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Welcome to

Great Casterton CE Primary School

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our PSHE (Personal Social Health Economic) curriculum helps our children to understand their own and others’ emotions, develop healthy coping strategies and seek appropriate support. Throughout their school life, they will discuss and have the opportunity to talk openly about mental health issues, which is an effective way of addressing and breaking down any associated stigma.


The curriculum equips pupils to adopt healthy behaviours and strategies from an early age, and to seek trustworthy support when they or their friends need it. Protective learning – including good communication, problem-solving, healthy coping skills, resilience and recognising emotions – can reduce the risk of pupils turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms. 


When this isn't enough and emotions and feelings are overwhelming, we have access to our school ELSA (see below).  These are 1 to 1 sessions discussing key emotions and supporting children directly with coping tools and mechanisms to gain resilience.  

ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support Assistant


We are lucky enough to have a qualified Emotional Literacy Support Assistant at Great Casterton CE Primary School - Mrs Isobel Hunt.   The training, with Educational Psychologists, included planning and delivering programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs.


There will be moments in many children's lives where the challenges they face detract from their ability to learn.  Some will require a greater support to increase their emotional literacy. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by Educational Psychologists and it recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are addressed.


In most cases, this will be delivered on an individual basis.  Sometimes small group work is appropriate - especially in the areas of friendship.  The sessions are meant to be fun, using a range of activities; games, role play with puppets, arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in our Nurture Room which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and cared for.


In ELSA we aim to support a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Recognising emotions
  • Self-esteem
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement


How does ELSA work?

Children are referred for ELSA support by the class teacher, SENDCo, Headteacher and parents request.  The ELSAs meet each other regularly, discussing referral forms and identifying and prioritising need.  The support session are planned to facilitate the pupil developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.


ELSA's are not there to fix children's problems.  What they can do is provide emotional support - in which ever way they feel is appropriate.  Establishing a warm, trusting relationship with a pupil and a space for them to feel they can share their thoughts and feelings is our first aim.  


The change that we would want the children to make is not always rapid and is dependent on the context and complexity of the issues.  In some cases, ELSAs may recognise that some issues are beyond their level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA.  This is when we would look to signpost children and their families to support that maybe more suitable.


Want to support your children at home?  Please use the links below.

Contact Details and Useful Links