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Case studies

Priory CIW Primary School (Powys) - Monitoring and tracking Service children

Priory CIW Primary School (Powys) - Monitoring and tracking Service children

Priory Church in Wales (CIW) Primary School is situated in Brecon, the home of 160th (Welsh) Brigade and Headquarters of Wales, The Infantry Battle training barrack and close to the Sennybridge training base. The Armed Forces community is a mix of serving personnel and veterans (ex-Service personnel). The majority of families have one parent who is serving personnel. The children often stay at the school for two or three years, following a posting to the area. If a parent is promoted, they may move on more quickly.

Number of Service children at Priory Church in Wales Primary School: 15 (10%)

Case study completed by: Claire Pugh, Senior Teacher

  1. Challenges Service children face
  2. Tracking mental health and wellbeing
  3. Reports and record keeping
  4. Using the information
  5. Impact

1. What challenges do Service children face at Priory CIW Primary School?

  • Being able to manage their emotions and wellbeing when they are dealing with different situations
  • Being separated from a parent when they are working away
  • Saying goodbye to friends who are moving on
  • Managing transition, which can include periods of change within the family unit
  • Adapting to different education systems, including different curriculums and subjects, changes to the pedagogy and learning and teaching systems
  • Some families joining the school have different expectations of education, based on their previous experiences and this can cause anxiety for parents.

2. What systems does Priory CIW Primary School use to track the mental health, wellbeing and welfare of children?

Funded by the Welsh Governments funding to support schools with Service children, we have introduced a programme called MyConcern!, which is safeguarding software system. It enables staff within the school to report any concern they have about a child. MyConcern! is a quick and easy reporting system, which enables a report to be produced about a child. It provides a chronology of events, experiences and concerns that staff have about a pupil.

We are using the programme as a reporting system to replace a paper trail. It gives an overview of a specific child’s experiences and needs during their time at our school. We not only report on safeguarding issues but also a child’s mental health, wellbeing and welfare.

3. What is included in the MyConcern! report?

  • Child's name
  • Time
  • Place

Concern: (250 characters)

Example: “XXXX has come into school today very upset and is refusing to have breakfast.”

Action taken:

Example: “Class teacher spends some time understanding why XXXX is upset through a one to one discussion. The child is upset, as he/she didn’t sleep because dad has gone away for six weeks of training in Germany.

Class teacher listens to the child and asks is there anything that she can do to help. Child replies that they want to be listened to and to know that they may not be their normal self for a couple of days, they need to get used to dad not being there.

The class teacher asks if XXXX they would like some breakfast from the school.

Class teacher states to XXXX that they can always talk to any member of staff in school in confidence but if there are safeguarding concerns they will be shared with headteacher and resolved as appropriate. We will make sure the child has support whatever their situation.”

4. How is the MyConcern! information used? Disseminated?

  • The MyConcern! entry will be shared with the safeguarding lead and then a decision will be taken on the required action
  • Appropriate actions would be taken if it was a safeguarding issue, in line with the school and local authority policy and guidelines
  • A MyConcern! entry can always be updated, and information added
  • The school will follow up with parents, dependent on the concern. This would be through an appropriate discussion with the parent and class teacher or they may wish to speak with our liaison officer/play worker. It is important to keep the professional dialogue and communication between both home and school
  • Children will be supported with nurture and care within the class but may wish to have one to one time with the class teacher, Learning Support Assistant (LSA) or the dedicated play worker/liaison officer we employ through the Welsh Government grant funding. In addition, they may have Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) sessions where they can talk about their emotions, friendships, anger, loss
  • Support will continue during the child’s time at the school as necessary, through informal chats with members of staff they feel comfortable with and with regular updates to the parent
  • Senior leaders and the Headteacher can access and review the data at any point for monitoring.

5. What impact will the MyConcern! programme have?

  • An up to date record of information on all children held electronically
  • It provides evidence in the form of a report and a history of that child for their next school, this can be sent via the system if the school has MyConcern! or as a PDF document. The report will show statistical data and written records about the child
  • It enables everything to be in one safe and secure place
  • It allows the safeguarding leader to track trends and patterns and to have everything in one place; the wellbeing of our children is always at the forefront of what we do.

 Date produced: January 2020

 

 

Case studies

Examples of how schools are identifying the need of their Service children and supporting them.

Service children’s quotes

"As soon as we get used to a house, you get moved - I’ve been to four schools and moved six times."

Aiden

"I lived in Nepal, then we went to Brunei, then Malaysia."

Ashim

"In my eyes you have hundreds of friends in different places."

Chloe

"I’m used to moving now and mixing with the children... I’ve done it so many times it’s just a normal thing now."

Chloe

"It's ok talking over skype and that but sometimes you just want a hug when Dad is away."

Georgia

"I’ve enjoyed going around to lots of places around the world, its adventurous and exciting."

Harry

"In my eyes you have hundreds of friends in different places."

Ieuan

"My mum got a chalk board and it says how many sleeps on it with chalk, every minute it’s getting closer for him coming home."

Mia

"I don’t want him to get promoted... I want him to get promoted but I don’t want to leave."

Oliver

"I might be going to boarding school so that I don’t change schools every few years."

Ryan

"I've been to seven different schools; I’ve not stayed put in one school long enough."

Shana

"He has been away for six months and he is back for two weeks, then he goes away again."

Sianed

"My parents were in the Army. My mum is a like a nurse and my dad went to the war in Afghanistan. I actually didn’t really know what he was doing so I was like, ‘Cool Dad, go there’, but then I found out and thought, 'Thank God he came back alive.'"

Sanjog

"He signed off last week, so he will be done by the end of this year. He’s done 24 years. I find that better because he will be around a lot. He likes watching us playing rugby, so he will get to see us more."

Lewis

"I’m going to a new place entirely. They don’t know anything about me and that’s a big restart and that’s really good for me."

Piaras

"I moved to Wales because my dad was posted in the Army. I thought I would get bullied and I was shy when you meet new people, but I made some friends."

Dan