Fishburn Primary School

Fishburn Primary School
Small But Mighty!

Mental Health and Well Being

“What’s the best thing you’ve learned about storms?” said the boy.

“That they end.” said the horse. – Charlie Mackesy

At Fishburn we recognise the need to support our children’s Health and Wellbeing in as many ways as we can. We do this through our RSE curriculum and in regular circle time and assembly sessions throughout school. We also value the support and resources from the NSPCC and other partner agencies.

To reflect this commitment to our children, we have joined the growing network of ‘Emotional Literacy Support Assistants’ (ELSA’s) across County Durham. Mrs Lee is our in house ELSA specialist and she works with children who may require a little more support with their emotional literacy and wellbeing.

What is an ELSA?

An ELSA, is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant who is trained as a school based learning support assistant. Their role is to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils.  They are trained by a team of  Educational Psychologists and receive ongoing group supervision.

ELSAs work with children and young people either individually or in small groups and deliver bespoke interventions tailored to the presenting situation or need.  The role of the ELSA is to develop children and young people’s:

  • emotional literacy
  • positive mental health,
  • social skills
  • emotional wellbeing.

The role of an ELSA can vary dependent on age, school stage and situation.

All ELSAs have 6 days of initial training covering:

  • emotional literacy including building resilience and self-esteem
  • managing emotions including anger and anxiety
  • social and friendship skills
  • loss, bereavement and family break up

As well as skills development in:

  • social and therapeutic stories
  • motivational interviewing
  • active listening, conversation skills

ELSAs attend ongoing group supervision (6 times a year,) to safeguard practice and develop their skills. provide continued further skills development.

Wellbeing and Therapy Dog

In the summer term of 2022, Miss Ferguson had a new arrival to her house in the form of a little black Labrador Puppy called Nala.

Nala is now 9 months old and is proving to be very chilled out! She has been enrolled on The Dog Mentor Programme and in January 2023 passed her in school assessment!  Nala will be in school 2 afternoons per week as we slowly build her confidence in seeing lots of people. Please check our Newsletter for weekly updates on what Nala has been getting up to in school and at home!