What is ELSA?
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 met. Mrs H Smith is our qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant here at Waddesdon Village Primary School. She has been trained and is regularly supervised by educational psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to children who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun and are planned with the child in mind so that they are personal and special for each child. ELSA sessions take place in our ‘ELSA Room’ which 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:
How does ELSA work?
Children are referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, senior leader or on occasion the SENCO. We discuss the referral forms and identify and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for the next 6-12 weeks. With the programme set we 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.
Supporting NOT Fixing
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What they do is provide emotional support to those who need it. At Waddesdon Village Primary School we aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where children are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
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. Mrs Smith may discuss referring a child with parents for further support, through either CAMHs, the school nursing team or other external support.
If you are concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of your child, please discuss you concerns initially with your child's class teacher. Please also refer to the links found on our mental health and wellbeing page for further details.
So, what do the children say?
“This is the best part of the week!”
“I feel much better now.”
“We have so much fun together, it means a lot to me.”
"It really helped me so I think it would help other children."
"The room is very calming and Mrs S is very happy and helps with your worries a lot!"
What do the teachers say?
“… much more confident in his own abilities and able to encourage himself.”
“…big difference in self-esteem, able to talk more confidently in class.”
“…much happier in herself and has been engaging well in her learning.”
"...loved attending the sessions and is able to use strategies and can now vocalise and rationalise those fears."
Our ELSA Room