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Spring Meadow

Primary School

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What is an ELSA and how does the ELSA support children in school?


Ms. M Gois, Mrs S. Morris and Miss D. Lord are our school ELSAs and they work supporting children across the school in a number of different ways. This page of the website lets parents know a little more information about the job that they do in school.


What is an ELSA?

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.


Our ELSAs are qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants here at Spring Meadow Primary School. They have been trained 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 work is delivered on an individual basis but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in areas of social and friendship skills. ELSA sessions take place in our ELSA room which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.


We aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Recognising and understanding emotions and feelings
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Self esteem
  • Anger management
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Relaxing techniques



How does ELSA work?

Children are referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, senior leader or SENCo.  We then identify and prioritise which children require support and define the area to be planned and strategically supported to facilitate the pupil in developing new coping skills.  The sessions take place once a week . ELSA programmes run for 6-12 weeks.


Supporting – Not fixing

Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. What they do is provide emotional support for those who need it. They aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where children are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.


For children with complex or long term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all of their challenges, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child’s need. Our ELSAs may discuss with parents, referring a child for further support, through the school SENCo or other external agencies.