We are very proud to have children of families who are serving in the armed forces, as part of our school community. Shorncliffe Garrison is close to our school and home to the Royal Gurkha Rifles, presently the 2nd Batallion Royal Gurkha Rifles. We are fortunate enough to have Governors who have links with the Army. This enables the school to be up to date with MOD news and issues impacting on strategic school development.
The Headteacher, is a member of the national executive committee for Service Children in State Schools, has been involved in arranging an annual Pupil Voice’ conference for all Service Pupils in Kent and sits on the Kent and Medway Children and Youth Sub Group for Service Children.
The Royal Gurkha Rifles have unit moves every three years, the unit move postponed due to Covid 19 from the Summer Term of 2020 finally took place in the Summer of 2022. The Headteacher along with the Headteacher of Guston Primary School have been part of the strategic planning team for this move after visiting the service families in Brunei.
Our school has experience of working with children who move homes and schools and we try our very best to ensure children settle quickly so that it does not have a negative impact on their education.
As soon as we are able to offer a place to a child we will do our best to ensure that the transition in to school is as smooth as possible. If a child is able to visit the school prior to a start date we will arrange a tour of the school, introduce them to their new teacher and a "buddy", a member of their new class.
When children start school our Childrens Liaison Officer meets with them in the first few days to answer any questions and offer support they may need.
Staff at Cheriton will read previous school reports / records and welcome the opportunity to meet with parents should there be a need.
When a child moves to a new school we do our best to liaise with the new school and ensure that all records are posted (secure post) as soon as we have confirmation that they are now on roll. There are many schools in the UK and overseas who we have a history of transferring children between and so may be able to discuss their new school with them which we hope will help to reduce any anxiety they have over a move.
On their last day, children moving to a posting out of Kent will be given a leaving gift and an autograph book for them to collect memories from their present class.
Deployment is a significant part of service life and there is rarely a time when we do not have a child who has one a parent away for a period of time. Again our staff have experience of working with children who are in this situation. Some of our staff have first-hand experience of service life. We aim to help children learn to deal positively with the change and transition caused by deployments.
At Cheriton we aim to maintain a normality during a time of change and challenge. We maintain classroom routines, provide a listening ear for the child and resident parent, help children manage their emotions, try to anticipate pressure points and keep a record of important events which occur whilst a parent is away.
We have a policy of encouraging children to keep in touch with the deployed parent through emails and letters. At school during a deployment class teachers also email the deployed parent with an update of how their child is at school as does the Headteacher.
Please find below some information that might be useful.