Bayfield Gardens, Dymock, Gloucestershire, GL18 2BH

01531 890424

Ann Cam Church of England Primary School

Little Daffodils Pre-School
Deeply Rooted and Flourishing Together

Well Being and Mental Health


At Ann Cam C of E  Primary School we recognise the importance  of supporting children's mental health and wellbeing. 

We offer the following interventions to support children who are having difficulties in this area:

ELSA ( Emotional Literacy Support Assistants)  Play Therapy, Therabuild Lego. 

Children are usually referred for pastoral  support by their class teacher.  Twice every half term  the Inclusion Team: Rachel Evans (SENDCo) Sarah Smith, (Headteacher) Beth Hodgson ( Pastoral Lead)  Claire Cooke, Karen Haynes, (ELSAs)  meet to discuss the referral forms and to identify and prioritise which type of pastoral support your child may need. 

At this point the class teacher will make contact with you to discuss the intervention and ensure that you are happy for this to go ahead. 



 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 on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, 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 school . We endeavour to make the children  feel supported and nurtured.


In ELSA we aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:


Recognising emotions

    Social skills
    Friendship skills

   Anger management
    Loss and bereavement

How does ELSA work?

Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, as described in the referral process above.  With the programme aims in mind we then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively. These sessions are usually 30-45 minutes long, are held on a weekly basis and there are usually 6-8 sessions. 


Supporting - not fixing

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 thoughts 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.


 Play Therapy

We are fortunate to have a Play Therapist who works with children from our school. She also works with children across the Primary Quest. 

If school staff feel that this is something that may benefit your child they will get in touch with you to discuss. 

Here is a link to the Play Therapist and a summary of what she does in her sessions.


Mel Jones - Play Therapist


Pastoral Support, from Aly Thomsen and Sally Young, both Thera-Build® Licensed Practitioners. 
On occasion we also seek support from other trained practitioners who come into school on a regular basis to support children with more complex emotional needs. 

Thera-Build® with LEGO® is a playful, therapeutic approach for promoting emotional well-being in children, using LEGO® bricks, that was developed by Alyson Thomsen of Bricks2Learn.  It focuses on working therapeutically with all children, and is particularly helpful for young people with internalising conditions such as anxiety or attachment disorder.

Through purposeful play with LEGO® bricks, and meaningful conversation, Thera-Build® aims to reduce stress, boost confidence and self-esteem, and support children to self-regulate, by providing individualised high-quality relational building experiences, that help children to positively connect with others and communicate difficult emotions.  

 A Thera-Build® intervention may be most beneficial on a one-to-one basis, or with a small group of children, depending on a child’s individual need.

There are many benefits to the use of brick-play, including improved:

*Language and literacy skills
*Social skills, self-expression and more effective communication
*Problem solving, decision making and memory
*Hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and fine motor skills
*Self-regulation, resilience, understanding empathy and impulse control
If you would like more information about the Thera-Build® with LEGO® Approach, please visit the website at:

Support for Pupils and Families

Please see information below for support available for children and families:
 Links to Young Minds Matter resources.pdfDownload
 Mental Health Services[15].docxDownload
Showing 1-2 of 2