News Article

7th Nov 2019

Setting the Scene – Education Part I

Were you the class clown or teacher’s pet during your school days? This week in part one of our double school days themed sessions we asked our participants about their experience of education. To begin with, the register was taken by ex-teacher Brian, complete with gown and mortar board he did his best impression of a stern headmaster. Any disobedience was swiftly dealt with as poor Eric found out, we did laugh.

Following on, practitioner Rachel shared some facts about how schools have changed since the Education Act in 1944. Most notably the biggest change was the age that people attended school, Brian and Ailsa remembered leaving school at the age of 14 and 15 respectively, but explained that it was very different times and "that was what everybody did.” Brian told us how both he and Liz started school in Keswick aged just 3, and that in their day this was common and mothers could be seen at break time bringing dummies to pass through the fences of the playground!

Next-up, we played a game of hopscotch – asking each participant to take a turn at rolling the dice, whilst athletic practitioner Jenn jumped the steps. Each number square had a different question aimed at encouraging participants to share their memories with us. From this we learned that Eric had been really good at woodwork at school and had graduated to be an apprentice of engineering. We also had a good laugh about how PE kits had changed over the years, Rachel had worn a blue PE kit of shorts and t-shirt with the school logo, Jenn had to do PE in her vest and knickers and Mary-Gay in one further step had been required to sew her own "voluminous knickers” to wear for PE at the all-girls school that she attended. We did laugh at this evolution of the school PE kit we all know today. Following on, we talked about school dinners, Mary-Gay could remember wonderful dishes from her education in Africa and said the dishes in their native tongue explaining what they were. It was a far cry from the plates of watery mash and turkey dinosaurs that other members of the group remembered.

Afterwards, we played a round of noughts and crosses in pairs… it had been years since any of us had played but Jenn and Mary-Gay both enjoyed a bit of a winning streak.

Finally, the session ended today with a sing-along to He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. It was a lovely morning, we are so lucky to be able to hear such fascinating stories from our wonderful participants. It was a smaller group today due to quite a few of our members having holidays in the beautiful autumn weather, so we’re looking forward to revisiting the theme of school days with some new activities next week.

Setting the Scene is a series of creative sessions provided by Theatre by the Lake, run with support from Amy’s Care for people living with dementia and their carers. Sessions are free to attend and are on Thursday mornings at 11.00 - 12.30.

Setting the Scene is now running until 19th December. Sessions are usually based at Theatre by the Lake but occasionally move to other locations. For more information, please contact Mary Elliott on 017687 72282 ext. 269.

We’d like to thank the Hadfield Trust and our donors for supporting future sessions. To hear more about the project or to contribute to Theatre by the Lake’s work in Dementia please call our Box Office on 017687 74411.


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