Belmont is a member of the ELSA Network. ELSAs are Emotional Literacy Support Assistants who have received specific training from educational psychologists from whom they receive on going supervision following training. The ELSA role shouldn't be confused with behaviour management - ELSA time isn’t meant for sorting out incidents or telling children off! Nor is the ELSA there to ‘fix’ the child, rather they are there to provide emotional support.
ELSAs help children learn to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They provide the time and space for pupils to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them. Children are helped to find their own solutions rather than ELSAs telling them what to do. 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.
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher via the SENCo. Most ELSA programmes are for 6 -12 weeks with targets that are set and reviewed regularly. Each session has an objective - something the ELSA wants to help the child understand or achieve so they can develop new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
For the child, working with the ELSA is fun! It isn't a reward for bad behaviour, however by building a positive relationship with challenging children, the ELSA can help them think about and manage their behaviour.
For children with complex or long-term needs, ELSA support is not expected to resolve all their difficulties, therefore children may also be referred to other outside agencies such as the Educational Psychologist. Change is a long-term process that needs everyone’s help.
For more details of ELSA support at Belmont, please see the leaflet below. To find out more about the ELSA Network, please click on their logo below.