St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School

We act with love, build our faith and grow as people


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, and 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.


We are lucky enough to have a qualified Emotional Support Assistant as part of our school team. 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 ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun and we use a range of activities such as, games, role-play with puppets  and arts 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


Social skills

Friendship skills

Anger management

Loss and bereavement


Relation Techniques



How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders or the SENDCo. 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.