We are lucky enough to have a Wellbeing and Mental Health team in school; supported by an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) -Miss Eccles.
Miss Eccles helps children and young people to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. She provides a consistent private space, time and the opportunity for your children to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them.
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 Suite' which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.
An ELSA aims to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher. The Wellbeing Team meets regularly to discuss the referral forms and to identify and prioritise which children require the weekly sessions. They then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
Remember, the ELSA is not there to fix children's problems. Miss Eccles can provide emotional support and aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need. Training and development of ELSAs is an on-going process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonable be expected of an ELSA. However we can sign post you to outside support that may be more suitable in complex cases.
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