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ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support

ELSA Support


Hello and welcome to our school ELSA page!

We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about Emotional Literacy Support on the school website. On this page, we aim to post ideas and helpful advice on how you can help your child; for example in areas such as empathy, self-esteem or perhaps to pick up some tips about calming techniques. Parents and carers will be able to find out about recommended books, which may be useful and links to other websites for some self-help at home.

Mr Rowland and Mrs K Williams

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 will. 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 tended to.

We are lucky enough to have two qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants at Ysgol Y Grango. They have undertaken training by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer-term additional emotional needs. 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. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in our very own ‘ELSA room’, which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.

In ELSA, we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs such as:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement

How does ELSA work?

ELSA Support

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their pastoral team, Senior Leaders or by the school ALNCo. Each half term we meet with Ysgol y Grango ALNCo, Mrs Smith to discuss the referral forms and to identify and prioritise children who we feel will benefit from ELSA intervention. Once identified, this intervention will incorporate an individually tailored weekly programme lasting approximately 6-8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind, we 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.

PDF icon Download ELSA Leaflet

Parent Partnership

Parent Partnership is a free service, delivered by Wrexham Citizens Advice. It offers confidential, impartial and non-judgemental, support for parents who have children with SEN or learning difficulties.

The service offers reassurance, guidance and mediation and encourages parents to work with Schools and look at realistic expectations resulting in a positive outcome.

All parents who contact the service will receive an information sheet detailing a simple guide on procedures carried out by school.

Parent Partnership also holds a Support Group that runs in conjunction with a parent ASD Group, and which is held every Friday from 9.15am- 11.15am at Dean Road, Wrexham, LL13 9EF.

For more information please contact Zoe Holman on 01978 358526 or email parentsupport@wrexhamcab.cabnet.org.uk