Why host a Get Together in your school?
When year 10 students from The Halifax Academy visited Summerfield House Care Home, it became clear that residents and students had so much more in common than they imagined.
We asked the students what they thought the older people would be like. They used descriptions like ‘boring’, ‘sleepy’ and ‘forgetful’.
Some elderly people also had some apprehensions about the students coming in, saying ‘kids are just so big these days,’ and ‘I don’t understand their world and the gadgets’.
Today, however, attitudes have shifted. David Horsfall, Progress Leader at Halifax Academy, said, “There’s more social cohesion between the school and Summerfield House now that the pupils have a greater understanding of the older generation.”
Aisha, one of the students, said, “I love Shirley’s stories, you think old people don’t know much, but then you find out they’ve been doctors, have run a business, travelled the world. Now I feel different. Everyone should have a Shirley in their lives!”
2.Older people bring a lifetime of wisdom
Every community is home to many older people who have a lifetime of experience to offer. Whether it’s knife and fork skills garden knowledge or a real-life history lesson, older members of the community can bring so much value to your school and enrich pupils’ experience of cooking, growing, eating and learning.
3.Rebuild a sense of community
We understand that inviting people in from the wider community can feel like a risk. But there are so many benefits to closing the gap in our communities and bringing people together. Washingborough Academy have been inviting older people from the community in since 2018.
Head teacher Jason O’Rourke says, “[at our last lunch], one attendee said he hadn’t been out for three weeks and loved the event. It’s an opportunity for the children to learn from older members of the community, which is brilliant for the children and the adults.”
4.Share the joy of good food
Nothing brings people together quite like sharing food. A good meal has the power to connect people from all walks of life, no matter how old or young they are. Many pupils from Hallbrook Primary School in Broughton Astley look forward to older people joining them for lunch, with one pupil saying, “When I see them coming through the door, I think it’s going to be a better lunchtime.” Find out why pupils enjoy their lunchtimes with the older people
5.Meet Ofsted criteria
Hosting a Get Together can help you prove effectiveness in some of those criteria that are harder to pin down, such as nurturing relationships between pupils and staff, and equipping pupils to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society.
In Wales, Estyn look for promotion of healthy living and creating links with the local community in their inspections.
Feeling motivated? Sign up to host a Get Together in your school today