As part of the Archbishop of York Leadership award, 16 pupils from 8YE undertook their Group community challenge, which was to visit the residents of Wesley Grange and give them a chance to talk about their lives and experiences over many years.
Pupils from 8XV created booklets which evoked memories of the past by showing pictures of the Woodchurch Estate when it was first built and some local landmarks which we hoped would bring back memories for some of the residents.
The idea to visit came from Lauren who felt it would be good for the pupils to meet the residents and would give Woodchurch a chance to show how friendly and polite our pupils are!
We met in a community room where the residents meet for tea and coffee and to socialise. There are 38 flats in the complex and each resident has their own accommodation, which can get a little lonely at times. A large number of residents came down to meet us, which was really pleasing. The pupils teamed up in groups of two and spoke to the residents for about twenty minutes. We then changed the groups round so that he pupils could meet another resident, and again talk for about twenty minutes. Understandably some of the pupils were a bit shy at first, but they soon got over their nerves and asked lots of sensible questions and even listened to the answers! We met some real characters, including one lady who was 90 years old, a man who had moved over to Woodchurch from New York (he never told us why he chose Woodchurch over New York!) and a lady who had made the suits that the Beatles used to wear at the height of their fame.
All the residents were very complementary and said the pupils were a credit to the school. One lady thought that “all schools were like the one on the telly, Waterloo Road!”
The residents said they would love to see other pupils visit them in the future, especially members of the choir or a drama group.
The pupils also seemed to enjoy the visit, and they will now have to write about their experiences as part of their community project. We look forward to keeping in touch with the residents, any ideas to continue the links would be gratefully received!