There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others. Some children may have experienced trauma or bereavement that means they are not able to operate effectively at school with their friendships or learning and need additional support with their mental health and well-being.
We as a school recognise that children learn better and are more content when their emotional needs are being addressed and strive to meet these needs by providing a wide range of support.
The ELSA’s role is to support children and young people in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst respecting the feelings of those around them.
ELSA work can take place in a small group situation especially if the focus is on social or friendship skills but is usually delivered on an individual basis, which allows us to meet the specific needs of the child.
We have lots of fun in ELSA sessions and use a variety of different activities such as; playing games, role play, reading stories, drawing and colouring and crafts. ELSA sessions take place in our very own ‘ELSA room’ which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.
In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:
Children are usually referred to ELSA by the Head teacher, their class teacher, Senior Leaders or the SENDCo. Parents can also refer their children to ELSA firstly by discussing this with the Head teacher or their class teacher.
Once a child has been referred and a referral form completed the ELSA and Head teacher will prioritise the sessions.
Intervention will usually take place over 6- 8 weeks and we often begin by getting to know each other; sharing our interests, completing a child-friendly self assessment, establishing some rules and building a positive relationship.
After the intervention, the ELSA may complete short 5- 10 minute ‘check in’ sessions to continue the relationship that was built, recap on strategies that they have been given, allow the child to share what has been working well and they may want to mention any difficulties they may be having.
Remember the ELSA is not there to fix children’s problems but to provide emotional support where possible. We aim to build warm and nurturing relationships with a pupil and provide a calm, reflective space to allow them to openly and honestly share their thoughts and feelings.