One of our aims is to nurture excellence in all of our pupils by developing our pupils as active local and global citizens. Each school year, we aim to run a number of curriculum projects to help us meet this aim. As part of this, Mrs. Conway arranges for Falcon class to spend the year working with residents aged between 57 and 100-years-old at the Meadows care home.
The link began in June 2016, when pupils in Falcon class learnt about Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia, and wrote information leaflets . They baked a range of treats for Cupcake Day and the residents at The Meadows and performed a range of Beatles songs for them as well as some of Roald Dahl’s poetry. Following this, Mrs. Conway and Jan Matthews from the Meadows met to pair up pupils and residents with similar interests for a book club which met regularly throughout the year. Pupils and residents enjoyed sharing and discussing books together and built up some lovely friendships which blossomed over the year and have been sustained since.
Northbourne pupils really valued this link and came to love their story sessions…
“I like to read with them because I like to spend time with them.”
“I like that the residents are really kind to us, they are really nice and answer all your questions and don’t wander all about everywhere. Some of the residents are really funny and make me laugh.”
The Meadows loved their private performance of Falcons’ Three Little Pigs Revolting Rhyme, and enjoyed their invitation to come and join Falcons for one of their weekly drumming sessions. Mr Greenland and the pupils taught the residents some rhythms and drumming games and we all sang along to Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.
“I like all the people there really nice even if they have special abilities. My favourite bit at the care home was that no one judged anyone by what they looked like.”
“I like that the residents never get angry at us. When we talk to them it brings back memories for them of what they have done and they can relate it to us.”
In May, Residents and pupils took up the challenge from the Oxford Academy to produce some Then and Now themed art for their competition. Pupils and residents enjoyed creating their own puzzle pieces using images from the past and today of their own special interests.
“I enjoyed doing the competition with the residents – it was fun. I liked doing it with Winnie. She loved drawing smiley faces. I was working with Lofty he was really funny. He kept telling about when he was younger. Even though some of the residents didn’t try to do the art they did talk to us. They didn’t want to get sticky!”
Our link with the Meadows remains active in 2019-20. Now, residents visit school for a Christmas lunch; come to our church services; and attend nativities and other performances. We very much value these links which really enrich the curriculum for our pupils and develops their understanding of how important it is to value people of all different backgrounds.