ELSA Support

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Hello and WELCOME to our school ELSA page!

Here at the Magdalen Primary School we have one qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA), Mrs Smith.

If you have any queries, or would like to update Mrs Smith on any information that you think would be useful regarding your child’s ELSA sessions, please feel free to contact her via the following email address; [email protected]

Mrs Smith has undertaken specific training and accreditation, delivered by Educational Psychologists, to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs.

What is ELSA?

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:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Self-esteem
  • Anger management
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Anxiety

How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred to ELSA by the Headteacher, their class teacher, Senior Leaders or the SENDCo. Parents can also refer their children to ELSA firstly by discussing this with the Headteacher 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.

Supporting- not fixing

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.

Pupil Voice!

‘‘I enjoyed ELSA with Mrs Smith. It made me feel safe, relaxed and calm. It helped me control my feelings and sadness about losing my grandad. Mrs Smith really helped me.’’

‘‘ELSA has helped me with my angriness and calming down.’’

‘‘I liked ELSA because I liked making new friends and I learnt what I was good at.’’

‘‘I enjoyed the ELSA group because we shared our emotions with each other and now I trust my friends in the group.’’

‘‘I really enjoy the sessions and Mrs Smith is nice and kind and makes me happy.’’

‘‘I liked the ELSA group because I learnt to be confident and being confident is helping me make new friends and I trust more people too.’’

“ELSA has made me more social and less angry. I now know how to calm down when I get angry.”

A Peek Inside…

Welcome to the ELSA room!

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Mrs Smith’s Favourite Tools to Use

Bee-Linda Mindful story from ELSA network

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Star Breathing

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Mozzy the worry monster

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Bubble Breathing

ELSA Support’s 20 Relaxation Cards

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Cosmic Kids

Mindfulness, yoga, calming, adventure stories and more...