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Service Children

Our military connection is an essential part of the school’s distinctive character.

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Why our military connection is so important here at Risedale School

Risedale School has one of the largest proportions of Service Children (over 40%) of any secondary school in the UK. This military connection is an essential part of the school’s distinctive character.

What is a Service Child?

A Service Child is a person whose parent, or carer, serves in the regular armed forces, or as a reservist, or has done at any point during the first 25 years of that person’s life. A service child is resilient and is part of a family that has an extraordinary everyday life. Being a service child comes with its own set of challenges, and one of the most significant struggles they face is navigating the school system. The constant moves, parental deployments, and frequent changes in their environment can have a profound impact on their education and overall well-being. Adjusting to new schools and making friends can be daunting for any child, but service children often have to do it repeatedly throughout their academic years. The transient lifestyle can disrupt their continuity of education, making it difficult to catch up with curriculum changes. Moreover, the emotional toll of having a parent deployed can affect their concentration and overall performance

Fortunately, there are resources and support systems in place to aid military children in overcoming these challenges. From our School Counsellor to our Service Children’s Advocates, various initiatives have been developed within Risedale School to provide assistance and create a nurturing environment for these resilient young minds.

Service Deployment Form

> > Please fill in this FORM to advise us of any parental/family deployments which may impact your child(ren)'s attitude towards learning, or to advise of any additional support you may need during the deployment period.

Meet our Service Children's Advocate Team:

Stacey Johnson

"As a Service Child, I had the opportunity to travel all across Europe. I attended a British Forces school in Germany where I completed my secondary education. After completing my last GCSE exam, I travelled back to the UK the same night. I understand the feelings of Service Children as my Dad was away on tours for most of my childhood. These experiences have made me a more resilient person and someone who can empathise and support our pupils here at Risedale who may be going through some of the same things as I did when I was a child."

Helen Porritt

"I have strong links with the army as my husband was a serving soldier for 22 years and together we brought up our son in an Army environment. I have lived in married quarters in Catterick as well as Paderborn, Fallingbostel, Hohne and BATUS (Canada). I know what it is like to undergo the stresses and strains of deployments, long periods of separation, as well as the day-to-day situations that can arise. My role as a Service Children Advocate enables me to use my own experiences with the military for good and hopefully benefit our pupils here at Risedale."

Jane Hailwood

"I have worked at Risedale for many years, and the resilience shown by our pupils from Service Families never ceases to amaze me. I am very aware of the extra challenges placed on these pupils. While regularly moving from one location to another provides many exciting opportunities, pupils tell me that it gets harder to make new friends as they get older, and they worry about gaps in their education. I want to work with these pupils to make sure they are supported and reach their full potential while they are part of the Risedale Family and beyond."

Resources & Helpful Links

Building Heroes

A military charity providing training leading to a gateway of construction employment opportunities.

Deployment Support

The Families Federations have collaborated with the Service Children In State Schools National Executive Advisory Committee to create this resource with useful links and signposting to raise awareness of the resources and organisations offering support to help children from an Armed Forces background during times of deployment.

Little Troopers

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting all children with one or both parents serving in our British Armed Forces (regular or reserve). These children face unique daily challenges due to their parents career choice especially when they experience repeated separation of varying lengths of time from their serving parent(s) due to exercises and operations plus moving home and school frequently due to service requirements.

As a charity they ensure all Little Troopers have fundamental resources available to help ease and aid any separation period. Those initiatives are in existence to keep serving parents and children connected when miles separate.

Making sense of the emotional cycle of deployment

Deployment can be an emotional experience for all the family. Understanding the stages and feelings involved can help parents, carers and schools to support children and young people. This resource helps us to understand children’s behaviour and strategies that can help children at different stages. 

Moving Schools - A Parents' Guide

This booklet is to help Service Parents support their child(ren) when moving from one school to another. It is recognised that there are very individual and specific issues that Service children may experience as a result of parental mobility and deployment.

Never Such Innocence

The charity, Never Such Innocence, began as a First World War commemoration project for children and young people. Inspired by this conflict, more than 11,000 young people from 47 different countries, territories and dependencies created poetry, artwork, and songs. From 2019 Never Such Innocence expanded their focus to include conflict in all forms and throughout history, up to and including the present day. To date, young people in over 125 countries have participated in their work. The organisation delivers workshops, special events and International competitions.

Scotty's Little Soldiers

Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved military children and young people.

Service Children's Champion (North Yorkshire)

Angela Campbell is the Service Children's Champion for North Yorkshire.

The Service Children’s Champion team was first established in 2012 and its role is to support Service Children, their families and professionals who are responsible for their care. They organise and host a range of events throughout the school year to raise awareness and to give Service Children an opportunity to come together and celebrate. The team also provides wellbeing courses and resources, facilitates Service Children Network meetings and advocates on behalf of Service Children.

Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance

The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance is a partnership of organisations focused on improving outcomes for children from Armed Forces families. It is hosted by the University of Winchester and supported by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

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