Young, old to share lives as classes as facility approved

SCHOOL BUDDIES: Kalyra Woodcroft residents Liz Spalding and Steve Schultz with students from Montessori Middle School.
SCHOOL BUDDIES: Kalyra Woodcroft residents Liz Spalding and Steve Schultz with students from Montessori Middle School.

RESIDENTS at Kalyra Communities aged care centre in Adelaide will relive their school days when classrooms for teenage students are built on the site.

The Morphett Vale  facility has received permission from Onkaparinga Council for Montessori Middle School to co-locate two classrooms at its Woodcroft aged care site.

Up to 35 teenage students will take their lessons at the site, which is home to 88 seniors.

The plans are part of a more than $20 million redevelopment of the Woodcroft Drive centre to be built in stages over a two-year period, which is expected to start in mid-July.

Kalyra Communities chief executive Sara Blunt described the move as a “terrific step forward”.

“Now that planning has been approved the project is full steam ahead,” she said.

It is expected the new middle school will open in the first half of 2019.

“Our research indicates that intergenerational life improves the well-being of older people and is equally good for young people,” Ms Blunt said.

“This partnership will give students a wonderful learning environment and ample opportunity to engage with civic and community life.

“Our residents are very pleased to contribute to the life skills of the students and will benefit from life-long learning and new technology.”

Ms Blunt said the move would give students and care centre residents the chance to teach each other a range of skills, including music, art and cooking.

Kalyra Communities chairwoman Sonia Bolzon said the project came about by chance when a visitor to the centre asked if it would consider a middle school in the redevelopment.

“And now it’s happening,” she said, describing the outcome as a “win-win”.

“These students needed a new home for learning and our residents embraced the concept, telling us it will bring life and joy into their home.”

Southern Montessori School principal Noel Browne was thrilled with the outcome. 

“The development offers our students a rich learning environment as we nurture their unique talents and support their growth towards becoming independent, considerate, informed and active young people, who contribute to a better world,” Mr Browne said.

This article first appeared on www.thesenior.com.au 

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