At Zouch Academy, our family support worker is Michelle Pelling. She is here to assist our inclusion manager, Jackie Udale, in supporting families with any questions, issues, or problems they might have. Currently, 71% of our pupils are from a service family, which means nearly ¾ of our pupils know exactly how a new service child is feeling. This experience guides them to being welcoming and friendly.
The main role of the family support worker is to provide support to pupils and families in periods of transition (moving in and out of Tidworth), deployment, and other times of need or worry. Michelle runs parenting courses to help with routines and behaviour and can give friendly advice on a wide range of issues. She holds regular coffee mornings for our parents and to help those new to the area to meet new friends.
Support is provided for all of our new service children within their classrooms. This involves providing a buddy who knows how they are feeling and will help them to settle into their new environment. In addition, most of our teaching assistants have military connections and are either currently, or have previously been, a member of a service family, so they can empathise with how the children are feeling.
I am here to help with any concerns or questions you may have about your child or family life in general.
Our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)
Support is also provided by our ELSA, Mrs Clark, to share any thoughts or worries when moving to Zouch or on to a new school. Mrs Clark has lots of activities and resources that support a wide range of worries and concerns.
To find out more about Mrs Clark’s role as ELSA, click the button below.
During their time at our school, pupils may also access the ELSA concerning a variety of issues, including social skills, dealing with emotions, bereavement, social and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, and friendship. Mrs Clark works in ‘The Zone’ with children throughout the school in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. She also runs a Bluey Club to support those children who have a family member away from home due to deployment or training. This is a very sociable lunchtime club where children can write or draw a picture to send on a bluey to their parent. They can also share their thoughts and feelings with other pupils in the same situation.
The NSPCC lunchtime club is run every Monday in Zany Zebras by two children’s services practitioners every Monday. They cover a full programme of issues that affect Service children, including managing worries, who can you talk to, separation, managing feelings, moving and changing homes and schools, and making friends. Children can also go to them just to get all the things that other (civilian) children don’t have to deal with off their chest. The practitioners understand what it is like, and give children space, which is sometimes all they need.