Take a look at the article that Whiteley Primary Schoolhas written about its pen-pal partnership with the residents of Hamble Heights for Whiteley Voice, the free magazine delivered in Whiteley by the Town Council…
At Whiteley Primary School, our Year 5 classes wanted to develop a purpose for writing and so we decided to develop a link with Hamble Heights Care Home in Swanwick. In January, the children wrote letters to 34 residents, introducing themselves and asking lots of questions. By half term our replies had arrived in school and there was such excitement when the letters were opened! One Year 5 boy exclaimed, “I’m so excited I can’t actually read it properly at the moment!”
After a few deep breaths, the children calmed enough to read their letters and loved finding out about the lives of the Hamble Heights residents. Our pen pals had played football for Portsmouth FC, had driven buses, lived abroad and even flown an aeroplane for the queen! The children enjoyed writing their replies, which were sent back straight away.
To celebrate Easter, the Year 5 children were invited to visit their pen pals and put faces to names. After a wet and soggy walk, we arrived to a warm welcome and everyone enjoyed meeting each other. Eagle-eyed children had spotted Easter eggs dotted around the rooms and at the end of our visit everyone participated in an Easter egg hunt and we all went home with a bit more chocolate than we had started out with!
Most children continue to enjoy writing to their pen pals and all said they have loved getting to know someone new. The obvious enjoyment has shown us that in this age of emails and texting, you can’t beat receiving a good old-fashioned handwritten letter!