Collaborative working with a multi-academy trust

Kernow Learning Trust is a multi-academy trust in the South West of England made up of 21 primary schools.

There are approximately 150 children across the Trust who have a parent serving in the British Armed Forces and while no school has a high percentage of service children on roll, supporting military families is a high priority across the Trust.

Following the success of a regular Little Troopers Club set up at King Charles CE Primary School, near HMS Culdrose, Headteacher, Lee Moscato, was keen to replicate the idea across all 21 schools in the Trust. The aim was to establish a benchmark so that all service children across the Trust received a consistent level of support no matter which school they go to and no matter how many service children are on roll.

The Trust worked with Little Troopers to create a pack of tangible resources for each school that teachers can use with their service students on an ongoing basis – as opposed to a one-off activity. Each pack features:

  • Little Troopers book bundles for school libraries. Six books across two series that all feature military children and their life experiences. This ensures that all libraries across the Trust represent and feature stories about military children.
  • Early Years role play outfits for dressing-up boxes. Tri-service uniforms to ensure military families are represented during role play activities.
  • Little Troopers Primary School Resource Pack. A pack full of resources, lesson plans and activity ideas created by experts to help schools recognise and support military children in the classroom. The pack also features everything schools need to create a Little Troopers display board.
  • Little Troopers Military Child Wellbeing Course template. A seven-session course which delves deeper into some of the unique challenges that military children face growing up in the Armed Forces community.

Little Troopers also ran an introductory session with headteachers across the Trust to explore the resources, as well as learning about other free Little Troopers resources accessible to schools, such as the X-Ray of Feelings illustrations, Little Troopers Gazette newspaper, Crafty Little Troopers and the Little Troopers Affirmation Cards.

Lee Moscato, Headteacher of King Charles C of E School, shared that, “This has enabled a really powerful joined up approach which ensures an equity of provision which is really important to us here in Kernow Learning.  By training, learning and collaborating across all our schools we have secured a strong offer for our services families within our Trust. For those schools without any pupils with serving parents currently on roll, it means that they are ready to welcome them should they join and for those with service family pupils, we have been able to share best practice and further strengthen our provision in all our schools.  We’re really thankful to the support that Little Troopers has given us.”

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, adds: “Parents often tell us that one of their biggest frustrations is that support for military children is not consistent between schools, so it is brilliant to see Kernow Learning Trust recognising the importance of providing consistent support for service children across the board.

“By having these resources in place, schools are sending a messaging to military families that we recognise your children, we understand that they might be facing unique challenges, and we have things in place to support you and your children whenever you need it.

“This consistent level of support for all service children was the ethos behind the creation of the Little Troopers at School programme and we hope this partnership inspires other Academy Trusts to do something similar for their service children.”

Little Troopers is planning to visit students from Kernow Learning Trust Schools later in the year to bring them together for a special celebratory workshop.