Pupils on parade as the army takes over Blackpool school

Boundary Primary School
Boundary Primary School
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A primary school has become the first in Blackpool to embrace an intense military routine as a way of building childrens’ teamwork skills.

Teachers at Boundary Primary School in Grange Park teamed up with ex-army personnel at the UK Military School to help teach their Year Six pupils about the army and the importance of hard work and team building.

Teacher Jen Copley said: “The children have learned a lot. They have learned basic first aid skills, CPR, and how to build shelters. They have done survival skills and ‘bushcraft’ - lighting and cooking on fires.

“The people coming in are all ex-military and they taught us a lot about how the military works and how they work together as a team.”

The primary school, on Dilmore Avenue, is the first in Blackpool to sign up to the 12-week programme, which prioritises ‘respect, confidence, self-discipline and achievement’.

Miss Copley said: “We weren’t sure exactly what the programme would do so it was a little bit of a gamble, but it was well worth every penny and the children have really benefitted from it.

“It’s massively boosted their confidence as a collective and as individuals and they have got a lot better with working together with each other to solve problems.

“They have got more experienced with life skills that they wouldn’t have learned otherwise. You can ask them how to do CPR and first aid and they would be able to tell you.”

The school celebrated their achievements with a special ‘Pass Out Parade’ on Wednesday, where Year Six pupils marched in front of parents in the school hall.

Miss Copley said: “Parents arrived at the school and we showed them all the information about what their children had been learning.

“As a school we would like to thank the UK Military School.”

Wayne Forsyth, an ex-Royal Artillery bombardier from the UK Military School, said: “Each school is completely different so they all have specific requirements, whether that’s team building skills or help with maths and English.

“The overall aim with Boundary Primary was to teach them how to work as a team, make on-the-spot decisions and encourage them to get out of their comfort zone.

“The kids have been amazing.

“They are better behaved and their respect for their peers including their teachers has improved massively. Their desire to improve themselves has massively increased as well.

“We’ve now had a lot more interest from schools in Blackpool.”