Castleton Primary school: work in the community

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A number of our schools in Leeds, are taking their school day outside the classroom, and spending time out and about within the local community. One of the schools involved in this is Castleton Primary.

Year 5 pupils were keen to join in with a number of projects including the ‘Positive Futures’ scheme, where two groups of 15 children spent one day per week over six weeks visiting Leeds Climbing Wall, a skateboarding park, canoeing at Yeadon Tarn, team building at Leeds Beckett University and even got to learn archery. This was extremely popular with the class and had a huge impact on school attendance.

‘Rhinos Rugby’ is hosting weekly visits from 30 children over the next six weeks where they will learn the importance of team playing and team values. They will be given the opportunity to meet some players as well as the opportunity to take on roles prior to a match, such as being the club’s coach, taking charge of the scoreboard and getting the grounds ready for the match!

We’ve heard from five young people who were part of a group of ten who visited St Mary’s Sheltered Housing. They are in the process of spending an hour there weekly for a month as part of the Make a Difference Challenge. The class decided they would like to make a positive contribution to the lives of the elderly in their community. “We play games such as dominoes, cards, bingo and some of us will be learning how to knit!”

Helen says: “We visited St Mary’s Close to meet the elderly residents.” Both Helen and Donya (her friend) really enjoyed playing dominoes with the residents because it was fun and Donya won. “Everyone had a good time. Rita, the resident I was working with, didn’t want to quit the game until she won. But Donya won! I learnt a few new games – dominoes and cards. Also they taught us to ‘knock’ when we can’t go. I think that elderly residents and children, like me, could learn to knit together. As a young person, I could teach them more about technology and how to play Minecraft and Slitter 10.”

Donya also says: “I learnt a new game, which I found I was quite good at, and they taught me how to ‘knock’ on the table when I couldn’t go. Elderly and young people can learn things from each other, such as knitting. We could teach them how to use phones, computers and other gadgets.”

Jaiden and Lewis said one of their favourite parts was playing ‘Go Fish’ with Jaiden winning, and Lewis unfortunately losing. “Vera, the elderly resident we played with, wanted to teach us a new game. She was a bit confused because we had different rules to her game. She taught us to play ‘Patience’ – a game you can play on your own.”

Both boys learnt to be patient when Vera was teaching them the new game. “Usually I would interrupt and ask, ‘What do you mean?’ if there was something I didn’t understand. Vera wanted to teach us how to knit and how to play scrabble. As a young person we could teach the elderly how to use the internet.”

Faith said her favourite part was “playing ‘Chip’ with cards as well as Ethan, Peggy, Violet and Kate. We all thought Ethan had Queens hiding up his sleeve because he always seemed to have only the Royal cards – it was so funny! It made the residents happy because they hardly get any visitors. We played different games but we didn’t have a winner overall. I felt I interacted with the resident’s quite well because I already talk to older people sometimes. I think they could try to teach young people, like myself, how to knit and play scrabble. We could possibly play bingo together as well. I would like to teach the residents how to use YouTube so they can watch whatever they want at any time.”

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