Heatherlands Primary School

Enjoying Learning Together


What is an ELSA?

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant


What ELSAs are able to do is provide emotional support. As they establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil they provide a reflective space where the pupil is able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings. The ELSA uses basic counselling skills (including active listening, problem clarification, open questions, thinking aloud, verbal and non-verbal prompts) to guide helping conversations. ELSA isn't there to 'fix' the child for pupils with complex or long-term needs. It is unrealistic to expect ELSA support to resolve all their difficulties. Change is a long term process that needs everyone's help.


An ELSA will assist the pupil to reflect on their concerns and let them explore possible strategies and solutions for themselves, (‘Could you imagine another way of responding in that situation?’ ‘How do you think x was feeling at that moment?’ ‘What would you have liked to have been able to say/do?’ ‘What do you think might have happened if…?’). Through working together, the ELSA and the child will devise personal strategies to practice and support them in their daily lives.

Useful Resources

Other books from the series can be found from the website:

Pupil Voice

These is what the children at Heatherlands think about our ELSA sessions: -


"I feel a lot more confident because I was in the group 'self-esteem and confidence'. It has made me speak out more and just be me. It has helped me a lot. Happily, I'm not so shy anymore like I was." (Year 5 Pupil).

Wellbeing Week Daily Resources


Mondays we look at being ‘mighty’

The focus is on bravery and confidence. Pupils will focus on that strength of character and will find ways to increase their confidence and bravery.


Tuesdays we look at being ‘thoughtful’

The focus is on being thoughtful and kind. How they can help others and think about other people’s feelings.


Wednesdays we look at ‘wishes’

The focus is on goals and wishes. How they can set a goal and reach that goal. How that will make them feel.


Thursdays we look at ‘thankfulness’

The focus is on gratitude and looking for those little things we appreciate. This will help their positive outlook on life.


Fridays we look at ‘friendship’

The focus is on friendship and how connecting with friends is important for their wellbeing. It will also look at qualities of friendship.


Saturdays we look at ‘self-care’

The focus is on looking after minds and bodies by doing things that make them feel good.


Sundays we look at ‘successes’

The focus is on celebrating their achievements that week. If you look hard enough there is always something to be proud of.