Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental Health and Wellbeing at Holy Cross

At Holy Cross our children’s health and wellbeing is paramount.  If you are worried or have concerns about your child’s mental health then please do not hesitate to contact us.

School Mental Health Lead

Laura Rainbow
Mrs L Rainbow (TA)

Emotional Literacy Support Information

What is ELSA?

There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.

The majority of ELSA work is delivered in groups, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills however we can run individual sessions too if this is best for the child.  Sessions are fun, and we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or therapeutic activities such as mindfulness or arts and craft.  ELSA sessions take place in our very own ‘Rainbow Retreat’ pod which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.  In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:

Recognising Emotions, Anxiety, Self-Esteem, Social skills, Friendship Skills, Anger Management, Loss and Bereavement

How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders or on occasion the SENCo. Every half term we meet with the school counsellor and SENCo to discuss referrals and to identify and prioritise which children require a weekly  programme for the next 6-8 weeks. With the programme aims in mind we then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupils in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.

Supporting – not fixing

Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. What we can do is provide emotional support.  We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their houghts and feelings.  It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child’s need. Training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and wisdom is required to recognise when issues are beyond the level of expertise that could reasonably be expected of an ELSA. In these cases, school supports parents with referrals to CAMHS. The Educational Psychologist that works with our school has regular supervision sessions with our ELSAs, and is able to offer advice on suitability or nature of ELSA involvement in complex cases.

Student Mental Health Policy

Policies and Procedures

NHS Mental Health Newsletters

NHS Mental Health Newsletter April 2024

Emotional Literacy Books

What to Do When You Worry Too Much ( A kids guide to overcoming anxiety) by Dawn Huebner.

Similar to ‘Huge bag Of Worries’, by Virginia Ironside, Ruby discovers that recognising and sharing a worry is a first step towards shrinking the worry.

Rory Red was written by Luke Baker, a former ELSA! The book is about The Red family and their youngest member Rory.

Keeping Active

At Holy Cross our children are encouraged to have fun and play during breaks and lunchtimes.  We are lucky to have extensive playground resources to ensure our children have plenty of play opportunities to keep fit and healthy.