Throughout the years, we have placed great emphasis on connecting our children with the elderly. Our school has developed a strong partnership with HKSKH Lady Maclehose Centre and their senior volunteers, who visit us multiple times each year to help out at our various school events and activities. This unique relationship provides great opportunities to enhance intergenerational communication. As we always adhere to whole-child education, we not only impart academic knowledge, but also dedicate ourselves to moral education. We hope children could learn to pass on love and care to others as they interact with the older generations.
At the start of every academic year, we kick off with welcoming the elderly, who have received prior training in Montessori, to come observe our lessons and students. They are constantly fascinated to see how the Montessori approach is put into practice in the classrooms. The observations allow them to witness what they have learned in theory apply to the children.
The first festival of the year our children celebrate with the elderly is the Mid-autumn Festival. Apart from story-telling and riddle-guessing activities, we invite senior citizens and social workers to make snowy mooncakes with our students, which have become an annual tradition at St. Nicholas’.
Every Christmas, the seniors come to make Christmas cookies and snacks with our children. It is not only a great chance for intergenerational collaboration and communication but also for the children to enrich their hands-on experience. The children really enjoy the snacks they made full of love with their families. Following the snack preparation, we also extend an invitation to the elderly to watch the Christmas Variety Show put on by all our students. The audience is truly amazed by their talents and confidence. In return, a group of senior actors and actresses perform a drama to our students and parents, retelling the story of caring for the elderly during the winter season.
During this delightful holiday, it has also been our ritual to visit a senior home to share the joy with the elderly. Our students give a performance, sing a few Christmas carols and play games with the seniors. The kids extend their best wishes and present Christmas gifts to the elderly, including their own artwork. This activity is a great way for the kids to learn to take care of the elderly from an early age, while the elderly really enjoy the kids’ company as well.
To celebrate Chinese New Year, we transform our entire campus into a Flower Market every year. A number of food and game stalls are set up by our parent volunteers, teachers as well as elderly volunteers to promote intergenerational cooperation. They teach our children to make traditional Chinese snacks, such as rice balls, dumplings and turnip cakes. Together, they have a lot of fun with writing couplets, decorating red packets and doing the Lion Dance.
Aside from holiday festivities, the elderly volunteers come to guide our students in various activities as well. Sewing is one of them, in which they demonstrate how to sew a flower key chain to our U3 students. Although sewing seems very difficult for a young child, it is actually a Montessori practical life activity that trains the child’s fine motor skills, concentration, and eye-hand coordination. With immense dedication, the child creates a flawless final product, in which they are all very proud of and present to their parents with gratification.
Last but not least, one of the treasures the elderly possess is their wisdom in traditional time-honoured knowledge. Towards the end of each school year, we invite elderly volunteers from HKSKH Lady Maclehose Centre to make the traditional Chinese tea cakes (also known as Cha Gwo) with our students. The children are absolutely fascinated by this long-lost recipe and the unusual ingredients. Through hands-on experience, they can also learn more about the origin of this traditional Chinese culture while enjoy making tea cakes with the seniors. We are truly grateful towards all the elderly volunteers and social workers for their genuine support and dedication towards our activities as always. Our school looks forward to further fruitful collaborations with HKSKH Lady Maclehose Centre in the near future.