Shipton Bellinger Primary School
Service Family Information
Shipton working with the Armed Forces Education Trust - 2020
Shipton Bellinger Primary School is proud to be working with the Armed Forces Education Trust in order to ensure that children of acting service men and women are able to achieve the best they can.
We apply for collective grants from the trust to enable us to provide additional emotional support to service pupils.
Over the last year (2019-2020), we received a grant of £5000, which enabled us to train up staff in a special Thrive intervention programme for emotional needs. This has then been used in all classrooms and for specific 1 to 1 sessions with service pupils. We have also been able to establish a popular Lunchtime Calm Club for service pupils to access, see below…
Lunchtime Calm Club
Calm Club runs 3 times a week and is mainly for those children who can find the playground a challenge, due to its unstructured nature. Calm Club provides these children with a safe space to go where they can have fun, but in a more structured way. It is never by invitation only, as we feel that it is important to give all children a chance to access this safe space at lunchtime. This year, the most popular activities have been art based, which is an area that Thrive believes is fundamental for a child’s emotional wellbeing and development. The club can cater for up to 8 pupils at a time and is often oversubscribed, proving its popularity and need within the school. We found that having this space to go to is great for children who just want to talk and relax at lunchtime, without the pressures and hectic nature of a school playground.
The work of the trust
Collective grants are awarded to schools to help provide educational support for service pupils. Such support is likely to include a specific educational intervention as a result of which the improved educational outcomes of the service children can be demonstrated. The trust may also be able to help with a grant to assist an individual child to overcome difficulties linked to their parents’ service and mobility. Parents are encouraged to view the work of the trust.
See their website - click on this link: https://armedforceseducation.org/
Shipton Bellinger School is a seven class primary school situated in a small village just outside the Garrison Town of Tidworth. Approximately fifty percent of our children are from service families, some of whom are quartered in the village itself and the remaining coming from Tidworth. Occasionally we also have children from Bulford Camp and increasingly from other nearby villages as service families have bought their own homes and settled in the area.
Our school has a lot of experience of working with children who move homes and schools and we try our very best to ensure your children settle quickly and therefore continue to make progress with their education. We have a well established induction and exit policy which we hope will make your child’s move as smooth as possible
- Give you and your child a tour of the school
- Send a letter to your child from their new class
- Provide your child with a buddy
- Welcome your child in assembly
- Introduce your child to other members of staff
- Read your child’s previous reports and records and make any necessary assessments
- Give you feedback of how your child has settled
We believe that education is a partnership between the school and parents and you can help us by:
- Making an appointment to look around the school
- Informing us of any special needs your child has
- Telling us about any worries you may have
Once we know your child is leaving
- Ensure any assessments are made
- Write a leaving report
- Provide you with your child’s school work, records and report to give to the new school
- Send any Special Needs records direct to your child’s new school
- Sensitively talk to your child about the move and discuss any worries they may have
We ask you to
- Inform us as soon as you know that you may be leaving even if you do not have actual dates. This is because the impending move may already be having an effect on your child.
- Inform us of your child’s last day at school.
- Provide us with the new school’s name and address and your forwarding address.
- Return reading book and library book.
- Collect and sign for child’s work
Shipton Bellinger has an open door policy and we welcome parents into school. Parents regularly hear children read, help with art activities and accompany us on trips. The annual fieldwork trip to Lulworth is popular with Dads. We also have a close relationship with various local units and in the past have had help to maintain our adventure playground and build planters for our school garden. The Pipers from 19 Regiment played and danced to our Year 2 class as part of our topic on Scotland. The Head teacher meets with members of the garrison and has links with the welfare team. We also have representatives of the services serving on our governing body.
We understand that deployment is major part of service life and as we take children from all the different regiments within the garrison there is rarely a time when we do not have a child who has one of its parents away for a long period of time. Again our staff has experience of working with children who are in this situation. Several of our staff have firsthand experience of service life and all staff have received training on deployment and the effects it may have on service children. We aim to help pupils learn to deal positively with the change and transition caused by deployments.
We understand that children may feel
- let down
We aim to maintain a ‘haven of normality’ during a time of change and challenge and we do this by
- maintaining classroom routines;
- maintaining expectations of behaviour and school work;
- retaining a stable environment, conducive to learning;
- retaining the enjoyment of learning and being with friends;
- enabling children to learn how to manage thoughts and feelings. ELSA
- anticipating and de-fusing potential pressure points;
- anticipating that some changes will invariably occur
- providing a listening ear
- helping the child to keep in touch
Where are you going? What is it like there? When will you be going? How long are you going for? Why are you going? What will you be doing? Who else is going? Will the family rules change? Will I have to do extra jobs? Will I still be able to……? Who will look after me if……?
Children may choose to explore their feelings within school as a neutral or emotionally safe environment…
Children will have lots of questions and we will provide a listening ear. We will not be able to answer them all and it may not be appropriate for us to so. We will keep you informed about any worries your child may have
Keeping in touch
Regular contact with the parent who is deployed can help reduce the feeling of loss …..
- Provide time to help draft a message, letter or e-mail;
- Provide time for younger children to draw on blueys
- Allow children to send a photo of something they have made or painted.
- Provide a map of the world on which post cards and photographs can be displayed
To help us to help your child please keep us informed
- Let us know well in advance of a deployment. We will respect your wishes not to tell your child but the months leading up to a deployment can start to unsettle the child even if they do not know about it.
- Let us know once you have a confirmed date – we understand this can change.
- Inform the school office of a second contact telephone number
- Let us know if you are finding it hard to find time to hear reading, supervise homework etc so we can make alternative arrangements
- Tell us when the parent is due home (for R & R and end of tour) - we understand that this too is a time of change and of adjustment.