ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
Mrs Smith is Gretton Primary's dedicated ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant). 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.
The ELSAs role is to support children and young people in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst also respecting the feelings of those around them. Mrs Smith has been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver intervention programmes to support pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. 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. ELSA sessions take place in our very own 'ELSA room' that 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 and feelings
- Social skills
- Friendship skills
- Anger management
- Loss, bereavement and separation
Supporting - not fixing
It is important to remember that ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. In most cases we can't. What ELSAs 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. In our ELSA role we use basic counselling skills to guide conversations. We avoid rushing in with suggested solutions and instead assist the pupil to reflect on their concerns and lead them to explore possible strategies and solutions for themselves.