St. John's CE Primary School

'With God All Things are possible'

Welcome to

St. John's CE Primary School

  1. Our School
  2. SEND
  3. ELSA



Hello and WELCOME to our school ELSA page!

Here at the St John’s CofE Primary School, we have one qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA), Mr Norbury.

If you have any queries, or would like to update Mr Norbury on any information that you think would be useful regarding your child’s ELSA sessions, please feel free to contact him via the following email address;

Mr Norbury has undertaken specific training and accreditation, delivered by Educational Psychologists, to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs.


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. Some children may have experienced trauma or bereavement that means they are not able to operate effectively at school with their friendships or learning and need additional support with their mental health and well-being.

We as a school recognise that children learn better and are more content when their emotional needs are being addressed and strive to meet these needs by providing a wide range of support.

The ELSA’s role is to support children and young people in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst respecting the feelings of those around them.

ELSA work can take place in a small group situation especially if the focus is on social or friendship skills but is usually delivered on an individual basis, which allows us to meet the specific needs of the child.

We have lots of fun in ELSA sessions and use a variety of different activities such as; playing games, role play, reading stories, drawing and colouring and crafts. ELSA sessions take place in our very own ‘ELSA 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
  • Self-esteem
  • Anger management
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Anxiety


How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred to ELSA by the Head teacher, their class teacher, Senior Leaders or the SENDCo. Parents can also refer their children to ELSA firstly by discussing this with the SENDCo or their class teacher and completing a parent referral form. (see below)

Once a child has been referred and a referral form completed the ELSA and SENDCo will prioritise the sessions.

Intervention will usually take place over 6- 8 weeks and we often begin by getting to know each other; sharing our interests, completing a child-friendly self assessment, establishing some rules and building a positive relationship.

After the intervention, the ELSA may complete short 5- 10 minute ‘check in’ sessions to continue the relationship that was built, recap on strategies that they have been given, allow the child to share what has been working well and they may want to mention any difficulties they may be having.

During these sessions, we may use Next Steps cards:

Next step is designed to support anyone who cares for children and young people. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, mental health professional or commissioner of health and social care services, Next Step is a tool that helps young people to communicate on their own terms, in their own environment.

Created by both young people and mental health experts, the colourful toolkit provides the perfect platform to enable safe and structured conversations with young people who may be struggling with their emotional health and wellbeing. 

Supporting - not fixing

Remember the ELSA is not there to fix children’s problems but to provide emotional support where possible. We aim to build warm and nurturing relationships with a pupil and provide a calm, reflective space to allow them to openly and honestly share their thoughts and feelings.

Pupil Voice!

Files to Download

 ELSA Parental REFERRAL.docx.docxDownload
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