We are lucky enough to have a qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant here at Wainscott Primary School, Mrs Worsfold.
WHAT IS AN ELSA?
An ELSA is a specialist with a wealth of experience of working with children. ELSAs are trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. An ELSA is a warm and caring person who wants to help your child feel happy in school and to reach their potential educationally. Their aim is to remove the barriers to learning and have happy children in school and at home.
The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is appropriate, especially in areas such as social skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: colouring, games, role-play and lots of arts and crafts, a chance for children to be creative. ELSA sessions take place in a “Quiet” room which will provide a calm, safe place for children to feel supported and nurtured. 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: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in our 'ELSA room' or in our 'Quiet room' which both provide 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 such as:
How does ELSA work?
Staff will raise a cause for concern form that is shared with parents and triaged by the Inclusion Team. All wellbeing interventions are discussed with parents and consent is agreed before beginning to deliver these to pupils.
Teachers/ Support Staff will complete a cause for concern form to identify the child’s primary need and areas of support that are needed. This form identifies the strategies of support the child has received to date through quality first teaching. Parents are informed to make them aware of the need. A discussion is then carried out with the Inclusion team and the next steps of a child’s support programme are planned and then shared with parents.
The ELSAs will then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies to allow them to manage their social and emotional needs more effectively.
Support- not fixing
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix the children’s problems. What they can do is provide emotional support. ELSAs aim to establish a warm, respectful and professional relationship with the child and provide a reflective place where they are able to share their thoughts and feelings.
It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context of the presenting difficulties. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all the children’s difficulties. Training and development of ELSA is on-going however, we can sign post you to outside support that maybe more suitable in complex cases.
If Parents, carers and young people want to access information regarding health and wellbeing then please contact our Wellbeing Lead – Rebecca Worsfold or Inclusion Lead.
ELSA Support is a website which provides downloadable resources that support the teaching of emotional literacy or emotional intelligence by ELSA’s. An ELSA in a school is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. There is a recognised ELSA training course aimed specifically at Teaching Assistants in schools. Examples of things covered on the course are social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, counselling skills such as solution focus and friendship.
A lot of the resources on this website are perfectly suitable for all teaching professionals to use and there is also a parent section with resources suitable for parents to use. The interventions are ready to go, all you need to do is print them out and deliver the lessons, they do work.
Many of these activities have formed part of the daily Rainbow Hour in school.
Coronavirus support provides free resources for teaching staff and parents to help children cope with the current viral outbreak.