ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support
Hello and welcome to our school ELSA page!
We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about the ELSA programme - Emotional Literacy Support . 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 Carol McCarthy is our school ELSA mentor
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.
ELSA sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or therapeutic activities such as mindfulness or arts and craft. 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:
Loss and bereavement
So what do the children think?!
On completion of their ELSA programme, we ask the children to reflect on their experiences and to kindly leave us some feedback. Here are some of the lovely comments we receive:
"It makes me feel happy and comfortable talking about my feelings".
"It makes me feel looked after like there is someone always there for me".
"It's five stars".
"I really enjoy the group because it is fun and funny".
"I feel comfortable talking about my feelings".
*** Parents Self-Help section! ***
Here we can sign-post you to some of the different websites online which offer help and advice to parents.
Do you have an anxious child?
Follow the link below for some useful guidance on helping your child overcome anxieties:
**** Recommended self-help anxiety workbook for 6-12 year olds ! ****
What to Do When You Worry Too Much ( A kids guide to overcoming anxiety) by Dawn Huebner is an interactive self-help book designed to guide 6-12 year olds and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of generalised anxiety. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book educates, motivates, and empowers children to work towards change. We have used this book at school and have found it a very useful tool.
*** A story book recommended for younger children***
Similar to 'Huge bag Of Worries', by Virginia Ironside, Ruby discovers that recognising and sharing a worry is a first step towards shrinking the worry. In Elsa sessions first of all we recognise the feelings of worry, maybe a knot in the tummy or other feelings like being sad or grumpy, then we talk about worries and then we can try strategies to help with the uncomfortable feelings that anxiety can cause.
Is your child having problems with self esteem? Try following this link which gives some useful advice to parents:
Parental advice on anger management
Help with those 'hot feelings' - some tips and information for parents/guardians about managing anger in children:
* * * * * * *Recommended book!* * * * * * *
An anger management story for children written by Lori Lite. Children relate to the angry octopus in this story as the sea child shows him how to take a deep breath, calm down, and manage his anger. Children love to unwind and relax with this fun exercise known as progressive muscular relaxation. This effective stress and anger management technique focuses awareness on various muscle groups and breath to create a complete resting of the mind and body. This is a great little story to help children understand that they are in control of their emotions. It focuses on the ownership of feelings and emotions and taking command of the situation. We use this book in ELSA sessions and is fun and very effective!
This book uses CBT at its core to help younger children understand their angry feelings and make the necessary changes to regulate their emotions. The book was written by Luke Baker, a former ELSA! The book is about The Red family and their youngest member Rory. Rory Red is very angry all of the time. He wants to change but is told by both parents that ‘It is just who you are.’ Rory wants to change and one day meets a new friend Yasmine Yellow. Yasmine shows him the way and helps him to understand how he can change.
The book leads the child through the different stages of anger such as triggers: ‘someone being mean to him’, ‘when he can’t go out to play because it is raining’, ‘when he isn’t allowed his dessert’. It takes the child through the physical effects of anger such as breathing heavier, his heart beating harder and faster. It also looks at Rory’s thoughts such as: ‘hit them!’ ‘break something!’ ‘say bad words!’. Yasmine helps him by suggesting different calming techniques to help him cope with his anger.
Delightful, simple illustrations that children will love. The language is simple and easy to understand. This book would be perfect for EYFS and KS1, (possibly even Lower KS2).