No crows dared to land in the grounds of Wellesley Park Primary School last week when virtually the whole school dressed as scarecrows as part of the groundbreaking ‘Archie Project’ which aims to help children understand basic facts about dementia.
The project is the outcome of the work of Reminiscence Learning, a charity which specialises in dementia care and reminiscence therapy. Children at the school have already been introduced to Archie, the scarecrow mascot and the subject of ‘Archie’s Story’, a book which helps to explain how dementia sufferers feel as their long-term memory fails.
In some impressive costumes the pupils paraded before the Archie Project team who selected one representative from each class to receive a rosette. Children from KS2 then visited Popham House and Oaktree Court Care Homes in their scarecrow kit to meet residents and see how Reminiscence Learning works to preserve memories and self-worth. Objects from the past such as old gramophones and typewriters used in therapy sessions may have been intriguingly new to the children but they are integral to the residents’ lives and, as such, are used to encourage them to remember their pasts.
The Archie Project continues at the school and at 24 others in the region.