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St Barnabas & St Paul's CEPS home page
St Barnabas & St Paul's CEPS home page


Hello and welcome to our school ELSA page.




Mr McDonald and Mrs Oldale are our Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) at St Barnabas and St Paul's. 


What is an ELSA?

ELSAs are emotional literacy support assistants who have had training from educational psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in school. ELSAs have regular professional supervision from educational psychologists to help them in their work.


ELSAs help children and young people learn to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They provide the time and space for pupils to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them.


Please do talk with either of our ELSAs in school if you have any further questions. 


What support do the ELSAs provide?


Our ELSAs provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:


  • Recognising emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Relationships
  • Anxiety
  • Conflict
  • Bullying


The ELSA allocated to your child will plan their sessions according to the needs of your child. 


What can parents do to help?


Parents' Self Help Section


Here we can sign-post you to some of the different websites online which offer help and advice to parents.  There are also recommended reads and workbooks that you can access with your child to further support their needs at home.


Please see the different tabs below that contain different resources for the different areas of emotional need. 

Remember we are here to help you and your child in any way that we can

How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders or on occasion the SENDCo. Every half term we meet as an Inclusion Team, 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.


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. In these cases, school supports parents with referrals for specialist counselling, play therapy or to CAMHS. The Educational Psychologist that works with our school has regular supervision sessions with our ELSA, and is able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.

A very good book to read, which contains lots of lovely quotes about life is: 


"The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse"


This book covers many ELSA areas and is a good 'all-rounder.'

St Barnabas & St Paul’s Church of England Primary School

Oakenhurst Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 1SN

01254 698413