ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
Who are the trained ELSAs at St Simon and St Jude?
Higham on the Hill currently has 2 trained and qualified ELSAs: Ms Ecob and Mrs Catesby-Potts.
What they do?
Mrs Ecob and Mrs Catesby-Potts have undertaken an agreed period of study and gained a national recognised qualification with Educational Psychologists from the local authority. They have regular supervision meetings with an Educational Psychologist not only to monitor progress and support the work that is completed in the school setting by ELSAs, but also who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need that are being or have been experienced by children at this school. ELSAs by nature are kind and caring individuals who want children to do well educationally but also emotionally, when this is achieved a child is able to reach their full potential and go on to be a contributing member of society. When a child is happy at home and at school they can make others feel their happiness, this will help them overcome any barriers to learning that children may have, which unlocks a child’s potential.
ELSAs are able to help with wide-ranging problems and situations which include:
Loss and bereavement
Emotions and how they make us feel
A snapshot of how an ELSA can help
A child who struggles to make and maintain friendships - the child will be guided through their session either on a one to one basis or in a group session on what a good friend looks like, tips on the best way to make friends, how to treat their friends and how they should be treated by them.
A very angry child - The ELSA will take the child through an anger management intervention to help them recognise their anger triggers, techniques to avoid those triggers and calming down techniques.
A family pet has died - ELSAs are trained in bereavement and understand that the loss of a pet is probably the first experience of death for your child. They will work with your child to help them feel supported in school.
What happens in an ELSA session?
When a child is working with one of our ELSAs their sessions will have been planned in order to suit your child and able to work with their needs. In both one to one sessions and in group sessions that are run by our ELSAs, your child will have an emotional check in (a chance for your child to have their feelings validated and be able to discuss how and why they feel the way they do. An activity where your child will work towards a learning objective, this could be something that they could not do before the session or have been working towards over a few sessions, then end with relaxation exercise so that they feel emotionally able to return to class after what has been discussed and worked on.
Some children may have one course of ELSA sessions and some children may have more than one course, this all depends on the child and the school can help them to succeed.