As schools in England and Wales head back for the autumn term, we travelled to Scotland to speak to two teachers who have already been back in the classroom since mid-August. Mrs Connors and Mrs Taylor from Seafield Primary School in Egin have been using the Little Troopers Affirmation Cards in their regular deployment club in school.
Tell us your role in school?
We both provide pupil support for military children across Seafield Primary School.
How many military children are in our school?
We have 93 military children, mainly from Royal Air Force families and some from the British Army.
How does your school support forces families?
We support the children by having weekly group sessions and a separate deployment group. We do different activities and also discuss our feelings. We let the children know we are here if they ever need to speak to us and support as much as we can. We use the Little Troopers Affirmation Cards and have them on display to remind the children that they are important and they matter.
What do the children think of the affirmation cards?
The children like how bold and colourful the cards are. It’s a reminder for them when they are having a down day that they are still important. They also remind the children whose parents are deployed that it’s not forever and it’s ok to feel sad and miss them.
Why do you think it’s important to offer targeted support for military children in school?
We think it’s important to offer military children support because they can go through lots of changes at short notice and sometimes it’s hard for them to process those changes. Lots of military children have to move around and leave friends behind which can be very upsetting. This means they also have to start a new school and move to a new area which can be overwhelming. Military children also have to deal which changes at home due to a parent/parents going on deployment. This can cause lots of different emotions which can affect them at school and at home, so it’s important for us to be there to support them in the school when need be.
What advice would you offer to other schools working with military children?
The main advice we would give is to get to know the military children within your school because not all children are the same. Some children will show their emotions and tell you how they feel, where as others will hide their emotions and not want to speak about it, which is ok as long as they are aware your there if they need your support. And don’t forget to have fun with the children!