Little Troopers, has partnered with the Welsh Local Government Association to provide all primary schools in Wales with dedicated in-school resources for children who have parents serving in the Armed Forces.
The nationwide partnership is part of the Supporting Service Children in Education (SSCE) Cymru programme whose mission is to provide the best possible educational support for Service children in Wales. There are estimated to be more than 2000 military children in schools across the country.
Louise, founder of the charity said: “As a charity, one of our aims is to ensure that all military children get fair and consistent support within their education setting, so this nationwide partnership in Wales means so much to us. Military children can often face challenges that their civilian classmates are not familiar with or find it difficult to relate to. We are regularly told by families that these challenges are not talked about enough in school or represented in children’s literature. That’s why our charity is committed to working with schools to open up opportunities for Service children to talk about these experiences more openly in the classroom and to empower children with positive tools to help them navigate military life, both now and in the future.”
400 primary schools in Wales who have identified Service children will receive both Welsh and English copies of the Little Troopers storybook series to use in lessons and in their school libraries. Written by children’s author Donna David, the six storiesall feature military children as the protagonists and there are two stories for each service – the Royal Navy, British Army and RAF. Each story brings to life some of the experiences and emotions that service children face when their serving parent is deployed overseas or is away from home due to military commitments.
75 Welsh primary schools will also receive copies of the Little Troopers Primary Wellbeing Course template in English and Welsh. Designed to be delivered across seven sessions with small groups of students, this interactive course encourages military children aged 4-11 years to explore some of the unique challenges of military life such as coping with separation, deployment, house moves and living abroad, as well as the personal themes of belonging, identity and mindfulness. The course was created incollaboration with parents, teachers, a behavioural therapist, psychotherapist and play therapist and has already been delivered in more than 150 schools across the UK.
Millie Taylor, SSCE Cymru Programme Manager, comments: “We are very pleased to have secured funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for this project to make Little Troopers materials available to our Service children in Wales. Producing Welsh versions of the books and Wellbeing course materials ensures these fantastic resources are available to all primary schools with Service children. It is very important that we celebrate Service children’s experiences and share those with the rest of the school community to create a welcoming Armed Forces friendly environment. We are also really excited to work with Little Troopers on the second phase of this project which will include a series of Little Troopers workshops later this year.”
To find out more about our Little Troopers at School project click here.