Age to Age
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Project Overview



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Project Overview

In Lambeth, The English and Media Centre worked with two schools:

• London Nautical School (http://www.lns.org.uk)
• Dunraven School (http://www.dunraven.org.uk)

and two day centres for elders:

• Waterloo Action Centre (http://www.waterlooactioncentre.co.uk)
• Woodlawns Centre (http://www.streathamdarbyandjoan.org.uk)

London Nautical School (LNS) is a boys’ comprehensive in Southwark with a strong nautical heritage – it was established following the Titanic disaster and retains its seafaring links to this day. We worked with a class of year 9 boys who conducted interviews with elders at the Waterloo Action Centre, a short walk from their school, over a period of three weeks. Our initial concerns that some of the boys were not mature enough to take part in the project were soon forgotten and we saw for ourselves that students often do ‘walk a foot taller’ when they are taken out of their comfort zone and offered a new experience. The elders involved were very impressed by the boys’ courtesy, maturity and the lively interest they took in all that the elders had to say. It was particularly pleasing to see the boys dispelling the notion that young people ‘have no respect’ when they arrived to do their interviews in full uniform and sporting their poppies following the annual school Remembrance Day parade.

The boys filmed their interviews and then edited their material to create short films. The editing process provided another opportunity for the boys to develop their speaking and listening skills, as they had to negotiate with each other over the shape that their films would take. In addition, the boys undertook various writing activities linked to the project, including interviewing older members of their families and writing to David Cameron to complain about the impact of cuts on older people. Examples of pupil's work can be found on the Teacher Resources page. Teachers involved in the project really felt that the boys’ writing had been informed and enriched by their experiences interviewing the older people:

For me this is one of the best aspects of the project – learning over time that has helped students to change their understanding of the elderly and being able to look at things from a different viewpoint.” (Morlette Lindsay, teacher.)

LNS has forged a lasting relationship with Waterloo Action Centre as a result of the project and also used the project as an opportunity to do some cross-curricular literacy CPD at the school.

Dunraven School is a large mixed comprehensive school in Streatham. Here we worked with two classes: a class of able GCSE English students and a small group of Creative and Media Diploma students. The English class conducted audio interviews with elders from Woodlawns Day Centre and then used the transcripts in their Spoken Language assignment. A selection of their transcripts can be found on the Student Resources page. The Creative and Media Diploma students conducted a series of film interviews with the elders and used the footage in their Unit 4 (Record) production.

Working with KS4 classes brought some challenges, principally the constraints upon curriculum time and lack of flexibility, which made the logistics of the project a little more tricky to manage and also limited the amount of time elders and students could spend together. However, once again the project gave fresh perspective to the students’ work, as well as providing both young and old with an experience outside of their usual routines.

The Lambeth phase of the project culminated in a celebration at the British Film Institute where participants in the project had an opportunity to see each other again, view each other’s work and reflect on what they had got out of the project. The celebration was a really important part of the project bringing together students, elders, teachers and parents and showcasing all that had been achieved.