All Saints' CE Federation

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Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA)

What is the ELSA programme?


ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) is an educational psychology led intervention which aims to promote the emotional well being of children and young people. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. 



ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists who apply psychological knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to particular areas of need and to specific casework.


We have one  qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (Mrs Lloyd) who undertook their training in Spring 2019.  This year, three teaching assistants and Mrs Arnold will be completing the training to become ELSA.


Why do we run the ELSA programme?


We established the ELSA programme as we wanted to provide qualified support to our children who would benefit from :


  • emotions;
  • manage their anger and stress levels;
  • develop their self-esteem;
  • develop their social and friendship skills
  • learning to cope after loss or breavement.


ELSA support is much more than having a friendly chat with an anxious child. It is also much more than problem-solving some difficulties a young person is having.


ELSA support is about developing a respectful relationship in which the young person is enabled to think about their situation without feeling judged or criticised. It is intended to be short-term purposeful support, usually to help develop new skills or coping strategies that enable the pupil to experience greater success.


Who runs the ELSA programme at All Saints'?


Our trained ELSA is:


  • Mrs. Bethan Lloyd


Mrs. Lloyd works closely with the school's Educational Pyschologist (Michelle Longdon) who provides supervision and regular reviews of practice.


How often do our ELSAs work with a pupil?


Normally ELSAs plan to meet with a pupil weekly. Half an hour to an hour is often a good length of time for a session. It allows time to

  • check how the child is;
  • review what was done last time to find out what the child has remembered or what may need to be revisited;
  • to focus on the new session objective using interesting games or activities
  • to have a rounded ending that prepares the pupil for their return to class


How long should ELSA involvement last?


Most programmes last for half a term to a term. The programme always has a specific focus. Once the programme aims have been met, it may be appropriate to move from a planned programme to some informal follow-up support while the youngster generalises new learning into the wider school context. This maintenance support would involve seeing the pupil less frequently or more briefly than during the programme itself.


Some pupils may at a later date receive a further period of intervention with different programme aims.



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