DESPITE the significant gaps in their ages and experiences, Noorat Primary School students and May Noonan Centre residents have already made close bonds as part of a new collaborative educational program.
A group of students travel to the Lyndoch Living facility every Wednesday to take part in a new activity delivered in conjunction with Nuture in Narture.
Nurture in Nature co-ordinator Tania Moloney said the program allowed for both the students and the aged care residents to gain an insight into each other’s lives.
“It’s such a rich experience for all involved, the residents’ eyes light up when the kids arrive and there’s a real sense of excitement in the air,” she said.
“The kids ask constantly when they’re going back next to visit their friends.
“It really tugs at your heartstrings when you see and hear the interactions between them.”
The first session involved a Stonework Play session, where each student teamed up with a resident to create a story out of stones.
The teams created an array of unique tales and art pieces, including climbing Mount Noorat and a May Noonan sign.
The second session saw the students again pair up with a resident and create a ‘stained glass window’ using cardboard frames, sticky contact and natural materials such as leaves and flowers.
Ms Moloney said incorporating nature into each activity provided something tangible to which the students and residents can relate.
“Bringing nature, art and story elements into the activities we’ve done so far has given both groups something familiar they can connect over and the shared conversations that result are really easy and vibrant,” she said.
“Future visits will see activities incorporating music, art, reading, writing, gardening and interviewing the residents about their lives.”
Ms Moloney said the pupils would help guide what activities should be in future weeks, with the possibility of incorporating lessons they have learnt in their science, technology, engineering and maths classes.
Grade 4 student Nash Hansen said the program could also see the May Noonan residents visiting the school one day.
“I think it’d be really fun to have my friend Les and the other May Noonan residents come out and visit us at school too,” he said.
“It’d be like they’re going back to school again, but I think lots of things have probably changed in that time.”