Armed Forces Families at Torpoint Nursery and Infant School
On average 20% of our children come from service families and this means that we understand and respond to the needs of these families and in particular the needs of the children .
Our children from service families make good progress and this progress is often better than their peers. Their attainment is higher than all groups nationally. This is in no small part to the fact that:
- The well-being and attainment of service family children is seen as of paramount importance to the Senior Leadership Team and this focus then percolates down to the teaching staff; we have high aspirations and high expectations.
- All staff know who their service family children are
- All staff understand the issues that may affect service family children and their families. As a staff we make sure that we keep up to date and understand the research that exists about the impact that there can be upon families and individual children relating to being in a service family.
Service Pupil Premium is primarily used by us for smaller classes (average of just 19 children in each class). Small classes increase the level of pastoral care and support that can be put in place for individual children and their specific needs which may change during the year.
In addition we put the following provision in place:
- We hold a weekly drop in session where we enable children from Reception to Year Two to take part in a range of activities including playing, making and talking together. We call this group Forces Friends. It is very popular and each week different children attend. In any one week there may be 25 plus children out of the possible 40. Across the year all children choose to attend at least some sessions. This group enables children to broaden their friendships and support network across the school. We ‘mix up’ children from different classes and different year groups and think about how our lives are similar to each other; maybe our parents are away Monday to Friday, or on a long deployment or we may have moved or be moving.
- We are part of the MKC Heroes group and staff attend meetings and children attend events
- We attend the events organised by MKC Heroes that are appropriate to the age and stage of development of our children. We also organise our own visits related to our Forces Friends group. Previously this has included attending events at HMS Raleigh, visiting the Poppy Wave and attending the anniversary of Torpoint Archives .
- Service children who are new to our school receive a welcome card from our Forces Friends group and we give farewell cards when our friends leave at a different time to the end of an academic year or to a different location to their peers.
- When a parent is on deployment we have special books with our Forces Friends logo available. Children can use these to put down their thoughts or to record special events or special things to them so that when their parents return home they can share with their child what their child has been doing. Sometimes the parent has one of the books too so that they can write to their child.
- We have at least one special assembly each year when the children talk to their parents about what happens in our school; they love talking about and sharing with the rest of the school population the special work their parents do and the places their parents have visited on deployment .
- We hold a Remembrance Service in School each year and invite special guests to join us and this includes inviting all the parents who are or have served in the Armed Services.
- We hold a family event each year (last year it was a picnic and previously it was a tea party) to build the sense of community for our families and children.
- We take a very active role in the local community and attend council and Royal British Legion events. We are affiliated to the Royal British Legion.
- We have a named member of the senior leadership team, Mrs Stephanie Lock , who works with children, parents and staff to promote the well being of children from our Service Families. She acts as a point of contact for staff and parents alike and who works closely with the head teacher to ensure that the needs of children from Service families are met across the school.
- We have a whole school focus on emotional health and wellbeing.This includes universal provision and also individual support at times of need.
*£310 service premium is paid by the government for each Service Family Child from Reception age onwards
Ofsted 2015 - "The school works very successfully with pupils from Forces families to ensure that they and their families are well supported"
"The school works very hard and is successful in its drive to ensure that all groups of pupils have equality of opportunity and that there is no discrimination. For example, parents who spoke to inspectors are very impressed with the support that the school gives to the pupils and families of those in the Forces. The school readily makes allowances on days when parents leave to go away from home or arrive back from working away from home for long periods of time. The school organises opportunities for Forces families to meet and talk, and gives Forces families new to the area guidance and support. The school also promotes the role of the Forces in pupils’ lives through regular Forces assemblies and a weekly club held for pupils from Forces families to spend time together."
MKC Heroes is a national support group for the children of Service men and women and their relatives. A tri-Service network of after-school clubs, MKC Heroes brings together members of Service families aged between three and 18 years old from all over the country. Our members are ambassadors and young advocates for Service families across the United Kingdom, and most importantly, they are friends who are there for each other, especially in times of need.
As a school we are part of MKC Heroes. You can find out more about MKC Heroes at
Keeping Us Informed
As a school we know that school routines are helpful when you are dealing with separation and worry. Equally there are days that are more challenging and support is available in school for those more difficult days. Children can be supported in small groups or individually to cope emotionally and practically with the difficulties of living in a forces family.
So that we can help your child please can you let their teacher know when a member of the family, who is in the armed forces, is away and for how long, including if they are working away in the week and come home at the weekend.
Forces Family Group
Forces Family Group runs on demand and is an informal group that offers support both practical and emotional to forces parents. It is an opportunity to share the joys and difficulties of being a forces family. Younger siblings are welcome.
Please contact Mrs Lock via the school office for further information.