Manor Park Infant and Nursery School

Learning Together Success Forever

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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.


At Manor Park Infant and Nursery School, we understand the importance of supporting children with their emotional needs.


Our ELSA has been trained by an Educational Psychologist 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, using a range of activities such as games, role-play with puppets, or arts and crafts. ELSA sessions take place during the school day in a quiet place away from the classroom, which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.


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

  • Recognising emotions
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement


How Does ELSA Work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their Class Teacher, Senior Leaders or the SENDCo. Every half term, referrals are reviewed to identify and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for the next 6-8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind, 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.


Supporting - Not Fixing

Remember, an ELSA is not there to fix children's problems. What they do is provide emotional support for children who require it. 

Through these sessions, an ELSA aims to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and 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. Training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. 




Self Esteem:

If your child needs some support with self esteem, you may find the links and resources below helpful.


Young Minds Supporting Self Esteem




Self esteem booster wheel

Breathing Wheel

Feeling Happy

Feeling and Emotions

If your child needs some support with their emotions or feelings you may find the links and resources below helpful.


Ways to feel better

Inner feelings

Star breathing

Our feelings diary

Worries and Anxiety

Please click on the resources below to help support your child with thier worries and anxiety,

Make a worry jar

Think about it

Breathing techniques

Wellbeing and Mindfulness

If your child needs support with their wellbeing the below resources may be helpful.


Go Noodle exercise


BBC super mood movers


Cosmic Yoga


Mindfulness affirmations

Feeling good about yourself

Wellbeing shield

Friendships and Relationships

If your child needs some support with their friendship or relationships you may find the links and resources below helpful.


Little book of friends