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ELSA (Meerkats)

Usually a Class Teacher will refer a child who they feel may benefit from Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) Support.  Support may be given on a 1:1 basis or in a small group.  The ELSA and Class Teacher will set goals for the child which may be achieved in half a term or may take longer.

Sessions, which are about 30 minutes long, take place in the Meerkats room and are fun and light hearted.

The activities are very practical and involve lots of games.  Once the goals have been achieved it may be decided to stop the sessions and allow time for the child to consolidate and generalise the skills.

We focus on

Self- Esteem
Friendship Skills
Social Skills
Loss and Bereavement
Anger Management
Behaviour Management
An ELSA supports children in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst respecting the feelings of those around them.

An ELSA is a specialist teaching assistant with a wealth of experience of working with children.

An ELSA is trained and regularly supervised by the Educational Psychologists in their Local Education Authority.

An ELSA is an empathic and caring person who wants to help children feel happy and secure in school in order that they reach their full education potential.  Their aim is to remove the barriers to learning and to have happy well balanced children both in school and at home.

Individual Session

The ELSA will plan the sessions for the children carefully.  The session will consist of several parts.

Emotional Check In - This is an opportunity to talk about their feelings.

Main Activity- The ELSA will plan an activity to suit the child’s needs.  This is usually an ‘I can’ statement such as ‘I can tell you about my strengths’ (a self-esteem objective).  The ELSA will encourage the child to talk about their talents or personal characteristics such as ‘kind’, ‘caring’ and ‘helpful’ or ‘brave’.

Group Session

On occasion and where appropriate, the children will participate in group sessions.  These sessions will allow the children to share their experiences (if they choose) and work with other children who are facing similar situations.  Typically, the session will consist of an informal group activity and/or game. Children will be asked to contribute (if they feel able) and talk about themselves.

Emotional Check In - This will be an opportunity to talk about and share their feelings with others.

Main Activity - This will be similar to the individual session but the student will be encourage to work with other children.  This will help cooperation, social skills, friendship and gives a sense of belonging.  A learning objective will be set for the group which they will all be able to answer at the end of the sessions.

Typical Problems

The Angry Child - The ELSA will take the child through an anger management intervention to help them recognise their anger triggers.  The ELSA will help the child  develop ways to avoid those triggers and introduce calming techniques which can be used at any time.

The Loss of a Loved One 
ELSA’s are trained in bereavement and understand that the loss of someone you love may be the first experience of death for the child.  They will work with the child to help them feel supported in school.