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Archbishop Cranmer C of E Academy

Striving for life in all its fullness. John 10:10



Emotional Literacy Support


At Archbishop Cranmer, as part of our commitment to support the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, we offer Emotional Literacy Support sessions led by our trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA). 


Miss Wilkinson (KS2) and Mrs Chilton (KS1) are our school ELSAs and they do lots of work supporting children across school in a number of different ways. This page explains more about the role and how the sessions support our pupils.


What is an ELSA?

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. Miss Wilkinson and Mrs Children are our qualified ELSAs and they have been trained by educational psychologists to plan and deliver bespoke programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer-term additional emotional needs. The majority of work is delivered on a 1:1 basis, but sometimes group work is more appropriate, especially in areas of social and friendship skills. ELSA sessions take place in our designated nurture and intervention space, the Sunshine Room, which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.


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

  • Recognising and understanding emotions
  • Building self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger and behaviour management
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Transition and change


How does ELSA work?

Children are referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, senior leader or the SENCo. We then identify and priorities which children require a weekly programme or, if more appropriate, put in supported strategies within a classroom setting. ELSA programmes run for 6-12 weeks. With the programme set, 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.


ELSA is based on supporting and providing strategies for emotional support. The sessions aim to establish warm, respectful relationships with pupils within a reflective space where children are able to share their thoughts and feelings honestly and openly. For children with complex or long term needs it may be that further support from external agencies such as the Mental Health Support Team or CAMHs are better suited to target specific aspects of a child's need. Miss Wilkinson and Mrs Chilton will discuss this with Mrs Hodgson (SENCo and Mental Health Lead) and parents as required.


If you are concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of your child, please discuss your concerns initially with your child's class teacher. Please also refer to the links found on our mental health and wellbeing page for further details.