Army&You highlights the excellent support that schools worldwide show our military children. This edition, we’re heading to Folkestone...
School: Cheriton Primary School
Number of Service pupils: 120 out of 476
How does the school help Service children settle in?
We provide new families with an activity book and DVD featuring Service children at the school who give a guided tour of the area. All new pupils have a class-based buddy and a member of staff meets the family in the first few days to address any concerns. These check-ins continue until the child is confident in their new environment.
What practical support do you give Service pupils?
If a parent is away, we try to ensure that parent evenings and performances fit around deployments. We have staff who are able to signpost to local services – such as dentists. We run a toddler group, art activities, a weekend forest school for families, as well as college courses on the school site.
Are there any military links?
Our governing body has two military members and the unit welfare officer for the 2nd Bn Royal Gurkha Rifles is a frequent visitor. The commanding officer, 2IC and Gurkha Major have a great community focus. This strong relationship enables the school to be effective in support for children when parents are deployed.
Are there any special projects involving Service children?
Kent has an annual Service Children’s Conference to celebrate the life of military families. The battalion also runs an annual activity day at each of the schools with Service children. Nepali children have lessons in a bespoke classroom each week developing their Nepali language skills and celebrating Nepali culture.
What do the kids say?
One Cheriton Primary pupil explained: “I have been to five schools, Cheriton twice! It was great to come back here especially when they asked me which class I would like to join so that I could be with my friends again.”
And the parents?
“The staff are sympathetic to the challenges of military life. With the soldiers away they are all a great support to both children and families. Cheriton is one of the best-led and most welcoming school environments that we have encountered. First-class all round!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org