The Year 8 pupils visited the Kenwith Castle Retirement Home for the afternoon today. The aims were to help the pupils realise there can be so much to learn from their elders and to spread some Christmas cheer to those a little less fortunate than they are; both were met. The pupils were a little nervous at first but soon warmed up and the proposed hour stay was easily stretched to over an hour and a half. The hubbub in the room was a pleasure to hear and the way all the pupils interacted was lovely to see.

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The stories about people’s lives were incredible. One lady had been brought up in Tanzania, married a man 27 years older than her and was happily married until he died at 103! She was 86 so still a mere babe! Another lady was 96, soon to be 97, and was a real character. She had 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and I am sure will easily see some great great grandchildren! Her advice was that there will be good and bad times in their lives but most importantly to never envy anyone. One woman had been a store detective sharing memories about chasing well to do people stealing cuts of meat from a food hall. Another had been brought up in Shebbear until she was 10, moved to Plymouth to go to school only to have to leave again because of the blitz in WW2. The lone male (!) was 82 and from Wolverhampton originally; he was still full of life and it was good to have a chuckle with him for 20 mins or so.

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The pupils were amazing and I was truly touched by their care and ability to spend time with the residents. It was encapsulated by a moment when Ben picked up a cup of tea and held it to a woman’s mouth so she could have some- and she was aged 101! Simply beautiful.

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Happy Christmas and thank you for allowing us to spend time with the residents.

Afterwards, the pupils went on to Tea on the Green for a well-deserved end of term treat!