Balbriggan School children bring joy to nursing home residents

March 9, 2018 0

Today we had the pleasure of visiting Gormanston Woods nursing home with students from Balbriggan Educate Together National School. This year the school piloted a link programme with Gormanston Wood Nursing Home and the aim of the programme was to develop empathy and understanding in the children regarding the elderly whist becoming more involved the community. 

Elaine Moore, HSCL at Balbriggan ETNS told “This objective fit in with the schools SPHE curriculum and meant that the children could experience an ad hoc approach to learning. The school felt that developing empathy for others was a key and is very important life skill.

The student council was selected to become involved in the programme. The children aged from 6-12 years. We assigned two children to each elderly person, one older with one younger. We also got information on both the children’s and adults interests and hobbies so we could link the group adequately. For example we linked two children who played musical instruments with a man who also played an instrument and we linked two children who attended dance classes with a former dancer. This meant that the group instantly hit it off and had a common ground of interest.

The young students attended Gormanston Wood for 6 visits. In the visits they played board games, listened to music, did art activities, did a famous face memory quiz, played party games and most of all just had a good old chat and catch up. Over the weeks both the children and their new friend kindled a friendship. They looked forward to the visits.

The Residents were also invited to the school for the Winter concert as VIPs and had a lovely day out. We hope that the residents will return for our school open day on May 4th in which the school showcase its teaching and learning throughout the school. The scheme was very successful from both ends, the children learned so much and also the residents had a lease of life about them and looked forward to seeing the children.

The is an initiative that we would like to see happening each year as we feel it is a fantastic way for the children to get involved in the community, whilst developing their life skills and most importantly developing friendships and preventing loneliness.”