ELSA and Thrive

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. Through our positive behaviour policy, collective worship and curriculum, we are always seeking opportunities to enrich our children's social and emotional development, as well as their mental health. As a staff, we have been learning about how attachment and trauma influences a child's social and emotional development, as well as how best to support all our children, all of the time.

However, there will be those who require additional support and we use our ELSA and Thrive practitioners to do this. ELSA and Thrive are initiatives developed and supported by educational psychologists and scientific research, which recognise that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met. 

We are lucky enough to have an Emotional Literacy Support Assistants and Thrive Practitioner at The Avenue. They have been trained to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer-term additional emotional needs. Some of the work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social skills and friendships. Sessions are fun, using a range of activities such as games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. Sessions take place in our very own 'ELSA room' which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured. We are currently developing our THRIVE space. 

Through this intervention, we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Recognising and managing emotions
  • Emotional resilience
  • Managing conflict
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement

How does our support work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA or Thrive support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders or the SENDCo to identify and prioritise which children require a weekly programme for the next 6 - 8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind, and the profiling/initial assessments we make, 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.

You can read more about ELSA support here: 

ELSA explainedYou can read more about Thrive support here:

Thrive Parents/Carers GuideThis video explains about our 'Window of Tolerance', the zone we need to be in to function, and of course learn, best.