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5/10/2016 - The Bolton News

The Bolton News: RAF veteran ‘Commando Joe’ puts pupils through paces during adrenaline-filled lessons

A PRIMARY school has put commando skills on the timetable as part of a new series of exciting and adrenaline filled lessons.

A PRIMARY school has put commando skills on the timetable as part of a new series of exciting and adrenaline filled lessons.

Every Monday at Heathfield Primary in Daubhill new recruit, former RAF training instructor Paul Shipley — better known as Commando Joe — can be found putting youngsters from nursery to year six through their paces to build character, resilience and other essential lifeskills.

Yesterday the enthusiastic pupils found themselves taking part in a spy and reconnaissance mission to collect information about a rival base camp.

Mr Shipley transformed the school grounds into an imaginary vast desert where youngsters tackled tough terrain.

Using cargo nets, barrels and a host of other equipment, Mr Shipley took children through challenging teambuilding exercises and encouraging them to think outside the box.

Mr Shipley spent 23 years in the RAF and now hopes to instil some of his expertise into Bolton’s youngsters.

He said: “I focus on developing their character using teambuilding command tasks and problem-solving activities.

“With years of experience in the RAF, I hope to pass on some of my knowledge and life skills. They always love learning survival techniques and it is about developing confidence, self-esteem and respect.

“I can see changes in pupils in every session, their confidence developing and how they step up when they are given responsibility.”

Jo Lindon, head teacher at Heathfield Primary School, said: “We’ve really been focusing on resilience and character-building recently, and when I read into the work that Commando Joe’s does, I realised we were on exactly the same page. We also do a lot of nurture provision, particularly with our younger pupils and nursery children, and I knew Commando Joe could really enhance that.

“I think it’s a hugely positive step to bring in someone from outside the school staff to reinforce that message of resilience, as it makes it so much more authentic for our children.

“Having a go at something and persevering with it is such a transferable skill for other areas of the curriculum.

“The reaction from pupils has been extremely positive.We’re now planning an opportunity for parents to meet Paul.”

Muhammad Patel, aged 10, added: “When I fell over , I was determined to get up.

“My favourite day is Monday because we do this.”

Future sessions include shelter building.

See The Bolton News website for a video of Commando Joe and his young recruits in action.’s is a team of veterans from across the armed forces who have retrained to work in schools all over the country offering mentoring and classroom support in a department for education backed scheme.

Aamina Oliya, aged 10, said: “I really enjoyed the session and succeeding.”

Maliki Bico-Cassama aged 10, said: “It was very good, excellent.

“You learn about team work and that you respect the rules.”

Ben Litherland, aged 11, said: “This was really good for fitness and learning about survival skills.”

See The Bolton News article.

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  • Assertive mentoring;
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*Limited availability please contact the office for full details:info@commandojoes.co.uk T: 0844 800 3212

*There may be a wait for an instructor due to location or availability

*Once you have paid your deposit our team will be in contact. We will come into your school to look at developing your amazing new programme and arrange a start date.

EXTRA CO-JO KIT BOXES

Buy an extra CO-JO kit box to help engage even more pupils!

As you know the boxes contain enough equipment to break a large class into 4 groups and the box includes things like:

  • Camouflage nets
  • Barrels
  • Two way radios
  • Team planks
  • Tyres
  • Parachutes
  • Ropes
  • Blindfolds
  • Water containers/ Jerry cans
  • Hurdles
  • Ladders
  • Cones
  • Matts
  • CJ Drawstring bags
  • Shelter building equipment
  • Waterproof ponchos
  • And much much more!

All of this equipment can transform your playground into an exciting space for any age group!

Existing school wanting an extra box £1,250 + VAT