ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support for Children in School

What is an ELSA?

ELSAs are emotional literacy support assistants. Mrs Reddan and Mrs Lanfear have had special training from Educational Psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in school. ELSAs have regular professional supervision from Educational Psychologists to help them in their work. 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. ELSA sessions take place in our ELSA room, which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.


As ELSA’s we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:


-       recognising and understanding emotions

-       building self esteem 

-       social skills

-       friendship skills

-       anger and behaviour management 

-       Loss and bereavement 

-       transition/ change



How does ELSA work? 


A class teacher or SENDCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) refers children for ELSA support, and our trained ELSA staff  then identify and prioritise which children require in a weekly programme.  ELSA programmes run for 6-12 weeks, with regular support sessions to facilitate the development of new skills and coping strategies that allow a child to manage their social and emotional needs more effectively. 


Supporting - not fixing

Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What they do is provide emotional support to those who need it. They 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 alternative support may be offered, more appropriate to need.  Our ELSA assistants will liaise with parents to advise on this. 


If you are concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of your child, please discuss you concerns initially with your child's class teacher, or contact Interim Headteacher Mrs Rachael Boiling, or SENDCo Mrs Lucy Stevens.