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How we support our pupils

Supporting our children’s mental health, emotional and social needs is a key area of focus at Emmanuel. We do this in a number of ways, led by Mrs Watkins, who has been trained as an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) by Camden’s Educational Psychologists.

Mrs Watkins has been with Emmanuel for 10 years, supporting children with Special Educational and Wellbeing needs.

What is ELSA?

The ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) project was originally developed  to build the capacity of schools to support the emotional needs of their pupils from within their own resources. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by Educational Psychologists who apply psychological knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to particular areas of need and to specific casework.

Let’s Talk: lunch-time drop-in service

One of our approaches to this is ‘Let’s Talk’, a support service for our children to help in a number of areas such as their emotions and feelings, friendships and readiness for learning. We have a dedicated space that children know they can go to called ‘The Bubble’ – providing a relaxed area for children to spend time and to talk if needed.

Children can also place a note in special Let’s Talk worry boxes in their classrooms.

One to one, group or whole-class interventions

Mrs Watkins leads tailored interventions covering areas such as:

  • Helping children to understand and recognise the emotions they are feeling, be able to express them in an appropriate way and use the right coping skills, so as to ensure that those feelings do not become a barrier for learning or their school experience. We use the Zones of Regulation framework across the school to support children to do this (see below).
  • Supporting children to  develop their emotional literacy: to develop strategies to manage strong emotions, such as being anxious, upset or angry, and calm themselves independently (for example, through mindfulness or breathing techniques).
  • To have a safe space that they can use to have time out in if they need a person to talk to especially if a child has suffered some kind of trauma, loss or bereavement.
  • Supporting children to develop social skills and be able to maintain positive relationships and friendships at playtime.

The Zones of Regulation - Understanding and managing emotions

At Emmanuel, we use the Zones of Regulation framework to help our children understand and explain how they feel. Every child from Nursery class onwards learns to recognise the feelings in each coloured zone, and ways to control and regulate how they are feeling so that they can make appropriate choices.

Wellbeing library

In our library we have Wellbeing section and display where our children can access a range of appropriate books and ideas to support their emotional and social needs.

Further support

If you have any questions about the above or would like to talk to Mrs Watkins about a particular concern regarding your child’s mental health and wellbeing, please contact her through