We are lucky enough to have a qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant here at Wayfield Primary School, Mrs Clinton.
What is an ELSA?
An ELSA is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant trained by an educational psychologist. We have an ELSA at Wayfield Primary School, Mrs Clinton.
ELSAs aim to help to ensure that your children feels happy in school and are reaching their potential educationally by identifying and reducing any barriers to learning. ELSAs plan and deliver programmes to support pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. ELSAs help children and young people to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They provide a consistent safe space, time and the opportunity for your children to think about their personal circumstances and how to manage them.
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.
Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as colouring, games, puppets or arts and craft.
In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:
- Recognising and expressing emotions - Self- esteem
- Social skills
- Friendship skills
- Anger management
- Loss and bereavement
- Anxiety and worries
- Coping skills and strategies
How does ELSA work?
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by the class teacher, Senior Leaders, SENCo or by parents request and then triaged by the Senior Leaders team,
All interventions are discussed with parents and consent is agreed before beginning to deliver to these pupils.
Teachers will complete a referral form to identify the child’s primary need and areas that need supporting.
ELSAs then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
Supporting - not fixing
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. What we can do is provide emotional support. We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with the pupil and provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
It needs to be appreciated the change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues.
For children with complex or long-term needs is unrealistic to expect ELSA interventions to resolve all the difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a childs need. Training and development of ELSA is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could be reasonably be expected from an ELSA. However we can signpost you to outside support that may be more suitable in complex cases.
Some useful local and national contacts that can give you support and advice if needed.