In partnership with Avon and Somerset Police, Oasis Academy Connaught’s Mini Police cadets spread some festive cheer in their community last week, when they visited the residents of Southlands Residential Home in Knowle to sing Christmas carols.
The year 5 children from Oasis Academy Connaught in Knowle West are the first intake of Avon and Somerset Police’s new Mini Police cadets, a pilot scheme launched in October which if successful, will be rolled out to other schools across Avon and Somerset.
Part of the project involves forming a link with a local care home, so that different generations learn from each other and understand how they are all part of the same community.
PCSO Julia Penn who is part of our Early Intervention Project in south Bristol and Oasis Academy Connaught said: “The residents and staff of the care home were thrilled to see our Mini Police, who sang Christmas songs accompanied by the school’s music teacher Rod on guitar.
“Everyone got into the festive spirit and the kids were encouraged to mingle with and chat to the elderly people, some of whom were frail and suffering from dementia. They served them tea and cake and it was clear from the smiles on everyone’s faces how much everyone got from the experience.
“The kids discovered that two of the residents had gone to Connaught School when they were little, but after it was bombed in World War 2, they were sent to Filwood Park School, so they learned some local history as well." PCSO Julia Penn
“One of our Mini Police is Muslim, and even though he doesn’t celebrate Christmas, his parents had given him two delicious fruit cakes to bring, which were shared and enjoyed by the kids and the residents alike. It was a wonderful day and a clear demonstration of how much this scheme can do to build relationships in the community.”
Faye Morgan, Learning Mentor at Oasis Academy Connaught and the Mini Police leader said: “After just a few months, I can already see the change in the children in the first intake. They are so proud to put on their uniforms, and see it as a force for good in the school."
“They decided that they wanted to have some time each week, where they would put on their uniforms and help to police the school, so every Thursday that’s what they do. They help to sort out any arguments in the playground, support any children who are being left out, pick up litter and generally make the school a more harmonious place.
“We’re delighted with how responsibly they have taken to the role and how much their confidence has grown from being part of the police family. We’re really looking forward to continuing to work with our friends in the local police team, to continue the success of the Mini Police.”