Sue Killips is trained as a qualified Emotional Literacy Support Advisor (ELSA) by Educational Psychologists. She plans and delivers programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of this ELSA work is being delivered on an individual basis but occasionally small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are designed to be fun and use a range of interactive activities such as arts and crafts, games and role play.
The ELSA programme is designed for pupils facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. Support is provided for a wide range of emotional needs from improving social skills and self-esteem to assisting with anger management and loss or bereavement. 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.
Research has shown that key benefits include positive changes in the wellbeing and behaviour of pupils and reduced disruption in the classroom which improves the learning environment for fellow pupils. Also, assistance with building more positive relationships, both with peers and adults, leading to improved self-esteem and greater success in learning is a proved benefit.