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Key Stage 3: What skills and understanding will the students be taught

Students are offered support to develop their emotional literacy. This is the skill to recognise, understand and appropriately express their emotions. Many pupils in schools experience low self-esteem especially if they find learning difficult or have weak peer relationships. They need to recognise the skills they have and appreciate their unique personal value.

List of Topics and examples of practical activities

Low self-esteem/confidence, weak social skills, understanding anger, loss, separation, bereavement, anxiety, friendships, difficulties recognising emotions, coping strategies and building resilience.

Key Stage 4: What skills and understanding will the students be taught

ELSA sessions should be fun.  Activities are designed to motivate and engage the student.  For example, when learning about anger the pupil may draw or make a firework to illustrate triggers, fuse, and explosion.  The session may then work on ways to reduce triggers for anger in the student.  A further session may look at ways of lengthening the student’s ‘fuse’ such as changing negative thoughts to positive ones.  ELSA sessions often include relaxation exercises at the end, so that the child returns to class in a calm frame of mind. 

List of Topics and examples of practical activities

Students are helped to make the link between their emotional feelings, thinking and their behaviour. How we are feeling affects our thinking, but it is also true that what we are thinking affects the way we are feeling. Our thoughts and our feelings together have a strong impact on our behavioural reactions.  

ELSA Support Assistant

ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) have been chosen for their ability to build good relationships with pupils.  They have been trained and are supervised by an Educational Psychologist.