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ELSA Support


Introducing ELSA sessions at St John Fisher Catholic Primary School

Three members of school staff have recently completed training in the role of Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA).  ELSAs are part of a nationwide network of Teaching Assistants who are trained to develop and deliver an individualised support programme/intervention to meet the emotional needs of selected children.  It is well known that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also met. ELSAs are trained and regularly supported by educational psychologists (EP’s), who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need experienced by pupils.


Why might my child be offered ELSA sessions?

Usually a child will be suggested for ELSA support by their class teacher or another member of staff who knows them well.  This could be for a wide range of reasons. There may have been a loss in the family or other difficult situation. Sometimes it might be because they are struggling at school, or could benefit from some social skills support. ELSA can also support increasing self-esteem, team building, friendships, social skills, anger management or understanding emotions. These are just some examples as there are many social or emotional reasons why your child may benefit from this tailored support. 

N.B. Although ELSAs are skilled in their techniques, more complex issues will continue to be dealt with either by our School Counsellor or an Educational Psychologist subject to their very limited availability.


What happens in ELSA sessions?

Usually your child will be offered 1:1 sessions (although group sessions can be provided depending on the reason for the support).  The sessions will be led by a trained ELSA and six sessions are usually offered. As parents or carers you will always be notified if your child has been referred for ELSA, and your consent will be needed before the sessions begin.  There will be an opportunity to ask any questions and speak directly to the ELSA if necessary.


What will my child gain from their ELSA sessions?

Being offered ELSA sessions is intended to be a positive experience for the child.  It is part of our school commitment to support the whole child including their emotional and well-being.   Supporting them to gain in confidence and feel happier in themselves is an important contributor to them thriving in school.  The support will be provided by a trained ELSA during school hours. 


If you have any queries about ELSA and or would like your child to be considered for the programme then please email