Valentine’s assembly for military fathers

Richard Sharpe with sons Jake and Daniel. Below: Children and parents at the packed assembly.
Richard Sharpe with sons Jake and Daniel. Below: Children and parents at the packed assembly.
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TIMES may be uncertain for families living on Weeton’s Army barracks as soldiers prepare to head off to war, but one thing’s for sure – these children really love their dads.

Some of the mums and dads living at the base are waiting to hear whether they are to be deployed to Afghanistan within a matter of weeks.

Children at Weeton Primary School hold a special Valentines Day assembly for their dads.

Children at Weeton Primary School hold a special Valentines Day assembly for their dads.

If they are included in the next deployment, it is certain they will not be around for Father’s Day in June.

So pupils at Weeton Primary School used Valentine’s Day to tell their dads just how much they love them.

From Year One to Year Six, each pupil performed either a song, a poem or a reading during a school assembly to share their fond thoughts in front of their families.

And afterwards the parents were invited into their children’s classrooms for cakes and heart-shaped biscuits.

Keith Atkinson, 36, knows he is going to be deployed soon, he just doesn’t know when. So to watch his seven-year-old son perform in the assembly was extra special.

He said: “I wasn’t aware of this until a couple of days ago so it was a nice surprise.

“It’s good the children can get involved in something so direct.”

Parent Richard Sharpe has spent 22 years in the Army, serving many times overseas, and is ending his career at Weeton in June.

He watched his sons Daniel, 11, and Jake, seven, at yesterday’s event.

He said: “I think it was a brilliant performance.”

Weeton headteacher, Anthony Goth said the assembly hall had never been so full.

He said: “We have some very supportive parents and families. This was our way of bringing Father’s Day forward in anticipation of potential deployment and a brilliant chance for us to bring the school and the community together.”

School Governor Major Marc Steventon said: “We’re used to the community suddenly becoming single-parent families, and the school is a constant supporting role to those families. We are the one thing that is constant in this time of turmoil.

“The staff here understand and help our families cope.

“Because of the military base, we do have a high turn-over at the school, but we always push the boundaries to ensure everybody feels part of the Weeton family.”

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