What is an ELSA?
At Whissendine, we are fortunate enough to have two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA), Mrs Winn and Mrs Conen, who have both been trained by Educational Psychologists, to plan and deliver programmes to support children who experience temporary or long term additional emotional needs.
Emotional literacy is a child’s ability to recognise, understand, express and manage their emotions. It is recognised that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are addressed. Therefore, supporting them to become emotionally literate will help them to be happy, confident and resilient adults with positive mental health and wellbeing.
In ELSA sessions we aim to provide support for:
The majority of our sessions are on an individual basis, but sometimes small groups are more appropriate for social communication skills and friendship skills.
Taking place in our Nurture Room, these sessions are fun. They include playing games, role play with puppets, arts and crafts, a calming basket and social stories. This gives us a chance to build up a positive, respectful, caring relationship with the child. The child also has time to talk and be listened to, in a calm and nurturing environment.
Supporting – Not fixing
ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. They are there to provide emotional support.
How does ELSA work?
Initially, children are referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, senior leaders, SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator) or parent request.
The ELSAs meet with the SENDCo to discuss the referral forms and to prioritise which children require weekly sessions.
The ELSA then plans individual support sessions. These will help the child to develop coping strategies and develop new skills, to allow the child to manage their emotions.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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