Service children from Barton Stacey School’s Base Club had a visit from the Army Flying Museum in Hampshire recently to design and decorate kit bags. AFF’s Hampshire co-ordinator, Alison McLeish, tells us more…

The aim of the ‘community kit bag project’ is for community groups to create something that represents them, inspired by the museum’s stories, collections and artefacts. Thirty groups are taking part, from scouts to older people’s lunch clubs. I asked Dan Ball, the museum’s outreach worker who ran the session, if he had noticed anything unique about working with service children, he said: “They seemed to have a real identity with the artefacts and they immediately knew what I was talking about when we were discussing military badges.”

Support sessions

Service children make up 17 per cent of Barton Stacey School’s population and they are supported in a weekly lunchtime session called Base Club led by Mrs Cobb, the school’s emotional literacy support assistant. She told me that the club has helped ensure a smooth transition for children into and out of the school.

Each session begins with a circle time where children can share their news with each other. “You’re kind of stuck with it as a service child and so the more you can do to make it a positive experience for them, the better,” said Mrs Cobb.

A Year 2 pupil added: “Base Club makes me feel special and it feels like we are one big family together.”

A Year 6 pupil added: “Base Club is helpful for children who move around and makes you feel happy.”

You can see the kit bags on display until the end of the year. The museum has reopened after lockdown and is welcoming visitors –

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