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Chandler's Ford Infant School




Hello and welcome to our school ELSA page!

We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about Emotional Literacy Support on the school website. On this page we aim to post ideas and helpful advice on how you can help your child; for example in areas such as empathy, self-esteem or perhaps to pick up some tips about calming techniques. Parents and carers will be able to find out about recommended books which may be useful and links to other websites for some self-help at home.

Mrs Byrne



What is ELSA?


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.


Here at Chandlers Ford Infants School we have an ELSA, Mrs Byrne. She has been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of the ELSA work will be delivered in individual sessions but sometimes group sessions might be more appropriate. Sessions are fun, using a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in The Linden Room which provides 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:


Recognising emotions
Social skills
Friendship skills

Anger management
Loss and bereavement


How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders or on occasion the SENCo. Every half term there will be a meeting with Miss Holmes to discuss the referral forms and to identify and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for the next 6-8 weeks or more if required.  With the programme aims in mind we then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping 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 an ELSA can do is provide emotional support.

The aim is 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 ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. The Educational Psychologist that works with our school would be able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.

Recommended Reads:


The Invisible String


This is a lovely story about an invisible string connecting all people 

who love one can feel it in your heart and so can they.  

The message in the story is perfect for dealing with loss, moving home, friendship issues, family worries and bedtime fears.

The following is an activity you can do at home alongside the story:

Fold an A4 sheet of paper in half, on one side draw a large heart which represents the child. On the other side draw as many hearts to represent any people or pet's they are missing. Then link them together with the 'invisible string'

The Huge Bag Of Worries

 This is a story about a little girl that carries hers and others worries around with her in a big blue bag, everywhere she goes. The book encourages children to let go of their fears. This is an effective way of helping children to visualise something that is emotional and hard to describe.