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Pastoral Team

ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning, and some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy. 


ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists who apply psychological knowledge of children’s social, emotional and behaviour development to particular areas of need and to specific casework. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met and addressed. 


ELSA's are trained to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils in our school who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs. The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work will take place.


At Thornhill Primary we have three trained and qualified ELSA'S at the school.


We also have a dedicated team of ELSA monitors who assist in the playground at break times. These are pupils who help support other children who look lonely or upset and also help set playground equipment up.


Our pastoral team have also undertaken courses on child counselling and they apply these skills when supporting children during ELSA sessions.



Nurture Provision - Butterflies

What is Butterfly Group?

Butterfly Group is a nurture group provision within Thornhill Primary supporting children who have barriers to accessing learning due to social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which make it harder for them to learn in a mainstream class. There are ten children in the group at any one time with two members of staff. We have two trained nurture leaders in school and we currently run a KS1 group in the mornings and a KS2 group in the afternoons.


What is Butterflies?

The Butterfly group is set up for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which may include:


A lack of self-esteem

Being withdrawn

Being unable to share and take turns

Finding it hard to trust adults/peers

Difficulty in recognising body language and emotions

Disrupting other children in the classroom

Behavioural issues

Difficulty with language skills

Struggling with the mainstream classroom environment


Entry into the group is carefully considered through a staged referral procedure and the use of a range of assessments over time.


Time to Talk


At Thornhill Primary School there are many children that may experience worries, stress and anxiety. This can cause many challenges with children engaging in their learning. 


Time to Talk is a one to one intervention that supports a child who is struggling to cope with day to day life challenges. The sessions enable a child to talk and express their thoughts and feelings freely and openly within a secure, relaxed, safe space. 


The time to talk staff are friendly, approachable and empathic who listen and support children in a non judgemental way. They offer therapy through play, that enables opportunities for children to be successful and gain confidence in their own abilities in order to make good choices and decisions and to see themselves as worthwhile, loveable and capable to cope with daily life.


Skills Gained

Emotional Health / wellbeing

Self-esteem / confidence

Valued / Worthwhile


Listened to


Positive attitude /mindset


Trauma Informed Approach

Here at Thornhill Primary School, all school staff are currently undertaking the Trauma and Attachment Aware Programme which is designed to help raise awareness of the impact of experiencing adversity and childhood trauma. It is designed to support the development as well as educational engagement and progression of children and young people.

We are lucky enough to have three members of staff who have already completed the trauma informed accreditation and are able to deliver therapeutic interventions to support children with presenting needs.