ELSA support in schools is a project designed to help schools support the emotional needs of their pupils. ELSA acknowledges that children and young people learn best when they feel happier and their emotional needs are being addressed..
A lot of work that ELSAs do will be on an individual basis with one child, however, there are cases where group sessions may be appropriate such as when working on social skills and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, using a range of activities such as: games, role-play or therapeutic activities such as mindfulness or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in a calm, safe space so the child feels supported and nurtured.
Sessions will typically happen once a week across the length of half a term to a term and last between half an hour and an hour. Not all changes will happen quickly, and one programme may not be able to meet all the needs that a child has. So when planning the work that will go into a programme ELSAs need to be aware of what aims they want to target.
ELSA help pupils to find their own solutions to the emotion issues mentioned above. The ELSA isn’t there to ‘fix’ the child. For pupils with complex or long-term needs, it’s unrealistic to expect ELSA support to resolve all their difficulties. Change is a long-term process that needs everyone’s help and may need to be repeated.
Children who need help and support with any of the following:
- Social Skills
- Loss & Bereavement
- Social Situations
- Therapeutic Stories
- Anger Management
- Real-life problem-solving skills
- Friendship & Relationships
- Recognising emotions
- Bullying & Conflict