Staff from Bickley Park School take around a dozen three year olds on regular visits to Crown Meadow Nursing Home where they partake in a range of activities with residents. These include parachute games, reading stories together, colouring, building Lego structures, jigsaws, and throwing and catching balls. The activities help children with their confidence, and the residents love spending time with the youngsters.
Patrick Wenham, head teacher, at Bickley Park School said, “Community is at our core here and all the children are taught the value of serving the wider society.
“We have been taking the nursery children to the care home since for the last year as studies have shown how beneficial it is to bring both age groups together.
“What’s interesting is that the children are blind to the age and frailty of the residents. They see them more as playmates or grandparent figures, and they love chatting to them. In return, the residents enjoy telling the kids stories about their own childhoods and other events that have happened in their lives and the children love hearing them. It is deeply moving to see the pleasure they gain from interacting with the children.
“We have a variety of outreach projects here at Bickley Park involving other residential care homes. Our older children provide entertainment for the residents, or we invite them into school for a variety of social events. Previously, we have organised a night-time tour at Chislehurst Caves which included people who had sheltered there during The Blitz.
“We hope that our work with the wider community and society continues to have a positive impact on everyone’s lives for the future.”