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Developing a pathway for children and young people

  1. Lorraine George Learning & Development Officer GWT Workshop 1 Developing a pathway for children and young people
  2. What is intergenerational practice ? ‘Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities.’ Beth Johnson Foundation
  3. It’s just early years and residential adults It’s just a nice thing to do – a feel good activity It’s only for certain children, ability and ages It’s not based on research or practice It’s just an ‘add-on’ to the curriculum
  4. What might an intergenerational pathway look like? Early Years Primary Secondary Community opportunities Play based Hobbies & interests Youth work Groups Education
  5. Why do we need an intergenerational pathway? Build an intergenerational nation Raise awareness of IG work Increase the number of IG champions and programmes Every child and young person to experience IG learning Increase children & young peoples’ skills Challenge Ageism & stereotypes
  6. An intergenerational approach within education: • IG learning provides new experiences, sparking curiosity • Supports children & young people to develop empathy and understand and value diversity & difference • It promotes collaborative project-based learning • Can be used in a targeted way • Asset based, creative & can enrich the curriculum • Places real life experiences at the centre of learning
  7.  Enhanced reading and writing  Improved task orientation, short-term memory, problem solving, and accountability  Increased patience, sensitivity, compassion, respect, and empathy  Reduced anxiety, sadness, and stress  Improved mood management  Healthier diets and nutrition, increased physical activity, less “screen time” Source: Generations United USA Making the difference for children & young people
  8. Young people said… ‘A lot of people say that the young and older generations don’t come together. But if you see through the lines, they can come really close to one another.’ ‘We have enabled two generations to connect who otherwise would not have been able to’. ‘After a few months, I started growing in confidence, shaking their hands with joy, start singing solos, talking to Kingswood members… I learnt at Kingswood that not just our lives matter, that old people have feelings. And I grew my confidence with talking to people’. Source: Old’s Cool Digital Practice Toolkit, Citadel & Ace Voices Aberdeen
  9. GWT Primary School Module
  10. Activity Part A: Thinking about creating intergenerational experiences outside education, which (individuals/organisations) could you link with in your community to develop this further? Part B: What would you need to make this happen?

Notas del editor

  1. 9am Introductions I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to speak about the importance of intergenerational learning opportunities within education and the intergenerational pathway GWT are developing for children and young people. IG practice is not new, it is however becoming increasingly identified as an area of focus within education, social care and community planning. Governments and policy makers are investing in IG practice which supports us as practitioners and educators to link our programmes to outcomes for children, young people, older people and our community. GWT’s vision is to develop an intergenerational pathway for children & young people through creating IG opportunities within education and extra curricula, so that we have a growing number of potential IG champions who have personally experienced the benefits that come from having a diverse range of older friends. This will grow the number of people with intergenerational experience across Scotland and in turn increase the number of intergenerational opportunities within communities and its impact. In this session, we are going to explore the context of intergenerational learning and how it can be developed both within & outside the education curriculum that is already offered.
  2. 9.05am Firstly, what do we mean by intergenerational? This is the definition f IG practice developed by the Beth Johnson Foundation and it’s universally accepted. GWT acknowledge the challenges that some schools may face in developing IG programmes within the curriculum and they can support schools and individuals to overcome these. But IG projects don’t have to be an add on, they can be developed within existing curriculum and can be anything as long as they encompass these principles: Engaging with adults in residential care Targeted reading or maths programmes After school clubs or homework clubs Community based development projects such as gardening, skill swaps or social action projects Youth work such as learning new skills, mentoring or preparing for the workplace Classrooms on shared sites such as in the US , even IG programmes in secondary schools in Ohio. Also be linked to pastoral support programmes such as Downshall Primary in London who run a weekly session with children with English as an additional language, Vulnerable Children, etc matched with adults with low grade depression and early onset dementia referred in by their GP’s. The resource library on the GWT website is full of case studies from projects running all over Scotland. You can also watch the Excellence Awards videos which share good practice examples of grassroots projects.
  3. 9.10 When raising awareness about IG work it is important that we challenge these myths Read out loud & challenge the following statements- It’s just early years and residential adults Part of GWT’s work is also around changing the perception that IG work just involves young children and older adults in residential care. This is perpetuated in the media with programmes such as Care Homes for 4 year olds. Intergenerational programmes include people of all ages coming together to engage in an activity or experience, being supported to find out about each other and challenge the stereotypical views of generations by building friendships. It’s just a nice thing to do – a feel good activity IG learning is so much more than just a feel good activity. It meets real needs across generations. Its about learning, sharing skills and building relationships to the benefit of all. This perception belies the fact that an IG approach can drive targeted and sustainable change within our communities in many different forms across various professional fields. We need to change the narrative. The World Health Organisations global report on Ageism earlier this year outlines a framework for action to reduce ageism & highlighting the importance of IG learning in all its forms, but particularly within education. They gave 3 specific recommendations: 1) Changing policy and laws to reduce ageism towards any age group 2) Educational interventions across all levels and types of education, from primary school to university, and in formal and non-formal educational contexts. Educational activities help enhance empathy, dispel misconceptions about different age groups and reduce prejudice and discrimination by providing accurate information and counter-stereotypical examples. 3) Intergenerational contact interventions to foster interaction between people of different generations.  This is global policy for all countries, not just a nice thing to do. It’s only for certain children, ability and ages. Regardless of the age & abilities of pupils that we work with, there are many activities and programmes we can implement in order to enhance the curriculums which we deliver and the benefits will vary according to the objectives and priorities on which plans are based. We know that importance of secure attachments for children and young people in order for them to have the confidence to grow and flourish. IG programmes widen the support network for children & young people and surround them with supportive champions which impacts positively upon their self-esteem, confidence and mental health. It’s not based on research or practice. There is a growing bank of documented research that evidences the impact of IG work and it’s not woolly and vague narrative, its evaluated showing improvement in literacy, language, communication, confidence & self-esteem, improvement in resilience in learning and behaviour, decrease in anxiety, and that’s without considering the impact upon the older participants, staff, parents and families, the workplace and the community.   5) It’s just an add-on to the curriculum We need to move away from IG sessions that are tokenistic add-ons to the curriculum and instead shape it so that it forms a natural part of our learning schedule. Build on what the children are already doing in order to enhance the childrens learning, rather than applying IG learning as an additional piece of work. Review the curriculum, consider the needs of your pupils and explore a creative approach to a traditional teaching strategy.
  4. 9.15 What do we mean by IG pathway and how could it be supported by individuals & organisations within the community? What could that potentially look like? Develop a recognisable accessible route for intergenerational opportunities inside & outside school Want the pathway to offer different types of learning through intergenerational experiences because it not only impacts upon the participants but upon their families, support staff, the working environment and the community. IG learning in education would start with early years, then progress through primary & secondary supporting children & young people to build their knowledge and progress from taking part in IG work to being supporting in developing their own projects in their community or being volunteers in others The IG work in education could then be complemented by activities in the community for example, Scouts (GWT have already written a module for them to develop in their communities) Guides, hobby groups – cycling, choirs, fishing, play based activities such as IG playgrounds, storytelling programmes, faith based groups, drama, youth work in supporting young people for the workplace with mentoring programmes or writing c.v’s etc The creative the better This could also potentially be some sort of accredited recognised training qualification ( Judith at Apples & Honey Nightingale are now offering a Cache registered course for education practitioners, and social care students.
  5. 9.20 Why do we need an intergenerational pathway for children & young people? Build an IG nation- improve connections between generations in our communities, and the documented physical & mental health benefits which come from that Raise awareness & extend IG approach in to other fields, and organisations such as health or local authorities (not just third sector) Increase the number of IG Champions (if that is the right word) in the community and move on from the frustrations we have now when an IG programme is up & running and the one person driving it that has the knowledge, leaves and it all stops. The more champions we have the more IG programmes take place Ensure that every child & YP has an opportunity to engage in IG work, the skills encompassed through intergenerational learning include those in Curriculum for Excellence, skills for learning, skills for life, skills for work. IG learning not only fits with curriculum areas and subjects, but also with : - Interdisciplinary learning: How the curriculum should include space for learning beyond and between subjects. - Ethos and life of the school: The starting point for learning is a positive ethos and climate of respect and trust based upon shared values across the ` school community. - Opportunities for personal achievement: Pupils need opportunities for achievements both in the classroom and beyond, giving them a sense of satisfaction and building motivation, resilience and confidence Develop children & young peoples skills so that they can develop their own IG projects in their own communities Challenge Ageism & stereotypes as advised by the WHO global report on Ageism who advised increasing IG interactions as a means of challenging the negative impact of ageism both upon individuals as well as upon society and the economy.
  6. Lets start with developing an intergenerational approach within education? People today tend to socialise only with their own generations or family whether friends from school, students or new mums. Many of the places where we traditionally mixed are slowly disappearing. In the UK Education segregates pupils of different ages form early years upwards. We rarely design spaces where different aged children can come together to play and collaborate. We then continue to journey through life in cliques and groups with our peers which we tend to keep throughout our lives. IG learning gives us the opportunity to open up new ideas & experiences to children and young people, in turn sparking their curiosity IG practice not only brings benefits to learning, but also to our well-being and sense of belonging. Children develop empathy supporting their understanding of diversity & difference which they then apply to race and gender, ability and so on. IG learning allows us to deliver the necessary curriculums we follow, whilst showing children and young people a wealth of options available ahead of them. IG is all about collaborative working. By using creative thinking and innovative techniques children have the opportunity to learn from adults experiences. These opportunities enrich pupils curriculums with rich activities which engage the individual and build on the communication skills of the children with whom you are working, placing real life experience at the cente. The mutual sharing of knowledge between generations helps pupils to understand that their knowledge is important and gives them space to formulate ideas and present them to others. This may challenge their concepts which allows them to analyse their understanding further with individuals who are bringing different perspectives.
  7. 9.30 This slide from Generations United in America show that IG programmes can impact upon other areas such as behaviour as well as educational outcomes – Often find that children who are louder and more excitable within their usual classroom space are able to focus and are more relaxed within an IG space. This may be that that they are more responsive to the needs of others. Calmed by close engagement, focused interest, clear boundaries. IG experiences provide a sense of security for children & young people, providing them with times within their routine to explore the immense spectrum of emotions that we feel on a daily basis. Impact upon students mental health – students feedback that they felt better connected. A research project in America with 8 & 9 year olds (Park 2015) reported that the IG approach created better psychological outcomes with a decrease in anxiety and an increase in self-worth. With the increase in the number of children and young people with depression and anxiety, there is a need to provide opportunities for children to develop the skills they need to look after their motional health as well as their physical health – IG learning offers this. We also have schools such as Downshall Primary in England who have set up an IG pastoral support programme in which vulnerable children, this might be English with an additional language, children with additional needs, children that need the additional emotional support which comes from a nurturing environment surrounded by supportive champions that want them to succeed. They feel safe enough to try new ideas and increase their resilience to failure. By creating spaces in school where we bring our older society, we have the opportunity to bring in parents, particularly fathers . Fay Cole says that in their IG programmes in NI found fathers were more responsive to attending alongside grandparents than with programmes designed specifically for parents. They took a practical role in transporting older attendees and then found an interest in hands on activities. Used outdoor spaces to engage with fathers and grandfathers. We know that importance of secure attachments for children and young people in order for them to have the confidence to grow and flourish. IG programmes widen the loving support network for children and surround them with supportive champions.
  8. And here's the evidence that young people both enjoy and benefit from intergenerational work. These quotes are from intergenerational projects run by youth clubs Citadel in Leith Edinburgh & Ace Voices who are based in Aberdeen. Both organisations have won GWT Excellence Awards over the past few years and are well known for the quality of the intergenerational work they deliver in partnership with young people and older adults within their communities.
  9. In 2019 GWT was awarded funding from the Gannochy Trust. The remit included producing a short online training course for primary aged children to prepare them for their first intergenerational learning experience with a residential adults. To support the development of this piece of work, GWT worked with various partners to develop a resource that would support teachers in primary schools to develop intergenerational opportunities for the children in their school, acknowledging that if the resource was relevant to the curriculum and was easy to implement within a lesson plan, then more intergenerational connections would be made. To support teachers understanding and confidence around intergenerational learning GWT have developed two new publications and the classroom module, in addition to the existing guidance written in 2018 to support intergenerational learning between early years and residential care settings. First guidance - A teachers guide to intergenerational learning (Blob Tree)- gives an overview of intergenerational learning within education – primary & secondary Second one - Intergenerational guide for primary school education – specifically supports the teaching of the primary school module- this is currently being formatted Third guidance - In 2023/4 Intergenerational guide for secondary school- will be developed with a cross organisational working party to provide the information that teachers/volunteers need to support young people in developing their own intergenerational projects within their community All of these will be available as a download from the GWT website. The guidance document accompanies the online 6 week classroom module, complete with six, 50 minute lesson plans & resources, exploring perceptions of aging, stereotypes and commonalities and the exchange of skills and interests that children may share with an older generation. The module covers the following topics: Week 1 – What is intergenerational learning Week 2 – Exploring stereotypes Week 3 – Practical cognitive loss session Week 4 – People who help us Week 5 – Getting to know older adults Week 6 – How can we learn together? The six-week primary school programme will help to support teachers and prepare children for an intergenerational project with a care home that will follow on from the classroom learning. The intergenerational module has been supported by Education Scotland who are writing the links between the curriculum and intergenerational learning. The guidance and module is currently being piloted by 4 primary schools. It will then be revised depending on feedback from pilot schools, and will then be launched nationally later this year (hopefully during IG Week) and available to schools across Scotland.   The secondary school module will be developed later this year with support from a working group of advisers.
  10. Activity 35 mins Allow 25 mins for discussion & then 10 mins feedback GWT now need your help in developing IG activities outside of education within the community to help ensure that every child and young person in Scotland has an opportunity to engage in IG learning. Thinking back to the pathway slide, this could be groups such as Brownies (we have already written an activity module for Scouts Scotland), faith groups, youth groups, choirs, day centres, train enthusiasts, physical activities such as cycle clubs, cooking clubs, community allotments, reading groups, play groups, etc etc. Spilt into small groups and discuss part A & part B. Ask attendees to record answers on flip chart paper. These will be collected in and given to Lorraine George. Part B: YOU are not allowed to write ‘funding’ !!! But to make this happen you might need to raise awareness about GWT & IG work, (could GWT create a flyer?) , you might need to access training (online modules/1 day training), might need to find community partnerships (attend a network meeting), might need additional information which could be written for them and so on. You might need guidance documents or tool kits. We need to think more creatively about community partnerships and think about pooling resources to make things happen. It’s not even necessarily about creating something new, it’s about developing IG work within the activities that already exist. The less reliant we are on funding , the more likely we are to develop something that is sustainable. If you create a list of things that would help to make this happen, we can then potentially support your journey.
  11. Thank you for your ideas and suggestions. The information you’ve given will help GWT to support you in the future.