Learning and Bonding Across Generations
16 Oct 2014
West Grove Primary School, in collaboration with Family Central and Council for Third Age, organised an Intergenerational Learning Programme (ILP) - Love in a Bottle and Paper Flower Making in June this year.
The ILP serves as a platform where seniors from Family Central are able to pursue lifelong learning and at the same time, are given opportunities to strengthen intergenerational ties with the students. Despite an age gap of at least 40 years, it was evident that the seniors and the students gradually developed a bond with each other as each day passed. It was very heartwarming to see the students being tender and caring towards the seniors and how such attention was reciprocated by the seniors towards the students.
A Primary 5 student, Yee Ting Hwei, shared that it was an interesting eye-opener for her as she had no prior experiences with 3D flower creation. She added that she had a great time learning how to create the flowers together with the seniors and that she would bring her knowledge back home to teach her family members.
Senior participants, Mrs Julie Ng and Mrs Ivy Sie shared that they enjoyed the interactions with the students and it made them feel young again. Mrs Sie also shared that the students were very well behaved and showed respect to the elders.
The seniors, on their part, shared their life experiences with the students. Another student, Cindrea D’Cruz, said that the seniors were very nice and approachable, and that they had shared many of their stories with her. Chong Hong Yau of Class 5H said, “I learnt the importance of studying from one of the seniors who worked as a samsui woman in her younger days”.
Through these interactions, the misconceptions and stereotypes that children might have of the older generation were also debunked. A student, Jorryn Yeo, noted that “the seniors are young at heart and they have a lot of life experiences which I can learn from. I will bring back many fond memories of them at the end of this programme”.
Brian Ng Choon Kiat of Class 5E also shared that he had learnt a lot from his interactions with the seniors. He added that he looked forward to more of such ILP activities in future. Brian also said that the senior participants showed commitment and responsibility in carrying out the activities and did not give up despite the difficulties. He said, “Over the past four days, the interactions with the seniors have been very fruitful. I’ve learnt to be more caring and patient and that from now on, I will also be more conscious of the daily needs of my grandparents back at home”.
Contributed by West Grove Primary School teacher, Miss Koh Poh Len