Mount Street Nursery and Infant School
School name: Mount Street Nursery and Infant School
Headteacher: Gill Eales
Number of pupils: 166
LYING in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, Mount Street Nursery and Infant School has been the school of choice for many MOD pupils in Brecon for several years.
Currently 30 per cent of the 166 pupils aged between 3-7 years-old are MOD pupils with 18 per cent of pupils with English as an additional language.
Estyn described the schools as “a very cohesive community where children and adults of many different cultures work well together.”
The school was invited to present at the launch of ‘Supporting Service Children in Education Cymru - Guidance Launch’ in June.
Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Leighton Andrews, Minister for Public Services were both present at the event.
“When people think of the armed forces they often reflect on the dangers they face protecting our country or on the dangers they face, commitment, bravery and sacrifice,” said Headteacher Gill Eales.
“What is often forgotten is the families behind those soldiers and in particular the children. Anxiety is felt when one or maybe both parents are regularly away for long periods of time in some of the world’s most dangerous locations.
“The children often move school regularly and find it hard to make new friends and fit in. The biggest challenge for the school is the transiency of our pupils. The children move around a great deal. Many will have attended at least two schools before arriving with us.”
The school has received the MOD Support Fund grant over the past few years. This has enabled them to appoint Nepali speaking assistants from the Nepalese community within Brecon.
This has ensured that younger pupils, in particular, have support in school from people using their mother tongue.
“Support has been given to older pupils with the concept of mathematical language which some find difficulty with as many words do not actually exist in Nepali,” added Mrs Eales.
“More recently the grant has allowed us to sustain this but also give more support to the British MOD pupils who find transiency an issue particularly moving from one education system to another.”
The school places a great deal of emphasis on active learning.
“We are very fortunate to have wonderful school grounds and our own woods,” said Mrs Eales.
“All classes spend a great deal of time in the woods working on a variety of activities from writing poetry, mathematical concepts, looking for minibeasts, art work and following the Forest School programme.
“All these activities and many more ensure that the children are included very quickly into school and their learning supported.”
Headteacher Gill Eales said pupils standards vary from year to year.
Of the 2015 cohort 15 pupils came from Military families and 86% of these achieved the Foundation Phase Indicator.
Of these, six EAL pupils achieved Outcome 6 in all core areas of learning.