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New school year – Time for a Wellbeing check?

This month many of us returned to work, starting a new school year and taking on the challenge of educating the next generation. For those teaching near a military base you may have a new influx of children who have moved to the area because their parents have a new posting.

The wellbeing of all of our school children is important but for those who have a parent serving in the Armed Forces they can be living on an emotional rollercoaster. These children often have to leave their friends every two years, move to a new area and cope with having one of their parents away for a long period of separation due to deployment.

To help with the ups and downs of Military life Little Troopers has recently launched a Military child Wellbeing course. The comprehensive pack features all the resources needed for the child-friendly, interactive course, which is made up of seven sessions. Topics covered include how to cope with separation, deployment, house moves and living abroad, as well as the personal themes of belonging, identity and mindfulness.  The course has been designed to be delivered to small groups of children ranging from 6 -11 years olds, making the material just as relevant to schools with two service children as to those with 100 or more.

Louise Fetigan, founder of the charity said: “Mental health is a hot topic at the moment and we often hear about the importance of wellbeing in relation to serving personnel and veterans, but we rarely discuss the impact of military life on our British Armed Forces children. Of course, many children thrive in the military community and enjoy meeting new friends, travelling around the world and embracing the opportunities that military life can bring, but with the highs can come lows. These same children can be faced with other challenges that their civilian classmates are often not familiar with and find it difficult to relate to.

“The aim of the Military Child Wellbeing Course is to acknowledge that service children do sometimes need additional support and to provide a safe space in which to open up these conversations and help children navigate these challenges in positive ways, be that now or in the future.”

Over 25 schools have already ordered the pack and Susan Raeburn, headteacher at Kiwi School, who helped us test drive the pack, comments: “We’re delighted to be the first school in the UK to try out the Little Troopers Wellbeing Course. At school we see first-hand the impact that military life sometimes has on children when they are separated from their parents or are moving home, so a course like this enables us to prepare children for these more challenging times in advance rather than just responding reactively.

“It’s particularly useful for us at Kiwi as in September our school is set to increase in student numbers by 35% due to the Army rebasing programme and there will be lots of children moving here who may have never moved home before and are having to cope with a lot of change. The Course gives us a systematic way to support these children as they arrive and throughout their time with us.”

The course complements the Little Troopers existing Primary Resource Pack. Each school purchasing the course will receive a USB with all of the course materials included so they can be used time and time again. All profits from the course will go back into the Little Troopers fund to continue creating resources, initiatives and events to support military children.

You can purchase the Military Wellbeing course here.

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