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Do you think an 'army' school is ok for a 'non-army' child?

(14 Posts)
KatieWatie Wed 18-May-11 18:28:33

Not sure at all that this is the right forum, I posted it on Education and was advised to try here too. Apologies if I sound a bit naive but I am still at the VERY stupidly-early stages of child rearing. However I am concerned about this and was hoping to get some opinions.

We live in an 'army' village but are not army - there are only 4 private houses on the garrison and we have one of them. The infant/primary school in our village is therefore populated by children of serving soldiers (the other 3 private houses having no children within them).

I'm a little worried that my child will automatically be swept up into the most local school i.e. the Army one. I WANT TO STRESS that the worry isn't snobbery - I know there's some really good army schools (my DH is ex-army and lots of our friends' kids were therefore educated within that system) but more to do with socialisation. My child's friends would presumably be moving away every 2 years or so (am I right in this assumption?), and I'd really like it if my child could at least have a chance of making some lifelong friends at an early age - I never had this myself and it is one of my biggest regrets.

I also worry that my child might have a problem 'fitting in' or relating to the children of those serving e.g. regimental trips that happen out of school that they wouldn't be involved in, things that happen on camp etc. I myself feel very out-on-a-limb socially and haven't retained any local friends as the few that I made have moved away - my child would have this same problem. I appreciate that having a child at the local school would be a great way for ME to meet people but I'm not sure it's the best thing for my child, IYKWIM.

I wondered if anyone can give me any pointers or their own experience as to whether my worries are founded or not. We love where we live and don't really want to move but maybe we should consider this now rather than when it's too late? Or will the powers-that-be take into account that we're not in a MQ and allow my child to go to an alternative school?

Again apologies for this probably very naive post, I have zero experience of the school system yet. I'm also sorry for the length of it blush

tiredgranny Wed 18-May-11 18:34:53

you do get a choice of school to certain extent (so they say) look at good points how well do they do in ofstead reports etc etc its not an army school just local school where they all go i have friends in military and they have been in their posting years at least ten and not moved they will not all move

KatieWatie Wed 18-May-11 18:35:07

In summary, I suppose I'm asking "What Would You Do?"

tjacksonpfc Wed 18-May-11 18:41:38

My dcs go to an army school and we are civis. In fact there are only 5 civi kids in the school and mine are 2 of them.

I have found with them that they learn quickly that their friends will move on and they cope with it well. Also it is a relativly small school and the teachers do everything they can to make the comings and going easy for teh children.

Out of interest what part of the country are you in kstiewatie You never know the school you are thinking of might be where my dcs are already. smile

tiredgranny Wed 18-May-11 18:43:07

look at the school get a feel for it if it suited child would send them the disci[line will be good lol only co go on camp trips the army is changing redundancies etc they could at later date sell houses off etc etc if u like school then go for it

MrsSnaplegs Wed 18-May-11 18:51:03

One huge positive for it is the school will be very well funded as they now get £200 per service child per year to provide extra support.
My dd is 5 and in reception, this is her 2nd school this year, she has thrived from making new friends but it doesn't mean she has forgotten her old friends. We set up an email account and she keeps in touch with special friends - we have to help with the emails obviously but it encourages her reading and writing. Your little one does not have to lose friends as they move away. Also being the constant your dc will possibly be the one the teachers rely on to welcome new children, again good for social skills. You will also find that the service families are not always moved every 2 years, I may move jobs next year but we are hoping to stay in this area and house for a good few years yet!
If it is a wwyd? Yes I would send my dc

vintageteacups Wed 18-May-11 19:28:43

When you say 'army schools' katie - what you really mean is civvie schools where there are many forces familes as UK army schools don't exist anymore.

However, as mrssnaplegs says, the schools now get £200 for each forces child so the school will have great suppport funding and lots of stuff other schools won't have.

In research, it showed that mobile forces children were more sociable and more easily adaptable at making friends that civvie children, which stands them in good stead for life.

What you said about making friends for life, I also disagree with to a large extent. How many primary school friends do you know now that you keep in regular contact with? The majority of adults tend to make best friends with their work colleagues or friends they make at secondary school and uni.

KatieWatie Wed 18-May-11 20:55:16

Thank you to all, you make some really interesting and valid points that I hadn't thought of.

Yes sorry, I did mean 'civvie school with many forces children'. Apologies.

I think as a number of you have pointed out I need to do some research on the school, get a feel for it, check the Ofsted etc. I just wanted to garner some opinions from the inside too smile

tjacksonpfc I live in one of the Salisbury Plain garrisons...

Shoshe Wed 18-May-11 21:05:24

Katie think I might be moving to the same place next week grin

Another plus I found when mine where at school was that there are not so many children in the older classes (many army come out by the time there children get to that age) so there are smaller numbers in the classes.

wheresthepimms Wed 18-May-11 21:56:50

For what it's worth, if you walk down to the hive and ask them I am sure they will allow you to join in with the garrison activities. We live on a camp which has 2 roads which have been sold off, their children are included in everything our community centre does, they get to go on all the trips, we send them our newsletter and they say they feel part of the community. Sure if you go down and sleek to them they will include you in their system.

wheresthepimms Wed 18-May-11 21:58:26

Sorry that was speek my autocorrect has had too much wine

wheresthepimms Wed 18-May-11 21:59:25

Or speak, will get there in the end silly iPad

penguin73 Tue 24-May-11 22:43:14

My son went to one with 4 or 5 non-military children and the rest military and they had a fantastic time and the parents loved it too. Being non-mil wasn't an issue and some fantastic friendships were formed. I wouldn't let this stop you providing it ticks all the other boxes.

DoraJarr Sun 03-Jul-11 20:56:39

especially not Kiwi

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