Service Families Key Worker update
Support for Service Children and their Families
At CPS just over 30% of our pupils are from a Service Family. I am a dedicated Service Family Key Worker and here to assist our current and future families during their time at our school.
In 2015 (the last time it was awarded) we won the Army Families Federation 'Excellence for Forces Children's Award, after being runners up in 2014. This award is given in recognition of the excellent way the school supports Service children.
My main role as Service Family Key Worker is to provide support to all Service children and their and families during their time at CPS, especially through times of transition (moving into and out of Carterton Primary School) and when a family member is away from home.
I provide one-to-one support for all our new Service children, which takes place out of the classroom and in The Orchard and Cherry Class. This support includes transition interventions with new starter passport sessions which are designed to help children settle in quickly, ensuring they make friends and feel happy. It is also important to us to ensure any Service children that are leaving CPS are supported and provided with a smooth and easy transition to their new school. This is also provided through one-to-one support in The Orchard and Cherry Class which includes transition interventions with leaver passport sessions being completed.
During lunchtimes I run Keeping in Touch (KiT) Clubs to support any Service children who have a parent away from home - this could be due to deployment, detachment, training or just due to the nature of their parent's job role. Children are invited to attend the KiT Club sessions whenever a parent is away no matter how long or short this may be. They are also invited to join us a few weeks prior to a parents deployment and stay with us for as long as they need after a parent has returned home as these times can also be very tricky and just as hard for children. Children with parents who are frequently away due to their job have an open invitation to come along whenever they would like to. Activities include sending letters, emails & blueys, creating artwork and using resources provided by Service charities to allow children to share their thoughts and feelings. There is also plenty of time for children to chat to others in the same situation.
In addition, I keep in close contact with the HiVE, the Community Support Team at RAF Brize Norton and other services and professionals within the community and local area. I also have lots of information from service charities and organisations so do get in touch if you require further information.
When Covid-19 restrictions started to ease, it has been lovely to be able to build up our community links and extra-curricular activities again and I look forward to being able to plan more and more exciting opportunities for our Service children, especially through into the next academic year.
For me to best support your child it is important to keep the lines of communication open so please do keep myself and your child's teacher updated with any information regarding moving house, deployments or time away. If you feel your child will be facing something for which they may need help or reassurance, please let me know as I do understand the issues you face on a day-to-day basis. Being aware of your child's emotions and changes they may be facing will help me to support your child and your family through what can be a tricky time for you all.
If you would like to contact me with any questions, to arrange a visit to school or to let me know about a deployment or posting please ring the school office or email me directly at email@example.com.
Service Family Key Worker
Service Children's Pupil Voice Conference
A selection of Year 5 Service children took part in an amazing event at the Kassam Stadium on Wednesday. The event was put together by Oxfordshire County Council to celebrate and bring together all the Service children from across the county. We took part in a variety of activities where the children explored and shared stories and experiences of their military lives, created a wooden montage which will be hung somewhere important as a legacy of the day and a creative arts workshop with a practitioner from the Never Such Innocence charity where the children created a poem. The children had a fantastic day and I was very proud of them all and they way they represented CPS!
Never Such Innocence Songwriting Workshop with HEZEN (Sarah)
In May a selection of Year 5 and 6 Service children had the most amazing opportunity provided by the Service charity Never Such Innocence to take part in a songwriting workshop with Sarah Hezen. Hezen is an self-taught, award-winning music producer and singer/songwriter who has released many songs and collaborations, which can be found on spotify with over 2 million streams! She has also created music for many adverts and songs which feature in television programmes.
The children worked in small groups to create lyrics drawing on their own experiences and feelings of being a Service child and their military life. Hezen then worked with each group to help them put their lyrics to the backing track that she had created for our school prior to the workshop. As the groups added their lyrics to the backing track the song slowly came together and we were able to listen to the song that the children had created! It was an amazing experience for our children and we very much look forward to working with the Service charity Never Such Innocence again. A few days later Hezen sent across our finished piece - it is a fantastic song and I am very proud of how our children worked together to create such a brilliant piece!
Month of the Military Child - April
During the month of April, CPS celebrated our military children with lots of exciting activities! We ran a number of clubs for our service children where they were able to share their military lives and experiences and take part in a variety of games and activities to develop friendships and teamwork.
We were very lucky to be able to take some service children to RAF Brize Norton to see the fantastic RAF Falcons display - and what a display it was! (See photos below)
On Friday 29th April we celebrated our military children by wearing a purple accessory for 'Purple Up Day' It was so lovely to see the colour purple all around the school to show our support for our military children. During 'Purple Up Day' all children took part in class assemblies/circle times where the service children were able to share their military lives and experiences with their classmates. More lunchtime groups were also set up on this day providing our service children with more talking time activities and games.
Although we are now in May, we are finishing off our Month of the Military Child with a Songwriting Workshop for all service children in Years 4, 5 & 6. We are extremely lucky to have a professional music practitioner come into our school to lead this workshop where we will create a song which will be entered into the Never Such Innocence Charity Competition! Please watch this space for photos, videos and more of this fantastic opportunity!