Here at the Academy we provide education and support for pupils and families who have been let down by the mainstream education and social care system. Pupils who can show great difficulties in behaviour and in socialisation who often come from some of the most deprived areas in our community.
Although we provide the key subjects (Maths, English, ICT) as part of our curriculum we are limited by the needs of the children in how we can get them to access wider subject areas.
One of the ways in we have found is through engaging a number of our pupils in tabletop wargaming. We have been able to link this to areas of the curriculum based around AQA unit awards in history as well as the maths and literacy skills needed to play and the important social aspects of wargaming. As a result we have found we can ensure our students will be leaving us with certification in a variety of fields of history including WW1 and 2, wars in Europe (Napoleonic), the Dark Ages, Civil War, ancient civilisations and medieval Europe.
Through using wargames we have been able to give our pupils hands on experience with representations of the peoples of the time and then build in educational presentation and involvement as we play through the games.
Unfortunately, the number of pupils we can involve in the sessions at any one time is limited by my own collection as the pupils do not own anything of their own having never done anything like this before. We struggle to get more than two pupils involved at any one time which then has an impact on the engagement as we are limited to one session a week using my small collections for other games.
Because nothing ever happens unless you take the chance and ask, I thought I'd approach some game and miniature producers on behalf of the school and our pupils. As we had started the sessions with Flames of War, a WW2 game I initially reached out to Battlefront Miniatures who were incredible in their response. You can read their article about it here.
I then put an appeal out to the wargaming community in general across facebook initially and the response has been incredible, including the editor of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Magazine who was then able to point me towards a number of his contacts to see how they could help.
As a result we've had an incredible response and I thought it only right to offer thanks on behalf of myself, the pupils and the Academy to the following people (this list will be updated as we go):
Chris at Battlefront
Donna at Warlord Games
Dave at Caliver Books
T A Gordon at Tiffin Games
Steve at Sarissa Precision
Anita and Will at The Plastic Soldier Company
Philip Page at Slug Industries
Also, members of the facebook Wargaming communities: Danny Buck; Roman Pronyszyn; Jeffrey A Russ; Bruce Heasman; James Hayden; Alan Warren; Aidan Holman; Andy Pridden; Neil Woodman; Chris Hardy; Tony Miles; Trevor Elkington; Marcello Meeri; Bill Rosser; Alister Greenway; Neil Woodman
Reddit users: Stahltur; CrunchyTzaangor; Rattus_Faber; BurgherMurse; amwatts; Supersheen
Members of the Lead Adventure forums: Ragsta and mcfonz
A massive thank you to everyone (and sincere apologies if I've missed anyone), your support is very much appreciated!