Foundation kicks off Commando Joe’s programme with special launch event for Key Stage 2 children

Leeds Rhinos Foundation welcomed groups of primary school children from across the city to take part in a special Commando Joe’s launch event at Emerald Headingley Stadium.

Last year, Leeds Rhinos Foundation become the city’s exclusive delivery partner for Commando Joe’s award-winning Character Education programme, in a bid to teach resilience to pupils amid concerns over the trauma and stress they are experiencing during this uncertain period.

Ahead of the programme’s roll out throughout Leeds, the Foundation joined forces with Commando Joe’s to host a special launch day at the home of Leeds Rhinos, giving more than 60 Key Stage 2 children from 15 different schools the opportunity to enjoy an adapted taster session by taking part in a series of exciting ‘missions’ taken from the extensive Commando Joe’s programme of learning.

From crossing the Amazon River to retrieve gold in the middle of a thunderstorm to building base camps fit for the Jungle, the activities provided a fun and engaging introduction to the Commando Joe’s programme for all involved and showcased the huge potential of this active learning to the teachers present.

When it comes to building character and resilience in schools, there is nobody better trained than Commando Joe’s team of highly skilled instructors. Commando Joe employs military veterans from across the armed forces, who have shown bravery and strength of character in some of the most demanding situations.

Following Commando Joe training from the instructors, staff from within the school will be able to lead fun and exciting missions for their children to solve building key skills within character education. The school-led Primary programme is progressive from Early Years phase through to Year 6 and prepares children and young people during the important transition phase to secondary school.

Building the confidence of primary school children before they leave is of utmost importance: children with high self-esteem are better able to make difficult decisions under peer pressure, approach adults for support, and be self-sufficient in their learning.

The Commando Joe’s programme develops this resilience through many activities, being part of the team, performing challenges or having a leadership role. They develop their sense of adventure and increase their self-sufficiency by taking part in new and unfamiliar activities. These transferable skills will stand them in good stead as they move off into the unfamiliar world of secondary education.

Gareth Cook, Head of Community and Engagement for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “The Commando Joe’s programme is all about developing our young people and enriching their lives, by providing them with  qualities and skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

“It’s a robust curriculum that focuses on activities that make the children work as a team, try and encourage them to be resilient and develop their growth mindset. Hopefully that has a life-long effect and they can keep those key characteristics in the classroom long after we have gone.

“Today we’ve had 14 schools come down with their pupils and teachers and we’ve had four stations set up with various missions to try out, all around developing their character, resilience, teamwork and respect. It’s been really positive and we’ve already seen a great buy in from our partner schools, so we can’t wait to roll this programme out across the city.”

To find out more about how Commando Joe’s could work in your school, please contact

For more information on the Commando Joe’s programme, please visit