School pupils' visits to Downham Market care home ‘invaluable’, headteacher says
A new partnership between a care home and a school in Downham is benefitting both residents and pupils, officials have said.
Youngsters from Hillcrest Primary School have been visiting residents at Diamond House care home twice a month for the past two months in the arrangement.
Natalie Wright, home manager at Diamond House care home, said: “It’s quite common for primary school children to have the odd visit to a care home but we think that our arrangement with Hillcrest Primary School is quite special.”
The visits provide positive interaction between the two generations and were inspired by Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), which can improve memory and thinking skills through social interaction and engaging activities.
Miss Wright added: “CST has been proven to stimulate the mind but more importantly, the visits provide our residents with genuine enjoyment.
“The residents have built up relationships with the children and everyone looks forward to the sessions.”
Residents and children take part in activities and puzzles during the visits, in addition to seasonal arts and crafts.
Matthew Try, headteacher at Hillcrest Primary School, said: “It is important that the primary school experience is about more than solely the teaching of English and maths or the study of the broad range of curriculum areas that we have to cover with the children.
“By working in partnership with organisations in the community such as Diamond House, we provide the pupils with an invaluable opportunity to play an important role in the wellbeing of others which helps to develop the social, emotional and personal skills of the children, therefore supporting the whole child.
“We look forward to continuing to grow and develop the relationship between Hillcrest and Diamond House over the coming months and years.”