AS PART of the Army’s Rebasing Programme, families are returning from Germany to the UK to start a new chapter. Many of you will be moving to locations around Salisbury Plain and around 1,000 school places are being created.
Many of the moves will take place during the summer months, so if you have school-aged children you will be able to move during school holidays. Children working to public exams, in particular GCSE and A-Level, will complete their courses at the same school where possible.
Plans in place
Bishopspark School Paderborn has been preparing their pupils for the exciting months ahead and head teacher Andy Chapman has put a specialist transition team in place to prepare groups and individuals for their next school.
“This involves contacting the new school, talking to the new class teacher, looking at the school’s website and completing an ‘all about me’ pupil booklet which is then sent to the new school,” he said. “We also ensure that all attainment and progress information is given to your child’s new school before they arrive so they can be put into an appropriate class.”
School leavers at Bishopspark receive a leaving bear and learning powers card. Cards with the school poem are signed by all the children so everyone has memories from their friends and a transition day helps pupils to discuss their feelings and to address any challenges.
“New friendships and new styles are things we can’t control in the future, but we can make sure that the children’s transition is as smooth as possible,” said Andy. “Armed Forces children seem to just have a knack of getting on with things and as a result of their experiences they become very good social communicators.”
Schools back in the UK are also making plans to welcome families.
Nicky Phillips, head teacher at St Michael’s Primary School in Larkhill, offered reassurance: “With such an influx coming to the area, we are planning support for families who are new. Our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant is about to start a monthly tea and chat session for parents and this is something we will be developing further.”
The Wellington College Academy Trust is welcoming hundreds of Service children to Wiltshire. Executive headteacher Abrilli Phillip said: “Preparations are already well-developed to ensure that Service children of all ages have a fantastic education choice within the Tidworth and Bulford areas.
“We already have in excess of 50 per cent Service children in all our schools and we are looking forward to further developing our close relationships with the military community. We are in the process of applying for an MOD grant to help support the transition from Germany and a successful start to children’s education in the Wellington family of schools.”
If you’re moving back to the UK as part of rebasing and would like some support, contact your local AFF co-ordinator – details on page three of Army&You or via the AFF website at aff.org.uk