Hi, my name is Mrs Whiteside. I am the Learning Mentor at Kelsall Primary and Nursery School. I have been part of the Kelsall team since 2010 and completed ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) training in 2018. I am a Drawing and Talking Therapy Practitioner and completed Youth Mental Health First Aider training in 2021. I have also undertaken training in Safeguarding, Domestic Abuse and LGBTQ+ Awareness along with courses in Lego Intervention and Sensory Circuits.
As a learning mentor, I am here to listen, offer support and practical advice to help children make the most of their time at school and to help overcome any barriers to learning they may have. My role is wide ranging, but the key aim is helping children of all ages and all abilities. I support children by helping them find strategies to cope with any emotional challenges they are facing. Children often benefit from talking to a trusted adult who is not directly involved in their day-to-day lives.Building good relationships with children and their families is paramount to my role.
My role is to support children with their problems, not fix. I am here to provide emotional support to those who need it. I aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a child and to provide a reflective space where children are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings.
Through 1:1 sessions or small group work, together we tackle issues such as:
- Low self-esteem or confidence
- Social skills
- Friendship difficulties
- Transition to a new class or to secondary school
- Dealing with anger
- Bereavement or other loss
- Family breakdown/changes in home life
- Coping with illness
- Attendance and Punctuality
- Children new to the school who need help settling in
- Any other emotional challenge that might be a barrier to learning.
Sessions can vary from a one-off drop-in session to regular, scheduled sessions over several week (usually 6-12 weeks). They are tailored to the children and their individual needs.
Sessions will usually take place in ‘The Nest’. The Nest is a purpose-built space, where we have created a calm and nurturing environment for children to feel safe and welcome.If you feel you child would benefit from some extra support, please speak to your child’s class teacher. Alternatively, you can email me on
Below are some links to resources you may find useful. These will be updated and added to regularly.