Earlier in the week, we invited families to donate to our Help for Ukraine appeal, working alongside Mansfield’s Polish School. The response from our wonderful community was just phenomenal. Huge thanks to everyone who was able to help in some way. The donated items will make their way to the Ukrainian families this week. We are truly grateful to you all.

If you missed this opportunity to show your support to the people of Ukraine, don’t worry. As a school, we will be supporting CAFOD’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. If you would like to make a donation, please send this to school from next week; we will then ensure all funds are sent to CAFOD, who will use your donations to provide food, water, healthcare, shelter and clothing to those affected.


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.



Mrs Brizzolara has a new job! Fortunately, she still works here at St. Philip Neri with St. Bede but in a new role, as our Child & Family Support Worker. Mrs Brizzolara is here to help families who may need support or advice with employment, may be worried about finances, are concerned about their child’s development, or need some guidance with key parenting skills such as managing behaviour, morning and bedtime routines, developing language, toilet training, healthy eating and hygiene. In turn, Mrs Brizz works directly with the children too. It might be to discuss friendship issues, or to boost their wellbeing. It might also be to talk about any worries or fears, their engagement and performance in lessons, or to perhaps just be that person to provide some comfort when feeling unhappy.

Mrs Brizzolara will be in school each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and will continue to lead our Forest School. She’ll be on the gate at the start of each day so please do speak to her if you feel she could help you or your child in any way.