What is an ELSA?
- ELSA’s are specifically trained and regularly supervised by the Educational Psychologists in the Local Education Authority.
- An ELSA can help children with loss and bereavement, self-esteem, social skills, emotions, relationships, anger management, behaviour, anxiety, bullying, conflict, relaxation techniques and counselling skills such as solution focus and friendship.
- An ELSA gives children coping strategies or ways of changing their thinking pattern in order to support children to be able to self regulate their emotions and behaviour.
- An ELSA can give the child time to feel listened to and valued
What is ELSA
- Emotional literacy is the ability to express our emotions and feelings using speech and other forms of communication. It’s an important skill that children must develop from a young age to help establish a stable relationship with their own emotions.
- ELSA is an intervention designed to help schools support the emotional and SEMH needs of their pupils within their own resources.
- ELSA sessions are bespoke to the child’s/ children’s needs
- Sessions can be done 1:1 or within a group
- Sessions should be one 30-45 mins a week
- The intervention could last initially for 6 weeks but some children may be offered it for 12 weeks.
- Where possible ELSA should be in the same place each week and be consistent.
What does a session look like?
An emotional check in: This is an opportunity to talk about feelings
Warm up activity: A fun activity to help children relax
Main activity: A planned activity to set learning objective
Relaxation: A relaxation activity or exercise to get help support the child to be ready to go back to class such as bonding through play.
- The space is welcoming
- Decorated for multi-purpose
- A private space where we can work without disruption
- Cater for all needs and ages
- Anyone can refer a child that they think would benefit from ELSA work including parents by contacting the school and speaking to pastoral team, Miss Bassindale, Mrs Ebbs, Mrs Forshaw and Mrs Savage.
- ELSA along side our Pastoral Leader prioritise children accessing the intervention based on their need, circumstances of the individual, if outcomes can be met and if there is a time limit. (e.g. a child that is coming to the end of year 6)
- Children may be put on a waiting list if there is not space for them to take part in the intervention immediately
- Relevant information is gathered from, parents, teachers, pastoral support and SENCO to feed into the intervention ensuring it is bespoke to each individual child.
- The ELSA will match up the child’s assessment needs and make 6 objective based on information gathered
- Objectives are based on information gathered from pre-assessment.
- A different objective is set at the end of each session on the basis that after the session the child has met the target outcome
- Activities and games are made to work towards meeting the target outcome.
Useful resources and links
- Resources for Emotional Literacy Support Assistants – ELSA Support (elsa-support.co.uk)
- Social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) programme in secondary schools: national evaluation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Active Listening – YouTube
- Brené Brown on Empathy vs Sympathy – YouTube
- Harlow’s Studies on Dependency in Monkeys – YouTube
- The Bobo Doll Experiment – Albert Bandura on Social Learning – YouTube
- Homepage – Katie’s ClassroomKatie’s Classroom (katiesclassroom.com)
- The Social Skills Handbook: Practical Activities for Social Communication: Amazon.co.uk: Hutchings, Sue, Comins, Jayne, Offiler, Judy: 9780863883682: Books
- Mylemarks | Therapy Resources For Kids and Teens – HOME
- Inclusive Solutions | Inclusive Education Courses (inclusive-solutions.com)
- Book – The boy, The mole, The fox and The horse by Charlie Mackesy
Thoughts to remember
Each child is unique and different