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St Mary's Church of England Primary School

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St Mary's Church of England Primary School, Yew Tree Road, Slough, England, SL1 2AR



  • Nursery: 95%
  • Reception: 93%
  • Year 1: 95%
  • Year 2: 92%
  • Year 3: 95%
  • Year 4: 92%
  • Year 5: 95%
  • Year 6: 94%

ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants)

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.


How Does ELSA Work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their Class Teacher, Senior Leaders or the SENDCo. Support sessions are planned (tailored to individual needs) in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow the child to self-manage social and emotional demands more effectively. 

Our dedicated ELSA team help children learn to recognise 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. The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work may deem more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, using a range of activities such as games, role-play with puppets, or arts and crafts. ELSA sessions are delivered in a quiet place away from the classroom, which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured. Each session lasts from 30-45 minutes once a week for at least half a term.


ELSA aims to support for a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Anxiety
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Transition / change


Supporting – Not Fixing

ELSA is not there to fix children’s problems but to provide emotional support. The staff establish a warm, respectful relationship with the child, whilst providing a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.