Students from Coomera Anglican College and their new “grand-friends” are stepping outside their comfort zone in an intergenerational learning project.
Year 8 students are connecting virtually with residents of Magnolia Aged Care in Coomera to allow students and elders to communicate on a regular basis, providing students with an opportunity to build relationships and develop empathy and understanding within different generations.
This programme is provided by Intergenerational Learning Australia, which provides opportunities for interactions involving school students and senior adults discussing curriculum topics or cultural events.
These occurs via video calls or co-located settings, such as a classroom, community centre or “Old People’s Home” as per the popular ABC TV programme.
Service and Faith projects form an integral part of the Coomera Anglican College curriculum, and students are required to identify opportunities to give back to their community.
Head of Year 8 Katrina Lyons has been instrumental in driving this project forward.
“Our purpose is to create great people at Coomera Anglican College. We actively look at works to incorporate Service Learning into our curriculum, and the impact of COVID-19 and the inability to travel or visit direct locations has led us to a wider conversation around the concept and idea of service within the community and how this can be redefined,” Mrs Lyons said.
“The opportunity to build intergenerational learning into our curriculum and service learning was important to us to build and develop, as it serves older people in aged care facilities and builds relationships between students and people in our community, helps to dispels myths associated with ageism and improves wellbeing. It represents our faith in action.”
Year 8 students Petra Dennett and Jessica Lazenby were the first students to ask questions and engage with the residents.
“What were your hobbies as a teenager? Did that shape your career?”
“Sport!” said Bernie, their new “grand-friend”.
“Any kind of sport – tennis, football, baseball. I played football later on and became an international referee,” he said with a grin a mile wide.
“Wow!” Petra and Jessica said.
Coomera Anglican College’s Head of Learning Futures Bek Duyckers is driving the project within the College with a view to what learning looks like for the next generation of students.
This opportunity is a pilot programme that is being trialled with one Year 8 class, forming part of a wider project currently being implemented around Learning Futures.Jump to next article