Hythe Community Primary School

Learning for Life

Thorpe Road, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 3HD



Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)



 Hello and welcome to our school ELSA page!

We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about Emotional Literacy Support on the school website. 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.

Mr Carter


Standing TALL

What is an ELSA?

An ELSA is a member of staff 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 the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets 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.

(A member of staff who is trained to support children in the development of their emotional literacy)



During ELSA sessions we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:



Recognising emotions Loss and bereavement



Social skills


 Anger management


Friendship skills


How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by classroom staff, Senior Leaders or on occasion the SENCo.

Mr Carter and Mrs McKee will discuss the referral forms and identify and prioritise which children require a programme for the next 6-8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind Mr Carter will 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.

Each session lasts from 30 - 45 minutes once a week.

Parents / Carers are welcome to meet with Mr Carter and Mrs McKee to talk about the work that Mr Carter will be doing to support your child.


Supporting - not fixing

Remember, ELSA's are not there to fix children's problems. What we can do is provide emotional support.

We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they

are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.

It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child's need.


So what do the children think?

We always welcome feedback from children after participating in the ELSA programme.

Parent feedback is also welcome at anytime during the programme! 


“Coming to see Mr Carter is really helpful and supportive. Now I have people to talk to about what happened. I don’t feel lonely and have support to move on.

I enjoy going to see him because he appreciates my time and he’s super kind!”

Year 5 student


“I enjoy ELSA because I get to talk about things. It helps me to learn different way to deal with things at home”

Year 4 student


“ I have really enjoyed coming here and Mr Carter has helped me with a lot”

(“And I think he’s quite funny”)

Year 6 student



                “I enjoy ELSA as I am able to talk about myself and others”              

“You listen to my problems”

Year 6 student


“I like coming to see Mr Carter because we do fun stuff and it makes me feel better”

Year 4 student


“I like talking to Mr Carter because it is fun and he listens”

Year 6 student


So what do families think?

"My son has responded extremely well to the ELSA programme. He has learnt how to express his feelings and feels more positive about himself".

Year 5 parent


"My son could talk about the memories of his Nan and felt that he had someone to talk to within school"

Year 2 parent


"My daughter has progressed well whilst receiving ELSA and really enjoyed both group and individual sessions. It gave her more confidence which has really been noticed." 

Year 5 parent 


**Self-Help section**

Here we can sign-post you to some of the different websites online which offer help and advice to parents.  


Real Play is a captivating programme which
supports families through the power of play.

Real Play is a new and exciting opportunity for families to get involved in. The programme will be run by trained staff members at The Hythe Community Primary School, who will work closely with families and children to provide a fun and engaging environment which will allow families to come and play. 

Why real play?

Measured outcomes include improvements in:

  • children’s Personal, Social and Emotional skills
  • parents’/carers’ engagement and confidence
  • family activity levels
  • children’s physical development 

All in an active, fun, thematic way

For more information please visit: https://www.createdevelopment.co.uk/real-play/