The Educational Psychology Service in Portsmouth launched ELSA training in the Autumn term of 2011. Training covered the following topics:
- Emotional literacy in schools
- Raising emotional awareness
- Active listening and communication skills
- Anger management
- Working with puppets
- Social skills
- Autistic spectrum difficulties
- Social stories
- Friendship skills
- Writing therapeutic stories
- Loss and bereavement
- Supporting children through family break up
Following six days of initial training ELSAs receive clinical group supervision once every half term. This includes psychological interpretation of needs communicated by behaviour, modelling of problem solving approaches and peer group support (sharing ideas/resources).
Feedback from ELSAs and schools has been very positive and they are looking forward to developing the ELSA role further.
Training for a second cohort of ELSAs is planned for the Autumn term of 2012 and some schools have already expressed an interest in booking places on this course.