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St Michael With St John Church of England Controlled Primary School home page

St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

ELSA Support in School

Our Vision


Our mission statement is firmly based upon on our belief that, 

‘with God all things are possible’.


This is encapsulated in our motto, Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!



Here at St Michael with St John, we strive to inspire and raise aspirations for all our children.


Emotional literacy is a fundamental basis for our children to thrive and grow.  The wellbeing and education of the whole child is something we are extremely proud to offer.


We are fortunate to have an in-house ELSA Support, (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) who has a wealth of experience of working with children.


Our ELSA support is Mrs Hester, who is trained to support children in the development of emotional literacy and is supported by BwD Educational Psychology team, regularly attending supervision sessions throughout the year.


The aim of ELSA support is to teach children to be comfortable with all the emotions they feel and to make a significant contribution in supporting children with their emotional wellbeing.

This is achieved by nurturing children and encouraging them to be proud of who they are and support them to grow in confidence to achieve to their best of their abilities.


What is emotional literacy?


  • Understanding and coping with the feelings of ourselves and others
  • Developing high self-esteem and positive interactions with others
  • Being emotionally literate helps children focus better on their learning


Some of the areas the ELSA may work on:


  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Emotions
  • Friendship Skills
  • Anger management
  • Relationships
  • Anxiety
  • Loss and bereavement


ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems; they provide emotional support, encourage new skills and introduce coping strategies that allow children to manage their social and emotional demands more effectively.


How does ELSA work?


Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher but parents may request ELSA support for their child. Most children referred for ELSA will have sessions every week 1:1 or in a small group. Most ELSA programmes will last between six to twelve weeks, helping the child to learn new specific skills or coping strategies but most of all it is a chance for them to talk and a chance for us to listen.


Smart targets are set for each child who receives ELSA support. Each session will have an objective that the ELSA wants the child to understand or achieve. By setting targets for the children, and by formulating a baseline from which we can work from, we are able to measure the impact of our ELSA. These measure can be linked with attendance, improvement with disruption in class, behaviour system management (yellow and red cards) or improvement in their attainment and attitude in class. This monitoring is achieved through our CPOMs system as well as speaking with staff and parents.


The learning environment is key in helping the child feel comfortable, safe and calm. Therefore, ELSA sessions take place in The Woodlands classroom. This environment is language rich and provide a calm and relaxing space.


The Sessions are fun, using a range of activities such as: games, puppets or therapeutic activities such as mindfulness or arts and craft.


As well as children being able to attend ELSA support we also offer a time for children to share any worries or concerns that may have on their mind through our ‘Worry box’. This is positioned outside the Owls classroom in the corridor and children can pick up post cards to record their anxious thoughts. Children can find these soothing because they:


  • Give them a physical way of getting rid of their worries so they don’t need to carry them around anymore.
  • Makes them feel safer by having someone else holding their thoughts for them
  • Gives them a way of communicating in an easier way them approaching a member of staff verbally
  • Helps children externalize their anxieties or worries
  • Helps them to understand their thoughts and feelings and gives them some control
  • Know that a member of staff will come to them and offer support around their feelings


Telling children not to worry, squashes their feelings. It’s more helpful for them to have something they can actively do to process it.


If a child feels happy, safe and secure they will learn and achieve

ELSA activities for you and your child - please see the links and documents below.

Click on the star to see the activities.