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Droxford Junior School


We have just appointed Mrs Mitchell to our team who will provide ELSA activities whilst she undertakes the year-long training.

Hello and welcome to Droxford’s ELSA page. Here you will find some information about what ELSA is and how it works. We have also recommended a few resources which you may like to use at home to support your child.

An Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) is a specialist teaching assistant who has been trained by educational psychologists to support children experiencing emotional or social difficulties. The ELSA programme recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. ELSAs can help children learn to understand their emotions better and respect the feelings of those around them. They can provide time and space for children to think about the challenges they face and how they might manage them.

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher – with parents being consulted as part of this process. The referral will identify a key area to focus on and one or two realistic targets for the child to work towards. When a slot becomes available, children will meet with our ELSA for 30 – 45 minutes each week for a period of 6-12 weeks. It is important to note that ELSA is not an ongoing programme of support although there may be occasions when we are able to offer more than one programme to a child.

Sessions are designed to be enjoyable and fun and may take the form of games, craft, role-play, cartoon strips, videos and puppets depending on the child’s preferences. Some programmes are delivered individually and some in a small group where children can learn from each other’s experiences. All sessions take place in the Rainbow Room, a calm and welcoming space.

Any child who may have temporary or longer-term emotional needs. These could be related to:

· understanding and regulating emotions
· social skills
· friendships
· self-esteem, confidence, positive thinking
· anxiety
· anger
· loss, bereavement and family separation

Please remember that ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. What we can do is provide emotional support and equip them with some skills to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share their thoughts and feelings honestly.
It is important to understand that change cannot be achieved rapidly and is dependent on the context and complexity of a child’s issues. Some concerns may require more specialist support.

Although there is a huge amount of information related to this area, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few links and books we like and use (see below)