welcome to our school ELSA page!

We are pleased to be able to share information with you about Emotional Literacy Support. On this page we aim to post ideas and helpful advice on how you can help your child; for example, in areas such as empathy, self-esteem or perhaps to pick up some tips about calming techniques.

Parents and carers will also be able to find out about recommended books which may be useful and links to other websites for some self-help at home.

What is ELSA?

The ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) intervention was designed to build the capability of schools to support the emotional needs of their pupils.  It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning.

Our qualified ELSAs (Mrs Yellowley and Mrs Stancliffe) have been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in areas of social and friendships skills.

In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Transition/ change

How does ELSA work?

Children are referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, a senior leader or SENDCo.

The ELSA programmes run for 6-12 weeks and include support sessions to enable the pupil to develop new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively. The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. ELSA sessions take place in our ELSA room which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or therapeutic activities such as mindfulness or arts and craft. 

Every 8 weeks, ELSAs and the Inclusion Team meet with the Senior Leadership Team to discuss those already referred for ELSA support and others who may benefit from this.

Supporting - not fixing

ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What we do is provide emotional support to those who need it. We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where children are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.  For children with complex or long term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all of their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need.

The Educational Psychologist that works with our school ELSAs is able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases and may discuss referring a child with parents for further support. For children with complex or long-term needs school supports parents with referrals for specialist to CAMHS or other external support.

If you are concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of your child please discuss you concerns initially with your child's class teacher. Please also refer to the links found on our mental health and wellbeing page for further details.

Elsa.jpg     Helen.JPG

   Mrs Stancliffe                  Mrs Yellowley    

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