Wellbeing & ELSA


We are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.

Good staff wellbeing is essential for cultivating a mentally healthy school, for retaining and motivating staff and for promoting pupil wellbeing and attainment. As school staff juggle a multitude of different tasks and demands, it is important that everyone is given the right emotional and practical support so that they can, in turn, support their pupils.

We are proud, that as part of the Trust, we have signed up to the DfE wellbeing charter and have Miss Jo Littlechild, our SENCo, as our Mental Health Champioon. In school both staff and children are supported by Mrs Kerry James who is a trained Mental Health First Aider. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1034032/DfE_Education_Workforce_Welbeing_Charter_Nov21.pdf 

In school we follow the Early Help 4 Mental Health (EH4MH) 10 a day tips to keep us mentally well and active. Here is the poster to help remind you of the 10 things you should try and do each day to keep a healthy mind. 10 a day poster You can watch more video clips on each of the 10 tips here: https://normalmagic.co.uk/resources/

We encourage children to be independent, and this includes at breaktime and lunchtime. Should things go wrong on the playground during a game, children have several options available to them, to try and sort out things out on their own, before needing adult help. These are known as Kelso’s choices and a poster of the options to try is here. Kelso’s choices wheel

For more wellbeing information please read here: Wellbeing at West Buckland


ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

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. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.

We are lucky enough to have one qualified ELSA at West Buckland – Mrs Sharon Steer. Mrs Steer is fully trained to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, roleplay with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in a safe space which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their parents/carers or school staff. 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.

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.

If you feel that your child needs ELSA support, please talk to the office or your child’s class teacher.