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.
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.
In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:
Loss and bereavement
How does ELSA work?
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders
or on occasion the SENCo. Every half term we meet to discuss and to identify
and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for the next 6-8 weeks.
With the programme aims in mind 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 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 their difficulties, however support will be designed
to target specific aspects of a child's need. Training and development of ELSAs
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.