“Happiness is the highest form of health.” – Our ELSA Programme

Here at Hatherop we are proud to have two fully trained ELSA’s, (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who have had specialist training from Educational Psychologists to support the emotional development of young people in our school.  Our ELSA’s are in the school to help and support our children and young people to learn and understand their emotions and develop their ability to respect the feelings of those around them.

At Hatherop, we are blessed to be nestled in the middle of the Cotswolds, where often the only sounds to be heard are birdsong, rustling leaves, children playing and if we are lucky the hooting of an owl as dusk approaches. Within the school, we have a bespoke ELSA room which works as a private space for children to work, free from interruptions.  This tranquil space is a dedicated room, brimming with games, art supplies and books, but above all a space to share and talk about any concerns children have and discuss feelings that seem too big to manage alone.

Each session is personal and bespoke to the child and based around play and fun. Paddington, Mrs Walker’s dog, (whilst not a fully- fledged therapy dog) is often in sessions providing cuddles and walks with the children. Many studies have shown that dogs help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Just playing with dogs has been shown to raise levels of the, “feel good brain chemical” oxytocin and dopamine, creating positive feelings and bonding to those who need it most.

Areas that are covered during sessions can include:

  • Relationships
  • Recognising emotions
  • Social skills
  • Friendships
  • Self esteem
  • Understanding anger
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Anxiety
  • Coping strategies
  • Building resilience
  • Bullying issues

Your child’s progress is monitored closely throughout the ELSA programme. If the school or parent feels that the child needs further support we have access to external support services. At Hatherop we have close links with the Cotswolds Counselling service and our fabulous independent listener.

If you would like further details of the ELSA intervention or indeed feel your child would benefit from sessions please don’t hesitate to get in contact with sara.stephens@hatheropcastle.co.uk

you have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose” Dr Seuss