MORE than 300 children from 12 primary schools across Oxfordshire who have parents serving in the British Armed Forces took part in a free virtual workshop run by a charity.

As part of a nationwide virtual roadshow being delivered by charity Little Troopers throughout June, 315 pupils from Carterton, Didcot, Bicester, Shrivenham, Langford, Faringdon and Nettlebed united to explore some the unique challenges they might experience such as having a parent deployed overseas and regularly having to move home and school.

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All of the workshop activities were from the dedicated Little Troopers at School programme, which was created by education experts to give all schools easily accessible resources to support military children in the classroom.

Oxford Mail: Military fun day Little Troopers enjoying the workshop at Gateway School. Photo (c) John Cairns

Rachel Veeder, headteacher at St Christopher’s C of E Primary School in Langford said: “Our forces children had a great time in the Little Troopers workshop. They loved designing super heroes, listening to story time and simply spending time together as a forces group of children.

"They were so excited to know they were joining other children across the county that were the same as them.”

Toni Summers, a teacher at Gateway Primary School in Carterton, said: “Gateway Primary school would like to say a huge thank you to Little Troopers for this week’s workshop. Every child has had the chance to reflect on military life while having lots of fun.”

The pupils took part in storytelling, imaginative play, movement and drama and were shown tools that could help them navigate some of the challenges they might face as military children, either now or in the future.

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The workshops were funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund and offered schools a snapshot of some of the resources available in the Little Troopers Primary School Resource Pack and Military Child Wellbeing Course.

Louise Fetigan, founder and operations manager at Little Troopers, added: “There are tens of thousands of military children across the UK and the support they receive in school is very varied depending on where they live in the country and what school they go to.

Oxford Mail: Military fun day Little Troopers at Gateway School Carterton. Photo (c) John Cairns

"Our aim with the Little Troopers at School programme is to make it really easy for schools to have targeted resources they can use with their military children – whether that’s one or two military children or two hundred.

"We want to make sure that wherever children live and however many schools they go to, they can access support if they need it and that all schools have a good understanding of the unique challenges that military life can bring.

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“We had originally planned to run a physical roadshow last summer, but as with many things, the pandemic changed our plans. It’s actually turned out for the best as our virtual workshops have enabled us to reach far more military children than we could have seen in person and we hope that the children who have taken part will really benefit from the session, as well as having had lots of fun."

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