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With plans put on hold in 2020, last week we were delighted that a small group of ELC children and two educators were able to make our first visit to Vailima Gardens Retirement Community.  Located on Hackney Road, our communities are accessible to each other which provide an ideal opportunity for our ELC children to engage with the wider community (one of the national quality standards). The experience also aligns with our Spirituality and Service strategic pillar in that it provides students an authentic and relational service learning opportunity which promotes personal growth and benefits others.

Pat Komninos, Manager of Vailima Gardens, invited residents to participate and we were warmly welcomed by a group of ten residents in their communal sitting room. On the walk over, students pondered many questions and wonderings:

“Do they have fish?”

“Are they doctors or teachers?”

“What does their house look like?”

“How old are they?”

After introductions, the children shared drawings, paintings and picture books we had brought from the ELC. Conversation flowed and connections were made through shared interests in drawing, gardening and scones with jam! There was much chatter and laughter, with both generations equally enjoying the company of the other. The visit was such a success we have been invited to return on a weekly basis. We are looking forward to getting to know our new friends better, learning with and from each other and welcoming the residents to the ELC in the near future.

Sheryle Yorston
Head of Early Years