Westwood Farm School

Emotional Wellbeing

Hello and welcome to our Emotional Wellbeing page

We are pleased to be able to share information with parents about Emotional Literacy Support on our website.

At Westwood Farm Schools we have two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs), who are trained to support children’s wellbeing. We promote positive emotional wellbeing which is vital to a child’s ability to be a successful learner.

On this page we will 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.




Mrs Sam Burden

I have worked at WFS since 2014 and been a trained ELSA since 2016.

Mrs Lucy Riley

I have worked at WFS since 2000 and have been a trained ELSA since 2013.

What is Emotional Literacy and why is it important?

Emotional literacy is the ability to express our emotions and feelings using speech and other forms of communication.  It is an important skill that children need to develop from a young age to help them establish a stable relationship with their own emotions.

Anyone who has tried to think clearly when they are angry or upset will understand the power emotions have over us.  Emotions are an unavoidable part of everyday life but negative emotions can stop a child from learning to their full potential. Therefore, it is helpful to intervene with some emotional support if things are tricky, so they do not bottle up their feelings to a point where it is affecting their learning.

What is an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)?

ELSAs are Teaching Assistants who have had special training from Educational Psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in schools.

ELSAs have regular supervision and support from Educational Psychologists to help them in their work, provide up-to-date training and develop their skills.



How does an ELSA work?

Children identified as needing ELSA work will have a regular slot during the school week of approx. 30 minutes, when we will  see them in one of our ELSA rooms.

These sessions can be individual or in small groups and are tailored to the child's individual needs; they are fun and may include games, role play, stories and arts and crafts.

Every child's progress is monitored and reviewed, with the child's teacher regularly informed of progress and any concerns.


Areas an ELSA may work on with a child










Recognising Emotions Anxiety Self-esteem Social Skills Friendship Skills Anger Management Loss and Bereavement


Supporting not Fixing

ELSAs provide emotional support and a listening ear. We help to guide children through their problems; we are there to support not fix.

We aim to develop a friendly, supportive relationship with the children and provide a safe reflective space where they can share their thoughts and feelings.

Sessions with the ELSAs may vary depending upon the child’s needs. It is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all difficulties, however support will be specific to the child’s individual needs.

Training and development is an ongoing process but, issues beyond the level of our training will be referred onto other agencies after        consultation with parents.