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ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

Together we can make a difference…

We are so fortunate to have our very own ELSA at Kew Riverside - Jessica Tuckey

ELSA stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant and works closely with our Mental Health Lead (Ardeep), Designated Safeguarding Leads (Liz, Laura and Rachel) and SENCo (Laura)

Our ELSA will be trained through our Educational Psychologist Service in order to provide bespoke packages of support for individuals and groups of pupils on themes such as: social skills, emotions, bereavement, social and therapeutic stories, anger management and self-esteem.  They also provide solution-focused and friendship counselling.  The educational psychologist – Sheila Burton is the founder of the ELSA course and this is her website -

Individual objectives are set with the child in partnership with the parent/carer, school SENCo and Class Teacher and ELSA sessions provide the time and space for validation of the child’s feelings and opportunities to work towards a solution.  Sessions are child-led and fun, using a range of activities such as: games, role-play, arts and craft.  ELSA sessions take place in the Library which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.

The ELSA is trained in interventions such as:

Lego Therapy: a social skills programme that develops turn-taking skills and social communication through lego projects
Social Thinking Programmes: helping children to understand 'hidden' social rules and the distinction between 'expected' and 'unexpected' behaviours
'Think Good Feel Good': cognitive behavioural therapy activities for children
Mindfulness: helping children to pay attention to the present moment

In addition to the ELSA, we also provide access to the following:

1:1 sessions with a qualified Play Therapist

'Time to Talk' sessions with Rachel (Samaratan-trained) and Jessica.