The pupils from the school are frequent visitors to Thornbank, one of Greensleeves Homes Trust care homes, and they built a very special cross-generation bond with the residents. This week was one of those special occasions, when children from Year 2 visited Thornbank to receive their Christmas gifts. One of the residents was dressed as Father Christmas but the pupils know residents so well that they immediately recognised Michael, one of the Thornbank residents, despite his long white beard and costume.
The pre-Christmas event was part of the partnership initiative undertaken by Thornbank and St Margaret’s C of E Primary School which saw residents of Thornbank ‘paired’ with Class 1 at the beginning of last school year. That has enabled care home residents to have more understanding of what children learn at their school time and to be able to have a more active role within the life of the school and its bright pupils.
Thornbank has already had an established strong link with the school and residents were glad to attend the school’s Christmas plays. But last year Activities Coordinator Lyn Andrews presented a proposal to the Head teacher of the school outlining how a greater involvement with the school will benefit both the pupils and the care home residents. This proposal was accepted with enthusiasm by the school’s teachers at their staff meeting. Thornbank residents play an active role in the school’s life and in the life of pupils of that particular class until the pupils leave the school.
After Christmas, St Margaret’s Primary School pupils will take part in another joint project with Thornbank care home residents. The pupils who attend the Gardening Club at the school will be taking part in the very special competition for the best garden design. Over Christmas, the care home residents will judge all competition entries. The winning garden design will be taken forward and in the spring next year Thornbank’s garden will be transformed with the help both from the school pupils and the care home residents.