Parley School runs an Emotional Literacy programme for the benefit of all children in the school. We currently have three members of staff trained by the county Educational Psychology service as Emotional Literacy Support Assistants. Our task is to create programmes of interventions and support children identified as needing some extra care for a variety of reasons. Referrals come from members of teaching staff, the Pastoral Officer and and sometimes from parents themselves. Children also have the opportunity to refer themselves to the ELSA team, and we are well known to them.

This will first entail an open discussion with the parents, when appropriate, with the ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) gathering information before we proceed with any work.

There are so many areas of child development that can cause emotional upset : Social life and friendships, natural curiosity and growing up, family break up , bereavement, anxiety, changes such as moving house or school, hormones, health… the list is endless. We also like to encourage a growth mindset and self esteem building and will work with individuals and groups of children.

We have prided ourselves on putting a high priority on children’s mental health for many years now and will try to support in almost all circumstances. Where this is beyond or remit we may support referrals to CaMHS and other agencies.

In the past few years some of our support for all children has included a regular mindfulness and yoga programme for KS2. The Pastoral Support officer has trained as a Yoga teacher and has 20 years experience in school. This rolling programme is available for all children, whatever their need, in Year 3 and 4 classes. Staff and children know to draw on these skills to help them in their everyday lives, to deal with stress, worries and thoughts, and any other pressures that might feel overwhelming.

Alongside these more formal interventions are the times when we are simply a friendly face that the children can trust and chat with. We have broad shoulders, good hearing and bucketfuls of empathy.

Time to Talk

Time to Talk is a group for all parents held on an afternoon on the first Monday of the month. It is a great opportunity to meet other parents and share ideas. Sessions include friendships, home-school communications, school routines and encouraging independence. You can look forward to an open and honest attitude from school as we strive to improve partnership between parent and school.