ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
An ELSA is a specialist teaching assistant who is trained to support children develop their social and emotional skills. At Moorhill Primary School, our ELSA’s, not only support, but motivate our children to develop their skills, while providing children with a safe space. An ELSA is not there to solve the child’s problems but to provide the necessary tools for the child to feel empowered enough to solve their own.
ELSA sessions are either 1:1 or in a small group. These sessions are designed to be fun and engaging for the children. Sessions include games, art and craft activities, colouring, talking and listening, role play, puppets and stories. During their sessions, an ELSA may support a child in:
- Emotional Awareness
- Emotional Regulation
- Loss and bereavement
- Social skills and friendships
- Growth Mindset
The impact of ELSA is evident, not only on the playground but in the classroom, where children are engaging in their learning. Each classroom is equipped with a Regulation Station for the children to use to aid regulation, should they feel the need. The purpose of the stations is to provide the children with a safe and calm place to go if they feel dysregulated.
What do the children say about ELSA?
At Moorhill Primary School, children look forward to their ELSA session. Children who have attended ELSA sessions, never want their sessions to end and always have something positive to say about their experience. These are just a few of the comments that children have shared:
- taught me to believe in myself.
- given me the strength to ask for help.
- given me strategies to use to help me control my anger.
- helped me become more confident and taught me that it is okay to ask for help.
- taught me the importance of kindness.
- taught me how to recognise different emotions.
- helped me calm down when I was feeling angry.
- shown me how to use my growth mindset.
- helped me with my mental health.
- taught me that we are all amazing, we are kind, and we are helpful.
- ELSA makes me feel happy. We colour and talk about the feeling monsters.
- In ELSA we play with the conversation cubes, and they help me calm down when I am angry. Last week I made an ice cream out of clay.
- I really enjoy ELSA; we make lots of things and it helps you with your emotions. My favourite part is colouring and making feeling monsters.
- At ELSA I get to play with Nom Nom the Worry Monster, and we get to make our own feeling monsters. I like spending time at ELSA. My favourite part of ELSA is listening to the stories.
- I like ELSA because there is a worry monster called Nom Nom and when I feel angry, I hug him, and he makes me feel better.
For further information About ELSA – ELSA Network
Find out more: https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/