We are lucky enough to have two qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistants at Brooke Hill Academy, Mrs Paula Reeves and Mrs Rachel Sennett. 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.
There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others. 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
The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in our 'ELSA room' or in our 'Quiet room' which both provide a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.
In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:
How does ELSA work?
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders, SENCo or by parents request. The ELSAs meet each other regularly to discuss the referral forms and to identify and prioritise which children require the weekly sessions. They then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and ciping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
Supporting - not fixing
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What we can do is provide emotional support. We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need. Training and development of ELSAs is an on-going process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonable be expected of an ELSA. However we can sign post you to outside support that maybe more suitable in complex cases.
Drop in Sessions
We run Monday and Friday lunchtime drop in sessions.
The drop ins are lots of fun and do not require referrals, any child can pop along. We do activities such as art, craft, games to promote social skills and sometimes we listen to music! We encourage plenty of talking, listening, good manners and making new friends all while building on new skills to help the children with the challenges that they face at school.
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Brooke Hill Academy ELSA