Leeming RAF Community Primary

Primary School

North Yorkshire

Our goal: to create a safe, nurturing and inspiring space in which our youngest children can make an incredible start to their education.

As a unique as a school with 99% military pupils (the highest % in the country), our children face desperately difficult experiences. 76% of our children have parents deployed to dangerous action zones across the globe and a similar number move in or out of school each year. They often struggle to manage their emotions and make friends; most clearly seen at the start of their schooling.

We want to create a smarter space in our Reception classrooms and outdoor area where pupils can settle quickly, no matter where their parents are deployed or what they are facing – which reflects our vision -‘inspiring excellence’. The space needs to be one which improves children’s emotional wellbeing through being secure and offering the nurture that they may not be able to receive from their parents.

We asked our pupils what they wanted for their space; they said they want to have a classroom “without walls” – they live behind a barbed wire fence on the RAF base, and they are always seeking ways to create freedom. They want the indoor learning space to flow seamlessly into the outdoor environment; bringing the benefits of light and nature to learning. Such an approach will assist in creating a calm, low sensory environment to support the high numbers of our pupils with Autism and Special Needs, all of whom state that soft colours, shapes and furniture help them to relax and be ready to learn when they are anxious.

The children here are proud to be service pupils - they want their space to reflect this identity. Their life experiences are unique, but their classrooms currently aren’t. Please help us change this.