Silver City Surfers’ Schools Squad: Ferryhill


Internet access is a way in which older people can keep in touch with friends, family, services and current affairs which all alleviate loneliness for older people. Children who’ve grown up with the internet are sometimes unaware of the privacy issues around using it and this project increased their awareness of this.

This project shared technology skills of the younger generation with the older people within their community and shared experiences and knowledge of the 1940s from the older people with the children. Further stats can be found like the one above on the The Office of National Statistics Report on internet use by age.


The project aimed to build community capacity through linking with a retirement housing community and those living nearby. Specific aims were to:

  • Increase digital skills of all participants, especially our seniors, and for pupils to learn about life in the 1940s.
  • Bring the 1940s to life by sharing stories from people who had friends and family living through this age.

For senior participants:

  • To increase a sense of involvement and community by linking with the primary school pupils.
  • To reduce age related stereotyping on both sides with the chance to socialize together.

For younger people:
*To reduce age related stereotyping and to extend their links with the community as part of the rights respecting schools project they are part of.

Finally, the project aimed to capture stories of years ago, and share them with others.


P7 pupils and people from the local Community aged over 65. Guests from business and organisations, teachers, volunteer facilitators and the house manager.

How many took part?
38 pupils, 3 teachers, 2 student teachers, 1 project coordinator, 4 volunteers, 11 guests, 1 house manager.

What were the age ranges?

  • Pupils were between 10 and 11 years old.
  • Adults from 35 to 96 years old.

Participants were recruited through word of mouth, posters in the Community, local newsletter, personal invitations and Church announcements.

Activities/ events

Three introductory sessions were held with the pupils and 1 meeting with the seniors. We then met weekly for 1.5hours. The project coordinator lead the project and was supported by 3 volunteers plus teaching staff from the School.
Details of activities are in the outputs section.


  • 1st week with Intergenerational Group: ‘Getting to know you’ session and finding a baseline for existing use of technology with our seniors.
  • 2nd week: Music online and from the 1940s. Volunteer input – bringing record player and records
  • 3rd week: Social Media (staying safe) / Communication in 1940s. Guest: Police Scotland officer
  • 4th week: Taking better photos plus editing and sharing them with 1940s photo booth. Guests: local photographer, volunteer technical creatives, local College hair and beauty students
  • 5th week: Online shopping – being wise to scams and looking at money from 1940s and comparative prices of rationed goods. Guests: Trading Standards and Bank Manager
  • 6th Week: Celebrating and Evaluating

Benefits for the Community

Building capacity and links within the local community between younger and older people. Increasing the understanding between generations and helping our local area become a friendlier place to live in. Increasing the awareness of the community links between schools and retirement housing within the local community through newsletters and inspiring others to continue this work through further linking with the local academy and throughout the UK (see Life & Style newsletter circulation 63,000 across UK).

Benefits for the Younger People

Learning about the history of World War II from primary and secondary sources and having the chance to question; discuss and review materials from that era with people who lived through it.
Raising their awareness of the physical nature of becoming older and the effect this may have on using technology. Developing their own teaching and tutoring styles to support an individual’s learning. Increasing their self-esteem through helping others and gaining a better understanding of the internet and the way in which it can be used safely: internet etiquette; top tips for posting online and legal aspects of online interaction.

Benefits for the Older People

Being valued as individuals by the younger generation with interesting stories to share. Learning about digital technology and having the chance to increase and develop their skills. Increasing confidence in learning new skills and practicing with support from the younger generation.
Increasing their self-esteem through helping others and gaining a better understanding of the internet and the way in which it can be used safely: internet etiquette; top tips for posting online and legal aspects of online interaction.


The Crerar Hotels Trust

Sustainability/ Developments

As a result of this project, are any other intergenerational activities being delivered or planned by the lead organisation or partner organisations?
As a result of our project, seven S3 pupils will visit the residential housing lounge weekly, for 5 weeks. They will each tutor one person in whatever technology topic they’d like to know and share refreshments afterwards.


We used questionnaires, observations, photographic images and asked everyone the same 5 questions – listed below:

  • When I found out I was going to do a project between older people and P7 pupils I ….?
  • Who or what encouraged you to get involved?
  • What have you learned from your pupils, ‘Silver Surfers’ or Guests?
  • Which part of the project did you like best and why?
  • What advice would you give to anyone who was going to do the same project?

What would be done differently in the future?

Please read the report for a full analysis. The only main suggestion was around background noise and how to reduce this to enable those with hearing difficulties to fully engage. We did this by using a microphone and loop system which was successful.


  • Advertising poster
  • Evaluation Questions
  • Photographs
  • Report

Local Priorities

The project fits with Silver City Surfers’ purposes: the advancement of education in the field of information technology and the advancement of citizenship and community development for the benefit of older people (over the age of 55) in the City of Aberdeen and in the North-East of Scotland.

The project supported the rights respecting schools award that Ferryhill Primary were working towards. UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD: Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as their respect for their parents, their own and other cultures and the environment. It also links with How Good is Our School 4 in developing partnerships.

National Objectives

This project worked towards Scottish NPF objectives:
SMARTER – Expanding opportunities to succeed from nurture through to lifelong learning ensuring higher and more widely shared achievements.

And, also could contribute to:
WEALTHIER & FAIRER – will support activities that address inequalities and enhance skills, employability and job opportunities. It builds on the characteristics of solidarity, cohesion and sustainability to ensure that all of Scotland has an opportunity to flourish.

Scottish NPF outcomes

  • Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens: To enable children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century.
  • We are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation.
  • We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.
  • Our people are able to maintain their independence as they get older and are able to access appropriate support when they need it.