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Mental Health and Wellbeing

At Shaw Cross Infants School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils. We have a supportive and caring ethos and our approach is respectful and kind, where each individual and contribution is valued. At our school we know that everyone at times can face difficulties and experience challenges that can make us vulnerable. We understand that anyone of us may need additional emotional support. 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. Some children may have experienced trauma or bereavement that means they are not able to operate effectively at school with their friendships or learning and need additional support with their mental health and well-being to help them face these challenges we have introduced the ELSA programme. 

ELSA stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. The aim of the programme is to: 

  • help children to understand their emotions and feelings better 
  • help children to feel comfortable sharing any concerns or worries 
  •  help children socially to form and maintain relationships 
  • promote self-esteem and ensure everyone knows that they are valued 
  • enable them to think about their situation without feeling judged or criticised 
  • encourage children to be confident and respect individuality 
  • help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setbacks. 


  1. relates to our school values- Be kind, Work Hard and Never Give up generating a 
  2. a sense of belonging 
  3. Involves recognising emotions, self-esteem, anxiety management, social skills, friendship skills, anger management, loss and bereavement 
  4. celebrates success and achievement in all areas of life 
  5. provides opportunities to develop a sense of self-worth through taking responsibility for themselves 
  6. provides opportunities to reflect. 

We pursue our aims through: 

  1. supporting pupils going through difficulties, for example, bereavement, breakdown of parents’ relationship, changes at home or school, care system including adoption 
  2. work to specific programme aims that are realistic for each child 
  3. planning sessions with objectives that build towards the child’s programme aims 
  4. providing a reflective space where children are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings, learn strategies to manage their needs and feel safe and secure within the school environment 
  5. helping children feel happy and safe in school and to reach their potential educationally 
  6. removing the barriers to learning in order to have happy children in school and at home 
  7. delivering sessions in a caring, supportive and fun way 
  8. finding ways to cope with their challenges by helping them build the skills that will help them be able to cope and work through the problems 
  9.  giving the opportunity to talk about difficulties as they learn to apply with greater consistency the new coping strategies they have developed 
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