All about ELSA…

What is an ELSA? 

An ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) is a specialist teaching assistant with a wealth of experience of working with children. ELSAs are trained and regularly supervised by Educational Psychologists. An ELSA is a warm and caring person, who wants to help your child feel happy in school and to reach their potential educationally. Their aim is to remove the barriers to learning and to have happy children in home and at school. 

Who are the ELSAs in our school?

Mrs Hufton and Mrs Hunt are our wonderful ELSAs.

What can ELSAs help with?

Some of the common issues ELSAs support children with include:

Loss and bereavement; self-esteem;  social skills; emotions; friendship issues; relationships; anger management; behaviour; anxiety; conflict and relaxation techniques.

How are ELSA sessions structured?

An Individual Session:

The ELSA will plan their session for your child very carefully. The session consists of several parts.

Emotional check-in:

This is an opportunity to talk about feelings.

Main Activity: 

The ELSA will plan the activity to a particular learning objective. This will be something your child will be able to by the end of the session that they cannot do now. The ELSA will encourage your child to talk about their talents or personal characteristics, such as ‘kind’, ‘caring’, ‘helpful’ or ‘brave’. The child will then make something to reinforce these strengths.


You child may be taught a relaxation exercise to help get them ready to return to class.


A Group Session: 

The ELSA will plan their sessions very carefully. The session consists of several parts. The fist two parts are delivered as ‘circle time’ activities where children sit in a circle and take turns to speak.

Emotional check-in: 

This is an opportunity for the group to talk about feelings.

Warm-up Activity: 

A fun game or activity is played with the group to help relax the children and ease them into the session.

Main Activity: 

This is similar to the Individual Session but your child will be encouraged to work with other children. This helps develop co-operation, social skills, friendships and provides children with a greater sense of belonging. A Learning Objective is set for the group of children, which they will be able to answer at the end of the session.


The group may be taught a relaxation exercise to help them get ready to return to class.

How Do I Find Out More? 

Talk to your child’s Class Teacher in the first instance or make an appointment to meet with our SENCo, Mrs Phillips.