Pupils bridge the generation gap
Children from Westbury Park Primary School took part in the first Enrichment Week of the academic year in November, visiting two local St Monica Trust care homes and joining in activities with the residents.
The school has a focus on the community and wellbeing for activities this year. Children from all years meet in their house teams to take part in four projects over the course of the school year. As well as the care home visits pupils will take part in a charity bake, sport and wellness activities, and projects to commemorate the school’s 125th anniversary which takes place in May 2019.
The activities are organised by teachers, Vicki Inker (Enrichment lead at school) and Alison Painter. Vicki Inker said: “Enrichment weeks are so important and such a fantastic experience for the children. They enjoy working with other age groups and teachers across the school and really benefit from the activities they are involved in. The children always come back to class buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm.”
During the week beginning November 12, pupils visited St Monica Trust properties, The Garden House at the Cote Lane site and John Wills House at Westbury Fields, where they joined residents for board games and a lively game of bingo.
Lily, aged 8, enjoyed her visit, saying: "We had fun with the residents playing bingo. We got to know each other better at the same time.”
Robyn, age 9, added: "It's good for the older people as they can be lonely and it's good for young people to learn about the community around us.”
Erin, age 5, made a picture for two elderly ladies and said: “We wanted to help them have fun again with us, as their own children are now grown up."
Emily Pimm is the Deputy Care Home Manager at John Wills House and can see the benefit of the interaction between the generations:
“The residents have been looking forward to this a lot. I think it helps having different interaction, especially if they are feeling low. You see lots of improvement in mobility and if they are feeling better, they drink and eat more too and have an improved sense of well being. It benefits the children to have that interaction, learning from people who’ve had lots of experience of life and history and have lots of skills too,” she said.
Headteacher, Richard Bamber commented: “At Westbury Park School we pride ourselves on our community feel. One of the most effective ways we achieve this is through our ‘House Enrichment’ events. Every child from Reception to Year 6 is placed in one of our four houses ‘Dahl, Donaldson, Rosen and Rowling’. Over the course of the year the children will meet in their house teams to take part in various projects.
“The children thoroughly enjoy these activities and make the most of the opportunity to work together on a project whilst making friends and building community.
"The children benefit enormously from this experience as they spent time bridging the generation gap by playing games, reading and chatting.”