Hello and welcome to our school well-being page!
We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about Emotional Literacy Support and well-being on the school website. On this page we aim to post ideas and helpful advice on how you can help your child; for example in areas such as empathy, self esteem or perhaps to pick up some tips about calming techniques. Parents and carers will be able to find out about recommended books which may be useful and links to other websites for some self-help at home.
Mrs Deville, Miss Sands and Mrs Abbott
Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA)
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.
We are lucky enough to have a qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant at Cippenham Infant School. She has been trained by Educational Psychologists 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, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in our very own 'ELSA room' 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 which include recognising emotions, self esteem, social skills, friendship skills, anger management and loss and bereavement.
How does ELSA work?
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders or on occasions the SENDCo. Every half term Mrs Deville and Miss Sands meet to discuss the referral forms and 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. Each session lasts from 30 - 45 minutes once a week.
Supporting - not fixing
Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children's problems. What we can do is provide emotional support. We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to 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. The Educational Psychologist that works with our school would be able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.
So what do the children think?!
On completion of their ELSA programmes, we ask the children to reflect on their experiences and to kindly leave us some feedback. Here are some of the lovely comments we receive:
"I like coming to ELSA, it makes me happy!"
"ELSA has been really fun and has helped me with making new friendships".
"ELSA has helped me with confidence".
"It has helped me a lot with my anger and my problems in the playground. I enjoyed it very much!".
"I enjoyed ELSA and I want to stay!".
"ELSA has helped me with bullying problems, making new friends and most of all to have fun!".
"I found the activities fun! I especially liked, 'My Perfect Friend' and 'Learning Words'. I loved it!".
"ELSA has helped me to be more sensible in class".
The Hundred Acre Wood (Hub)
What is the Hundred Acre Wood?
For some pupils, school can be a particular challenge and Cippenham Infant School offers a variety of solutions amongst which are The Hundred Acre Wood (The Hub)
The Hundred Acre Wood
Set up in 2018 the school’s vision was to provide a secure base for pupils who need extra support in an alternative space to the classroom. The aim of The Hundred Acre Wood is to support and encourage pupils so that they feel able to attend their lessons and participate fully in school life. Reasons for using The Hundred Acre Wood vary greatly but, amongst others, have included help and support for children who find it tricky to focus, to support sensory needs that can’t always be met in the classroom environment, and to provide a safe place for exploring an individualised curriculum. Some students often need time away from other students and the demands of the mainstream classroom. Use of The Hundred Ache Wood may be on an ad hoc basis, a short term intervention or a long term plan but all pupils have to follow a referral procedure.
Staffed by Mrs Abbott and TA’s at all times, pupils using The Hundred Acre Wood are expected to complete work set by their teachers or IEP targets, some other interventions such as 5 minute boxes etc. but also have the opportunity to learn through play and build skills.
Other things that happen in The Hundred Acre Wood
5 Minute Box (literacy) – The Five Minute Box is the multi-sensory phonics programme which enables the early identification of potential specific learning difficulties. The Box provides secure basic skills for reading, spelling and writing thus maintaining self-esteem and a more positive attitude.
5 Minute Box (Maths) – The Number Box is a multi-sensory teaching programme and maths resource. It was designed for those children who struggle with maths for one of several reasons.
Speech and Language – Intervention led by our speech therapist.