Touring to schools and venues across Scotland

Forces Kids

Final RCET flyer



 Touring  21st September 2015 – 9th October 2015
 Duration  45 mins
 Suitability  P1 – P7
 Costs  P.O.A.
 Free Resources  Targeted at P2 – P4Teaching Resources

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust (RCET) have commissioned Hopscotch Theatre Company to create a specialist production aimed at schools who have pupils with parents in the armed forces. 

          RCET Education Manager, Moira Leslie said:

We know that some children who are separated from their parent during deployment can struggle to come to terms with their feelings and emotions and this can have an impact on how they behave and perform  in school.”

Dandelion. Image by Eric Allan

The Dandelion has become the symbol for Forces kids internationally. Its seeds are scattered by the wind and it puts down its roots anywhere.  Image by Eric Allan

In order to help address these issues, RCET approached Hopscotch and together we have been working on a brand new performance called ‘Forces Kids’; a show about belonging, acceptance and friendship.


Forces Kids, follows the story of Kevin, whose Dad is serving in the Armed Forces. Kevin has worries about his dad’s deployment and misses him terribly. He resents having to take on extra responsibilities back home, now that his dad is away.

In the course of the show Kevin comes to understand the importance of family values, school support and learns how to discuss his feelings.

James MacBain, RCET Chief Executive, explained:

Service personnel can be deployed for as many as 200 nights per year.  For their children, this can create anxiety and uncertainty.  Adjusting to new communities, new schools, as well as living with the day-to-day reality of deployment, can prove particularly challenging for some children and potentially become a barrier to their learning.”

Young people may face personal challenges and difficulties before, during and after the deployment of a family member.  Forces Kids encourages empathy and greater understanding within its young audience, whether they have parents abroad or not. Relating Kevin’s narrative to their own lives, we hope pupils will feel more comfortable sharing their own experiences within their school communities. The play highlights that, in hard times, we have a responsibility to listen to and support each other, in the name of emotional wellbeing.

Issues explored in the show are:
  • How to communicate feelings
  • How to stay in touch and share stories
  • Emotional Health & wellbeing
  • Connecting with other pupils in similar situations
  • Asking questions and re-adjusting
  • Finding out about parent and a young persons role in an Armed Forces Family
  • Barriers that a young person might face

School Feedback

Thank you for a very thought-provoking performance.  And it was difficult for some of our children to watch (because of recent movements of submarines in the area), the performance itself was fantastic.  The actors were enthusiastic and the props were super.  It as easy to identify the different characters.  My class were particularly impressed with Kevin’s red face after cycling to the “top of the hill”.  It was “well-good acting to get so puffed out looking”, said one boy!  We liked the television screen set into the wall.  The issues tackled were relevant to so many families, not just Forces families and it prompted much discussion in our classroom about different kinds of separation, different types of families, the workload of parents and how to be a good friend.  We, as a class, also enjoyed the interactive “lessons” with Mr McCreadie.”

Christine Walker and P5, Colgrain PS, Argyll 

Forces Kids is accompanied by an online Resource Pack for P2 – P4.  These resources include classroom activities, lesson plans and after show discussion to provide young people with the chance to explore their own journey as a ‘Forces Kid’.  These creative tools will help get children talking about their emotions and experiences.  The resources will emphasise the importance of Emotional Literacy and Active Listening in raising standards of attainment and improving personal achievement and life chances for Scotland’s potentially vulnerable children and young people.

The ‘Forces Kids – This is My Life’ video below was commissioned and funded by the Royal Caledonian Education Trust.  It is a very moving and honest insight into the feelings of young people when a member of their family is deployed to a combat zone. It serves as an excellent introduction to the central themes discussed in Forces Kids.

© Teeny Tiny Films, Commissioned and funded by the Royal Caledonian Education Trust. ‘Forces Kids – This Is My Life‘ from Royal Caledonian Education Trust on Vimeo.

CfE Experiences and Outcomes

This show primarily addresses difficult situations that arise in the school and home life of an Armed Forces Kid.  It will doubtlessly also have relevance to the wider pupil community and covers many issues in the CfE’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing topics.

Click this link to learn more about The Royal Caledonian Education Trust.

Click this link to learn about the research being done to probe the education for Armed Forces Kids.


Take a look at some snapshots of  ‘Forces Kids’:

Including the RCET and Hopscotch Team discussing the up-coming tour!