The children at Gateway Primary School in Carterton threw themselves into celebrating their military children during the Month of the Military Child (April). As the Easter holidays fell in April, they only had a couple of weeks to celebrate but they packed a lot in!
Situated near the entrance to RAF Brize Norton, the school has over 70% military children (out of 277 pupils)so they all got involved. Toni Summers, Family Support Worker organised a whole school picnic with parents on the last day of term. Unfortunately, the rain meant they had to move indoors.
As part of their celebration the school put together a display in the main entrance of the school featuring the children’s art work, photographs and poems, which were created during the holidays. In KS1 they took it a step further and included Military Child Month into their planning. The dandelion poem was read to the children and the posters Toni made were used for the children to read. After discussing the connection, the children all created some amazing posters.
At the end of the month they had a cake sale after school. Toni said “Parents kindly donated cakes, including some beautiful dandelion cupcakes made by Daisy Rainer and her mum Charlotte. Military children from KS2 were asked to help me sell the cakes. Weather was again not on our side and it poured down just before 3pm! This didn’t stop us we kept the cakes under cover and parents still attended the event and gave generously. We are so chuffed that we raised £80 for Little Troopers.”
Toni added “I chose Little Troopers because it was the most appropriate charity to raise money for during Military Children Month. It seemed fitting to give to a charity that provides for military children.
Louise, Founder of the charity said “It is always super special when schools choose to support us in their fundraising. I know from personal experience that changing schools and being welcomed is one of the hardest challenges that a military child face. Gateway school obviously recognises this and I’m sure all of their activities in April showed their little troopers how amazing they are.”
In Toni’s role as Family Support Worker she does see how hard being a military child can be but she also said “As for the challenges met by these children, we see the positives as much as the negatives. We find our children are so welcoming to any visitor or new person in the school as at some point they have been the new person. They are adaptable and adventurous and deal with their challenges with courage.”
Toni drew this dandelion to represent how she perceives a military child and all their qualities.