Primary school children’s perspectives and experiences of Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) support

Authors: Bonnie Wong, Danielle Cripps, Hayley White, Laura Young, Hanna Kovshoff, Hayley Pinkard and Colin Woodcock
Published: 2020
Publication: Educational Psychology in Practice

This study explores primary school aged children’s perspectives and experiences of their Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) support. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 12 Key Stage 2 participants, who had had a minimum of one month’s ongoing ELSA support. Four core themes were identified: positive relationships, unique qualities, facilitates skill development, and positive impact. The findings suggest the importance of a positive therapeutic relationship with an ELSA, and that children value ELSAs teaching specific individualised coping strategies in particular. The findings may also be pertinent to practitioners outside of ELSA related work, highlighting the importance of listening to children of all ages and employing alternative methods, such as drawing, to support them in sharing their views. Since the evidence base for ELSA support is limited, this study contributes children’s views to this area, and should be used to inform future research.

Wong, B., Cripps, D., White, H., Young, L., Kovshoff, H., Pinkard, H. & Woodcock, C. (2020) Primary school children’s perspectives and experiences of Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) support. Educational Psychology in Practice. DOI: 10.1080/02667363.2020.1781064

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University of Southampton Psychology Post Graduate Research Conference – posters

The Southampton PGR conference concluded today – the ninth psychology conference but the very first to be carried out online. We were delighted by (and very proud of) the contributions of the Ed Psych Trainees to the conference, which included Year 2 research posters, Year 3 thesis presentations and two members of the Year 2 cohort – Sophie Smith and Amber Newell – sitting on the four person conference planning committee (and what an incredible job they did under these exceptional circumstances).

Please find below the Ed Psych SSRP research posters. These are:

  • EBSA (Emotionally Based School Avoidance) Professionals’ Perception of Group Supervision by Lauren Baggley, Beckett Markland, Amber Newell, Cora Sargeant and Andrea Morgan.
  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistants’ (ELSAs) experiences of the Resilience Ball Framework in Schools by Lindsay Elder, Alex Hampstead, Cara Hens, Cath Lowther and Hanna Kovshoff.
  • Non-statutory Educational Psychology Reports: Views of Key Stakeholders by Louise Boeckmans, Husna Kasmani, Kirsty Russell, Sophie Smith, Liz Robinson, Caitriona Scully and Cora Sargeant.
  • Exploring the Views and Experiences of Adolescents with ADHD in Mainstream Schools by Stephanie Lewis, Lynn de la Fosse, Derek Hanley, Tammy Valberg and Hanna Kovshoff – Awarded third prize in the conference poster competition.

The Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) Programme: Can you develop an evidence base for an adaptive intervention?

Authors: Leanne Pickering, Joanne Lambeth and Colin Woodcock
Published: 2019
Publication: DECP Debate

This article considers different aspects of the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant Programme. Specifically, it critiques the evidence base for the intervention and discusses issues relating to the adaptability of the programme..

Pickering, L., Lambeth, J. & Woodcock, C. (2019) The Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) Programme: Can you develop an evidence base for an adaptive intervention? DECP Debate, 170, 17-22.

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