ELSA (EMOTIONAL LITERACY SUPPORT)
Hello and welcome to our school's ELSA page. We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about our Emotional Literacy Support. On this page, we aim to post ideas and helpful advice on how you can help your child in areas such as empathy, self-esteem or perhaps pick up some tips about calming techniques. Parents and carers will be able to find out about recommended books or websites which may be useful for some self-help at home.
IN ELSA WE AIM TO PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR A WIDE RANGE OF EMOTIONAL NEEDS:
Loss and Bereavement
Family illness or separation.
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. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.
We are lucky enough to have two qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants at Melbourne Primary School. Mrs Cooper and Miss Lakin have been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. Sessions are fun! A range of activities are used such as: games, role-play, arts or crafts.The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but occasionally, some group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills.
HOW DOES ELSA WORK?
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, SENCO (Miss Cheshire), Headteacher (Mrs Fielding and Mrs Foxton), Deputy Headteacher (Mrs Brosenitz), Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mrs Fielding) or outside agencies working with families in the community. With children's needs in mind, Mrs Cooper and/or Miss Lakin then plans support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
SUPPORTING - NOT FIXING
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What we can do is provide emotional support. We 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 of their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need. Training and development of an ELSA is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. The Educational Psychologist that works with our school would be able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.
HELPFUL ADVICE FOR PARENTS
This book is excellent if you have a child that worries. It’s simple break down of what children should do with worries and colourful illustrations make this book perfect for a 'bedtime read'.
Is your child having problems with self-esteem? Follow this link which gives some useful advice to parents:
Help with those ‘hot feelings’- some tips and useful information for parents/guardians about managing anger in children. Clink here.