We are very fortunate to have a full time ELSA on school site. ELSAs are emotional literacy support assistants. They are Teaching Assistants who have had special training from educational psychologists to support the emotional development of students in school. The ELSA is based in the ELSA Hub on D block corridor.
ELSAs help students to understand their emotions and respect the feeling of those around them. They provide the time and space for student to think about their personal circumstance and how they manage them. ELSAs have regular professional supervision from educational psychologists to help them in their work.
Most ELSA programmes will last for 6 to 12 weeks, helping the student to learn some specific new skills or coping strategies. Programme aims including SMART targets are set early on; each session has an objective – something the ELSA wants to help the students understand or achieve.
To find out more about the role of an ELSA please visit www.eslanetwork.org.
We follow the Talkabout scheme devised by Alex Kelly. This is a complete package to help assess a student’s social skills and identify where to start work. This resource covers self-awareness, self-esteem, non-verbal behaviour and friendship skills.
Students who participate in the programme are usually identified during Year 6 transition reviews. The County’s Speech and Language Therapist and Year Leaders also refer students who have social, language and communication difficulties.
Teen Talkabout is a complete group work resource used for Talkabout intervention offering a hierarchical approach to teaching social and relationship skills to teenagers. The version used in Talkabout has been specifically designed for teenagers, this practical workbook provides ready-made material for running social and relationship skills groups with older student and young adults.
The resource is divided into five, hierarchical modules; self awareness and self esteem, body language, conversational skills, friendship skills and assertiveness skills.
The Talkabout tool is accessed via an initial assessment. Prior to using this resource it is necessary to undertake a short assessment on the student to highlight the module that is most appropriate to teach and the skills within that module that are relevant.