For over 5 years during my time as Account Director at Education Connections, I managed the Army in Education client account. It was a fantastic project that aimed to raise awareness of the work of the British Army and create a positive relationship with young people in schools, colleges and higher education.
The Army in Education (AiE) website and resources were designed to bring the curriculum to life, helping students (aged 11-16) to engage with a range of topical and controversial issues. The resources explored the Army’s work, the political and geographical situations in which it operates, and the values and skills that are necessary to carry out work in demanding and often dangerous situations.
We worked with the AiE website agency to build a bespoke website aimed at teachers to showcase all that the Army had to offer schools and a range of curriculum-linked teaching resources for 11 – 19 year olds. The classroom resources included History, PE, Geography, Citizenship, Assemblies and more. Unfortunately, the world of education is ever changing and the Army in Education website was decommissioned. But during its 6 years, it proved immensely popular with teachers and pupils. The handful of resources that were uploaded to the TES website during this time have been viewed over 25,000 times!
Some of the resources we developed:
The ‘Remember!’ resource enables students to build and deliver an assembly that explains to their school friends how our country has remembered soldiers who have lost their lives in conflict over the last 100 years. The Who do you think they were? resource works to enhance pupils’ understanding of the close bond between the Army and community, through a focus on the lives, service, and deaths of local men who served during the Great War. Students remember soldiers within their own communities who have lost their lives. You can access this resource here.
‘Through my Eyes’ allowed students to explore the part that individual soldiers – from a diverse range of historical periods and backgrounds – played in conflicts past and present. Whilst learning about the personal stories, and through them the ‘bigger picture’, students would learn about and arrive at their own judgments on contentious issues relating to major conflicts over the last century. Through the use of source material, students gained insight into the Great War, the role of Indian soldiers in World War Two, National Service, the Falklands War and British military participation in Afghanistan.
Whilst AiE was created for older pupils, the introduction of Armed Forces Day had primary school teachers requesting support. To help fulfill this need we developed a fun activity guide to help primary schools participate in the Armed Forces Day celebrations to honour our service men and women – past, present and future. The guide focused on developing key skills through citizenship and the social and emotional aspects of learning to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from serving troops to Service families, veterans to cadets.
In addition to the delivery of the AiE website and its educational content, we were commissioned to develop their ‘Employability Skills Workshops’ for students aged 14-19. Created and designed for delivery in schools/colleges by specially trained Army Careers Advisers (ACAs). The workshops use real soldiers and real-life scenarios to contextualise students’ learning and offered an engaging and exciting alternative to business based careers education, through the use of interactive materials, practical activities and presentations.You can see the showreel for the workshops here.
‘STEM: Build your Future’ was a suite of materials to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and careers in schools. The ‘STEM Careers Presentation’ focused on the importance of STEM across a variety of careers, whether military or civilian. This was followed by ‘Design a Hovercraft’ lessons in which students explored ideas, investigated likely problems, planned and designed a hovercraft within the constraints of a limited supply of materials. Finally the ‘Build a Hovercraft Workshop’ allowed student teams to build their designs and test their models with materials and support supplied by an Army Careers Adviser.’STEM: Build your Future’ was shortlisted for an Education Resources Award in 2013.
The FE Bursary Scheme was a huge project to provide support in colleges. ‘Mapping Your Future’ was designed to develop a range of important skills putting students vocational learning to the test, as well as their teamwork, communication, and problem-solving abilities. Developed as a series of 27 before and after scenario-based modules with supporting films and materials, ‘Mapping Your Future’ supported 12 qualifications including NVQ Business and Administration, BTEC First Diploma Level 2 Sport, Edexcel NVQ Performing Engineering Operations, C&G Level 2 NVQ Professional Cookery, C&G Level 2 NVQ Activity Leadership and more.
The ‘HE Leadership Seminar’ was developed to expand the ongoing investment in the provision of free, relevant and engaging support for schools and colleges. Most, if not all, universities and higher education (HE) institutions offer some form of undergraduate skills course or award. These run alongside students’ undergraduate courses and are designed to help students build and demonstrate the wider work skills they will need to successfully enter and thrive in the world of work.Leadership frequently forms one part of these courses and awards. The ‘HE Leadership Seminar’ builds on and promotes the Army as one of the most tested pragmatists of leadership. It showcases the Army’s unique need for and ability to build leadership qualities and creates a platform for further recruiting activities in Higher Education.
Army in Education resources developed by my team:
- Army in Education website
- Classroom resources for:
- Personal Leadership and Leadership workshops
- Employability Skills Workshops – Skills in Action Operation Tellus
- STEM: Build Your Future – lessons and workshops
- FE Bursary Scheme – in excess of 27 teaching modules
- HE Leadership Seminar