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31/10/2016 - Worcester News

Worcester News: Army veteran will help dads and lads bond at school

DADS have been drafted back in to school to take part in Commando-style activity sessions with their sons.

The ‘Dads and Lads’ day at St Richard’s CE First School in Evesham saw the pupils and their parents take part in a whole range of adventures and activities designed to boost teamwork and communication.

Leading the way was the school’s resident Commando Joe’s instructor Tom Nation, a former Army training instructor.

Headteacher Elizabeth Spencer organised the ‘Dads and Lads’ scheme to help busy working fathers become more involved in their child’s school life and to promote reading.

The event featured boy-friendly stories and challenges with the idea of creating a spirit of adventure.

Mrs Spencer believes the idea will promote the importance of a positive male role model and remind boys that reading can be fun – and even ‘cool’.

She said: “I’m delighted to be working with our Commando Joe on this initiative.

“Tom is such a lovely positive male role model in school.

“We want to promote healthy living as well as the fact that it can be cool for boys to read.

“There can be a big difference in boys’ and girls’ enjoyment of reading.

“Boys are often very practical and physical in the way they learn.”

As resident instructor at St Richard’s, Mr Nation – who served with the Army for eight years in the UK and Germany – works with classes in the school every week to help pupils build character and grow in confidence.

He is part of a team of veterans from across the Armed Forces, part-funded by the Department for Education, who works in schools across the country.

He hopes his own life experiences will inspire pupils at St Richard’s to develop character and a positive attitude.

He said: “I’m a dad myself and think that it’s vital, in the busy world we live in, not to lose sight of the things that are important to us – our children.

“Children are sometimes left without a male role model, but father-and-son bonding is vital and a big part of a child’s path through life.

“What I hope to achieve this term is that fathers and sons will be able to spend some quality time together, improving the child’s appetite for such things as sports, games and reading.

“Playing games will not only help to improve a child’s motor skills but help them with confidence and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude, with fun included.

“At the same time, some of the pressure is taken away from the mum so that they can have some time to themselves, whilst the bond between father and son grows stronger.

“I will carry on meeting the dads over the term when more ideas will be shared and I can hear about how it’s helped them so far.”

After the first session of stories and activities, all the boys were given a kitbag full of sports equipment and storybooks to take home to encourage them to continue having one-on-one time with their dads.

They will be invited back halfway through the term for a progress update.

Click here to read the article on the Worcester News website.

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