Name of school: Attenborough School

Location: Sennelager, Germany

Number of pupils: 61 – with more coming in 2021

School motto: ‘We care’

How do you help service children settle in?
We care about all new arrivals to our Attenborough family and are acutely aware of the importance of families settling quickly in our unique location.

New families meet with our senior leaders and teachers, enjoy a tour of the school and face-to-face discussions about our ethos and curriculum. Children meet with their teachers and classmates on day one, so that they’re immediately made to feel part of our happy team.

What practical support do you give service pupils?
We use a buddy system once pupils begin their education with us along with daily communication with parents through our ‘open door’ policy and communication platforms.

Our Emotional Literacy Support Assistants are very adept at identifying children who may be struggling with their transition and implement interventions, in collaboration with class teachers and parents, to ensure that any early worries are addressed. Even if arriving children don’t remember all that’s said to them in their first few days or weeks, our aim is that they’ll always remember how we made them feel.

How does the school link with the military?
We have very close links with the units that we serve here in Sennelager. Our garrison commander and chair of our school governors’ committee, Lt Col Danny Wild, is very supportive and his connection with all units really does benefit our school community massively. Several service personnel are very active in supporting the school through initiatives such as ground force days or sport competitions. We’re also in talks with our unit contacts to support future outdoor education programmes in the Harz mountains that will hopefully utilise the many skills that our engineers can offer to our children, such as bridge building or outward-bound type activities.

Future plans?
A year on from our re-birth, we have an enormous sense of achievement. Although some things have been delayed due to coronavirus, we’re hugely optimistic for our future. We’re in a very good place developmentally and levels of motivation are extremely high in teaching, support staff and pupils and, as a result there’s a real sense of purpose.

For the days ahead, we’re all committed to going further together and rising as one, based on our care for each other, our learning, and our school.

What do the parents think?
“Attenborough School has been great at keeping us in close contact as to targets and strategies put in place for our children. Our boys have settled quickly and love coming to school, which is a true credit to all members of staff,” says parent Kirsty Roy.

Is your child’s school going that extra mile to support service children?
Would you like your school to feature in the future? Contact Army&You for details by emailing deped@aff.org.uk

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