It was all smiles at Oxley College today (Monday) as Harbison residents dropped in for their weekly visit.
Residents, who are nicknamed by the kindergarten, Year 1 and 2 students as "Grandfriends", came by to keep Year 2 students company, as they learned about homophones and the time.
"I look forward to Mondays," said fellow Harbison resident Harold.
"The children put energy in us, and keep us young."
Grandfriends sat amongst groups of students who were given different sentences containing homophones.
Each sentence had a different phrase underneath which had to be read out once they discovered their table had the right homophone.
Hands shot up and waved frantically in the air as students looked through their collection of phrases to see if they had the correct one.
Students looked to their Grandfriends for wisdom, as they also read the phrases aloud for students to find.
It was then time for students and residents to play bingo, as they were given sheets with rows of analogue clocks.
Grandfriend Edna encouraged her group to "look along the lines" to see if their clocks matched the times, and made a motion from left to right for students to follow.
One student looked up at her and asked "Do you know how to read the time?" which made Edna chuckle.
"It is a bit of fun, isn't it?" she said.
Times were called out and written on the whiteboard, and students looked to the residents for support before an eventual winner was declared.
Residents were then provided with a warm cup of tea or coffee while some of the students left to play outside at recess.
Some students stayed behind to fill in a sheet with each Grandfriend's favourite things, like their favourite colour and fruit.
Grandfriend Harold showed me his "bag of tricks" he brings to entertain students each week after he finished his biscuit.
In there was a pig that sings My Girl when its leg is pressed, a kookaburra sewn on a hat that laughs, and a motorised dog that flips and barks when you flick its switch.
"I like to entertain the children, and the children entertain us," he said.
Students were very fond of the pig and laughed as it sang, and were in awe of the dog's ability to flip.
Year 2 teacher Kathy Cupitt said the experience has had many benefits to the students.
"It gives them the confidence to talk to adults," she said.
"My philosophy is that it takes a village to raise a child, and not a lot of children get to spend time with their grandparents.
"They have started thinking about how to make the classroom more accessible for wheelchairs, and people who might not be able to hear or see."
"I like sitting with my Grandfriend and asking them questions," Year 2 student Scarlett added.
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