Army&You highlights the support that schools worldwide show our military children. This edition, we’re heading to Scotland…
How does the school help service children settle in?
We always try to give new pupils and their families a warm welcome, which includes a tour of the school before joining. On arrival, each pupil is allocated a buddy who helps them find their way around and makes sure they have someone to play with. We also make it a priority to find out where new pupils’ learning is at by looking at records that come from their previous school. Where we identify any gaps, our support for learning teacher makes sure that the appropriate assistance is in place.
What practical support do you give service pupils?
We are very lucky to have Place2Be – a therapy service which offers support in a variety of forms such as one-to-one and group play therapy – in school. Place2Be also runs a drop-in service called Place2Talk which is very popular with service pupils. We also run a weekly lunchtime club, run by the Army Welfare Service (AWS) and charity Children 1st, for service pupils and their friends – it has proved really popular.
Are there any military links?
As well as a good partnership with our local AWS community team, our head teacher regularly attends meetings with representatives from the military and organisations that support service families such as AFF. We’re always keen to build links as this can only be of benefit to our service families. This year, two of our military parents have been running monthly coffee mornings to get family members together.
Are there are any special projects involving service children?
We’re excited to launch a new support team for service families in our school as well as at Colinton Primary and Firrhill High School. It’s a collaborative project between the schools, Children 1st and the AWS community team. It’s in its early stages, but we have some exciting projects planned involving storytelling and mindfulness.
What do the kids think?
Katie said: “Longstone is very supportive for children who have parents in the army. Longstone is awesome.” Abbey added: “It doesn’t matter how long my dad is away as Longstone is always there.”