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COMMUNITY


the Service children in her school through a community project. The work has grown and grown and the school has just received its second round of funding to develop it.


Mrs Cording: “Service children make up around 25% of our school, and whilst statistically across the UK they achieve more academically than other children, in our school that isn’t the case. So we wanted to think of a way that gave them the pastoral care they need along with helping with their attainment.


“So we asked a group of Service children in Year 6 to be in charge of organising a community event. They decided on staging an art gallery and (with some professional help!) got to grips with event planning, taking part in artist workshops, printing postcards to sell and sorting out the tea and coffee stands. All 95 Service children in the school took part on the day, and we got young people in from the secondary school who acted as peer mentors to the younger ones. The event has given them organisational skills and boosted their writing and their creativity. But it’s also given them an identity within the school community, and raised their profile with the other students”.


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Naphill and Walters Ash School in Buckinghamshire has a 50% Service child population. Mrs Gwynn, the headmistress, used the Service Pupil Premium money they receive to help Service children struggling to settle in to the school.


Mrs Gwynn: “At Naphill our main concern for our forces pupils is that we not only meet their academic needs, but can fully support the pupils with the other factors many of them have to contend with (eg. mobility, parents being posted abroad). We also believe that service families often need extra support as each county/region has different policies and procedures (eg. secondary transfer, Special Educational Needs).


“We decided to use our Service Pupil Premium to ensure that all new arrivals have a proper induction process, which ensures they know things like school rules and expectations and where everything is. This process uses a Passport which allows them to tell us about their likes and dislikes, previous schools and identifies the things they are worried about. Right from the start, new pupils get small group or individual support to help them settle. Pupils whose parents are deployed are given time out of class to contact their parents through e-blueys. The children really enjoy this time and


many of their messages are lovely and I know are appreciated by those receiving them.


“We also have special help for our Nepalese Service children. A Nepalese pupil started in Year 2 having come straight from Nepal. We already employed a dinner lady who was Nepalese, but we used the Pupil Premium to extend her hours at school to support new arrivals. She helped the school to assess that this pupil’s Nepalese was as poor as his English so we could identify his issues were wider than just the language barrier. More widely, she has helped with translations for children and she can also explain processes to parents in their own language.”


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