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Service Families

Children of Service Families

We believe that looking after our service families is a special and important job. We fully recognise that military life can present all sorts of additional challenges for service families, and we aim to identify and support our service children both as individuals and as a group and help them thrive in our nurturing school; whilst embracing each child’s unique experiences as personal assets that can help them become more confident, adaptable and resilient adults.

Dear Service Families,

I am writing to introduce myself as the Service Family Support Assistant at South Wonston Primary School. 

My name is Jo Donovan and I am also an Elsa (Emotional literacy Support assistant) and a DDSL (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) at the school. Myself and the school work in partnership with the Community Development Worker, Army Welfare and the community Support team at Worthy Down. 

If you have any questions, please contact the school office to arrange a time for us to talk.

Before joining our school

Before a pupil’s first day at school there will be an opportunity for us to show you and your family around our school and introduce the teachers who will be teaching your child / children. If the timing of your move means that this is not possible, then please let us know so that we can arrange contact with either myself or the admin team another way – for example by a phone call, virtual meet or perhaps email.

The first day

At South Wonston Primary School, we understand that moving schools is a very important moment for children, so we like to welcome our new arrivals with a warm welcome. On your child’s first day we will arrange to meet you and your child at the school office. We will make sure your child is introduced to classmates and assigned a “buddy”.

Each child joining our school will be given ‘a school-home’ diary which both parents and school use to communicate non-urgent messages. You are also very welcome to arrange a time to speak in more detail with your child’s teacher or myself – to make an appointment please call the office.

How we support our service families in our school community

We offer a range of opportunities, such as a weekly lunchtime Service club for Key stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils and an after school club. These clubs provide the opportunity for the children to write blueys, draw a picture or make something that they would like to send to their loved one, and - most importantly - be around other children who understand what it's like to have that special someone away; it is also an excellent way for the children to make even more friends!

These clubs provide a relaxing environment where we can all get to know one another and allows myself and the children an opportunity to build positive and supportive relationships. The children have lots of fun and there is always plenty of laughter and chatting! We know that it is both incredibly exciting and also sometimes difficult to be a service child and so, if you or your child has any ideas about what would make Service Club even better, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We enjoy a range of different activities and it is so lovely to hear your children sharing their amazing experiences of military life. 

Emotional Support

At South Wonston Primary School we can have a number of parents deployed at any one time. We recognise our role in helping to support our children through any anxiety or worries that they have. If a parent is due for deployment, we ask our families to please let us know in advance; this is because we work with our families to understand how a child is feeling and use this information to develop the right support structure for them.

Leaving us

We believe supporting a child who is leaving is as important as supporting a child who has just joined. We ensure that all relevant records are transferred to the new school and teachers will often make contact with the new school/teacher, to talk about your child and how they learn best. If a child is particularly anxious about moving to a new school additional support can be put into place with Jo Donovan and they might discuss concerns and even research or skype the new school, so the child knows what to expect and feels prepared.

Useful Links:

School Uniform

School Day


Wraparound Care

Afterschool Clubs

Events Calendar

Charities who offer support

For our parents, we know there is lots of support available to you but it can be tricky finding it, so we hope the following links are useful;

Aggies - Aggies can support Naval families in a range of ways, including deployment packs and story books

Little Troopers - Resources used to support a child through parental deployment

Other links you may find useful;

Making Sense of the Emotional Cycle of Deployment for Children

Living in our Shoes

Voice of Schools Survey Report

Hampshire County Council have put together a resource for schools and families which focuses specifically on supporting pupils from service families. Please click here for the document.