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Wednesday, 09 March 2016
Each month, Bolton School’s Sixth Form girls host an intergenerational tea party for elderly people in the local area. This hugely popular event, known as Tea at the Riley, has grown since its inception in October 2014, and this March’s tea party was one of the largest yet with seventy-five guests joining the girls in the Riley Centre for the afternoon.
There were so many guests that the Sixth Form girls asked Junior Girls’ School pupils to help them out with serving the food and providing entertainment. Year 5 have been doing a unit on the elderly as part of their school work and so this was a great opportunity for them to come and meet the Tea at the Riley guests. They brought with them a great deal of energy and enthusiasm for the task and it was lovely for the guests to be able to chat with another age group at the tea party.
The Year 5 girls acted as waitresses for the afternoon: they took orders of food and drinks from the guests and served them to each table, with assistance from the Sixth Form with the tea and coffee.
The delicious spread of food at this month’s Tea at the Riley showcased the wide range of involvement across the Girls’ Division: the Year 5 girls had helped to make the scones in a special session in the Senior School, while the selection of finger sandwiches were put together by Year 8 food technology students, and the delicious cakes and other sweet treats were hand-made by the Sixth Form volunteers.
The Junior Girls also provided this month’s entertainment for the Tea at the Riley guests. The Flute Choir performed ‘Any Dream Will Do’ from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, followed by Uma Patel playing the cello. A number of girls recited humorous poems which had the guests laughing out loud: they particularly enjoyed ‘Tantrum!’ by Gervase Phinn. Finally, Lauren Amerna stood in front of the audience to sing ‘Home on the Range’. This was a really special end to the performance, as all of the guests knew this traditional folk-song and were able to join in with the chorus when she sang it a second time.
While the guests enjoyed their afternoon tea, they were joined by a group of GCSE Resistant Materials pupils. One of the topics on their final examination is ‘gardening equipment for the elderly’, and so Tea at the Riley provided the perfect chance for these girls to pose questions to the guests as research to help them prepare.
Tea at the Riley is free to all guests, but some of the visitors have expressed an interest in making donations to help to keep the event running in future. The Sixth Form were delighted to accept these generous donations and will use some of the money to fund future Tea at the Riley events. The girls also plan to make a donation to Contact the Elderly: through a network of volunteers, this charity organises monthly tea parties on Sunday afternoons for small groups aged 75 and over. The Sixth Formers’ efforts with Tea at the Riley will therefore help to perpetuate more tea parties, bringing together the local community outside of school as well.
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