Battle for respect
Children at one Nottingham school will be learning from heroes today.
The would-be mini cadets at Robin Hood Primary, in Bestwood Park, are being given lessons about the emergency services.
There will be 14 areas for children to visit, with each “hero” from the community hosting workshops throughout the day. Fire fighters have games and challenges lined up to inject some fun – but they will also be giving more serious life lessons on time-wasting hoax calls.Former paratrooper Stephen Stopforth drafted in the fire brigade, police and paramedics to explain why they do their jobs. Stephen is now an instructor for Commando Joe’s, a team of military veterans helping to build character and confidence in schools across the UK.
Deputy head teacher Nicky Bridges said: “Respect and self discipline is very important to us because that enables our pupils to become successful individuals.
“It’s brilliant to have the involvement of Commando Joe’s, because they provide a role model from a different world where respect is integral to that profession.”Stephen has already been working with reception children and Year 5 pupils at the school since September, offering classroom support and mentoring. He served for 12 years in the Royal Signals.
He said: “As military veterans, Commando Joe’s instructors have all had to face adversity in our former roles within the forces – situations where there isn’t a textbook to say what to do next, and you have to make it up in the most demanding conditions.
“At times like that you have to have respect for those around you – and I teach the children it’s the same in everyday life and in school. Teams don’t work without respect.
“I wanted to work on this respect day with the teachers at Robin Hood to help introduce the pupils to real heroes in their community – like fire fighters and the police. To show them why these people who put their lives on the line every day deserve respect when they do their job, not hoax calls or abuse as they get in some areas.”
Commando Joe’s founder Mike Hamilton, an ex-army bomb disposal expert, said:
“Respect is at the heart of what all our instructors teach in schools – respect for other pupils and, really importantly, for teachers in the classroom. It’s something all our veterans can really relate to with their own experiences.
“In fact the work we’ve been doing in Nottingham has been going so well we now have schools on a waiting list to enlist our help, while we recruit more instructors in the area.”