BerkswichCE Primary School

Achieve, Believe and Care

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Emotional Literacy Support Assistants


ELSA’s are Emotional Literacy Support Assistants who support the social and emotional needs of children and young people. Mrs Newman has qualified as an ELSA and uses this qualification in school to support pupils.  ELSA is a preventative, whole school approach that embeds the programme at a systemic level so that schools can better meet the needs of vulnerable children and young people from within their own resources.  The training is prepared and hosted by Summit Psychology.


Furthermore, ELSA’s can support the school’s preparations for the implementation of the DfE Statutory Relationships Education and RSE in September 2020.  The draft guidance (February 2019) specifically alludes to the promotion of psychological well-being, self-regulation and building self-efficacy. 

ELSA training aims to support practitioners in developing the emotional literacy and overall resiliency of vulnerable children and young people; this has included training on Attachment, Trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Emotion Coaching.

ELSA’s are trained to plan and deliver programmes of support for pupils in their school or setting.  The training and continual supervision is delivered by a specialist Educational Psychologist and covers the following topics;


  • Attachment Aware and Trauma Informed ELSAs
  • ELSA and Emotional Literacy in Schools
  • Building Resilience and Self-Esteem: Part 1
  • Building Resilience and Self-Esteem: Part 2
  • Understanding Feelings, Social, and Friendship Skills
  • Story Work, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Puppet Work, Active Listening and Reflective Conversations
  • Emotion Coaching  ELSAs


Following the training ELSA’s carry out regular sessions with individual pupils or small groups if this is appropriate.  ELSA’s also develop programmes of support that are matched specifically to individual pupil needs and monitor interventions using appropriate tools for evaluating the impact of interventions for children with SEMH needs.  These are then shared with other staff about how best to support pupils in school.


Mandatory supervision continues throughout the academic year support by a specialist Educational Psychologist.