From this month, around a dozen students from Oak Lodge, a special needs school, will visit the Nightingale House care home every week to teach residents basic sign language, before working together on a ceramics and photography project.
For schools interested in exploring intergenerational projects, Mannion suggests starting with local links. “Discover who is available and willing to contribute to school life in the extended curriculum, such as clubs and trips,” he advises.
Sometimes this requires cold-calling. “Places where older people meet, such as lunch clubs, are good, as well as sheltered accommodation, the Royal British Legion, the WI, Age UK, bowling and rotary clubs,” says Peterson. He also suggests advertising in local newspapers, and simply being visible. “We’ve had success by standing in the local shopping centre, handing out leaflets and talking to people.
Financial backing is important too. “Schools need funding and training to consider a more collaborative and intergenerational approach involving young people, local people, professional practitioners and organisations,” says Mannion. Schools can check if they’re eligible for grants from organisations such as The Big Lottery Fund and schemes run by supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda.
Intergenerational projects can provide a fresh approach to learning about life outside the classroom, and often lead to long-lasting memories. “For the child, it’s something they remember,” says Hurley. “My son helped create a storybook 10 years ago and he still remembers Mary, whom he worked with.”
Mason agrees. “Some still keep in touch and go for a coffee with the person they were paired with,” she says. “They end up developing a close bond.”
All the world’s our stage
By Clare Creegan
STUDENTS of Oak Lodge School in Wandsworth are set to tread the boards next week as part of the world’s largest youth drama festival.
More than 1,000 schools will perform in 138 theatres across the UK in the annual Shakespeare Schools Festival (SSF) which this year celebrates the famous bard’s 400th birthday.
Cathie Campbell, English teacher at Oak Lodge School, described the students’ participation as a superb opportunity and “one that improves the self-confidence, self-esteem and public speaking skills of our students.”
She added: “We are incredibly proud of the students who have risen to this challenge.
“As well as reading and learning the story of a Shakespeare play, they will learn how to communicate and work with their hearing peers whilst gaining the confidence, understanding and skills to perform in a real working theatre in central London in front of an unfamiliar audience.
Ten pupils from Oak Lodge secondary special school for Deaf and language impaired students will perform a modified signed performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ alongside 20 Community Arts Brit School students.
The Brit school students have taken part in a Deaf Awareness course and have been very keen to learn basic BSL signs to help with communication with Oak Lodge students.
The third collaboration between students of Oak lodge and the Brit School will be an integrated performance using a mixture of British Sign Language, Sign-Supported English and spoken English and will take place at Main Stage, RADA Studio on 16th November at 7pm.
Entering their 17th year, SSF is campaigning to show that the work of Shakespeare is relevant to all young people regardless of age or ability.
The registered charity has already signed up 1,150 schools so far this year including more than a hundred schools for children with special needs.
“It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Sarah Price, who worked as a teacher at Oak Lodge School from January 2005 to Dec 2013, has died after a short illness.
Sarah worked as a Maths teacher and helped lead the Sixth Form and was greatly respected and loved by all the staff and students who knew her. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.”
On the 9th of September 12 students and 4 staff traveled to Interlaken, Switzerland. This amazing trip was organised and funded by London Rotary Club and Interlaken Rotary Club.
What a wonderful opportunity for Oak Lodge Students to experience another culture and grow with the challenge! And what a wonderful place to visit. All students agree, Interlaken is the most beautiful place on Earth!
Click here for more details
Congratulations Oak Lodge School
Business Awards for ICT Innovation Award
Winner: Oak Lodge School, Wandsworth
Darryl Bedford was delighted to collect the award for Oak Lodge School who were the well deserved winners for the prestigious Business Education Award for Innovative ICT.