Tes campaign: Classrooms to Care Homes

We're asking schools to connect with care homes this winter to spread a little joy and laughter with festive letters

Grainne Hallahan

Classrooms to Care Homes: In a new campaign, Tes is encouraging school pupils to write letters and make videos to send to care home residents and staff this Christmas

WATCH: Classrooms to Care Homes

As the festive season begins, school classrooms typically transform into mini grottos, with tinsel draped around the whiteboard and a wonky Christmas tree in reception.

But this year our festive celebrations will look a little different due to the Covid restrictions. 

In care homes, celebrations will be even more unrecogniseable. Unable to have visits from friends and family this winter, care home residents and their workers will be more isolated than ever before.

So we thought: why don't we connect schools and care homes to make everyone's Christmas season a little merrier? 

Classrooms to Care Homes was born. 

Classrooms to Care Homes: Spreading festive cheer

What is it all about?

Essentially, we are encouraging schools to get their pupils to write letters or record videos for care home residents and staff. And our hope is that this will not just be a connection forged for Christmas, but beyond. 

Lockdown has been hard for everyone, but care home residents and care home workers have been particularly isolated. Children can help to ease that loneliness by writing letters or sending video letters in which they share poems, drawings, jokes, riddles and stories about their festive celebrations.

For more details, you can download our information pack here. We also have lesson writing ideas from the National Literacy Trust based on their project My Dear New Friend to help you resource the lesson.

Once your letter writing has begun, please do share your letters and photos with us using the hashtag: #classroomstocarehomes

What people are saying about Classrooms to Care Homes...

Lesley Carter is Age UK’s Clinical Lead and an expert on care for older people said: "Older people have really missed the visits from young people, and I think it would be lovely if people could share videos of carol services, cards and letters.

"Every older person would be able to recognise something that has been made by a child, and will bring back memories. We should also remember the staff in care homes, and seeing lots of happy festive cheer from their local community will give them a boost."

Andrew Moorhouse, chief executive of The Primary First Trust, said: “Now, more than ever, we need to reach out to the most vulnerable in our society, and at The Primary First Trust, we are excited to be part of this innovative scheme developed by Tes. All our schools already stand squarely in their communities with extensive links to care homes and local charities, but, crucially, this will help us to go further still. Together, we can make the difference for each other during these unprecedented times.”

Guy Shears, chief executive of Central RSA Academies Trust, said: “Central RSA Academies Trust is proud to take part in this excellent idea from Tes – what a fantastic way to spread some light in these difficult times.

“In previous years our schools, situated across Worcester, Kidderminster, Redditch and the Black Country, visited local care homes at Christmas and other times of year to help spread cheer. Pupils looked forward to collecting and delivering hampers, singing carols and enjoying the company of the residents and their carers. This always brings so much joy to the residents, and, indeed, our pupils. Sadly, these activities are not possible at the moment, but we were delighted to hear that Tes would be launching a lovely alternative project.

“We look forward to working with our pupils on this brilliant initiative to help communities come together during the  Christmas season.” 

Dr Helen Edwards, co-founder of online learning journal Tapestry, said: “More and more early years settings and care homes are appreciating the enormous benefits of intergenerational activities for both groups of participants.

“Older community members are shown love, kindness and empathy by the children, which is so important in relieving loneliness and anxiety. In turn, young children’s progress in communication, literacy and social development is supported through purposeful, mutually beneficial activities such as art, sharing stories and playing games.”

Asa Johnson, project manager for activities and memory care at Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare, said: “Opportunities for intergenerational activities can bring great benefits to the older and younger people involved. Different generations can learn from each other, share ideas and experiences with one another, and have a chance to be playful, which is something we can all enjoy, regardless of age. 

"The Christmas period can be a difficult and lonely time for some people, and there is a risk that these feelings may be heightened this year due to the pandemic. The Tes Classrooms to Care Homes Christmas letter campaign is a great opportunity for people to try and tackle those feelings of loneliness, share good news stories and keep communities connected.”

Fiona Evans, Director of School Programmes, National Literacy Trust said:

“National Literacy Trust is delighted to support the TES’ Classrooms to Care Homes campaign, through our letter-writing programme and resources called My Dear New Friend. Encouraged by their teachers and parents, thousands of children wrote letters over the summer to a new friend in a care home. Many more are set to do this as Christmas nears.

"Having a real recipient for their writing is hugely motivational for children in terms of putting pen to paper and it’s a great way for them to practise their writing skills at the same time as bringing joy and happiness to others. National Literacy Trust research shows that writing letters makes children feel happy, helps them express their feelings and supports their literacy skills.”

Classrooms to care homes Twitter giveaway terms and conditions

  1. To enter the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway, entrants must tweet the hashtag #classroomstocarehomes along with what their classroom is sending to a care home be that letters, artwork, pictures etc. The give away will begin 09.00 GMT on Tuesday 8 December 2020 and end 22.00 GMT on Thursday 10 December 2020.
  2. Entrants must be over 18 and living in the UK to participate in the Classrooms to Care Homes Twitter prize giveaway.
  3. This prize giveaway is void where prohibited.
  4. Tes will accept only one nomination per person/institution to the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway.
  5. Employees or agencies of Tes Global Ltd. (“Tes”), its group companies and affiliates or their family members, or anyone else connected with the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway may not enter the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway.
  6. The classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway opens at 09.00 GMT on Tuesday 8 December 2020 and closes at 22.00 GMT on Thursday 10 December 2020. Tweets posted after this time will not be entered.
  7. The winning nominator and nominee will be selected by a random number generator on Friday 11 December 2020.
  8. The entrant will receive one of ten joke books called What’s black, white and red all over? written by Gyles Brandreth, published by Penguin.
  9. The winning nominator will be notified via a direct message on Twitter on Friday 11 December 2020.
  10. The winner must respond to Tes by Twitter direct message and provide their name and postal address to claim their prize. If the winner does not respond to Tes within four days of being notified by Tes, or if the winner rejects their prize, or their entry is invalid or in breach of these terms and conditions, then they shall forfeit their prize and Tes shall be entitled to select another winner in accordance with the process described above. Tes retains the right to withdraw the prize at any time.
  11. Proof of posting or emailing cannot be accepted as proof of responding by the winner. Tes cannot accept responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft, destruction, alteration of, or unauthorised access to prize claims, or prize claims lost or delayed whether or not arising during operation or transmission as a result of server functions, virus, bugs or other causes outside its control.
  12. All decisions are final. The prize must be accepted as awarded.
  13. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for other prizes.
  14. Tes accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with the prize and not specifically included in the prize.
  15. Tes retains the right to substitute the prize with another prize of similar value in the event that the original prize offered is not available.
  16. The name, city and country of the winner can be obtained after 16 November 2020 by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the following address: Tes Global Ltd., Resources Department, 26 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4HQ, England.
  17. The winner may be required to take part in promotional activity related to the Classrooms to Care Homes prize giveaway and they shall participate in such activity at Tes’ reasonable request. The winner consents to the use by Tes and its related companies, both before and after the closing date of the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway for an unlimited time, of their voice, image, photograph and name for publicity purposes (in any medium, including still photographs and films, and on the internet, including any websites hosted by Tes and its related companies) and in advertising, marketing or promotional material without additional compensation or prior notice and, in entering to the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway, all entrants consent to the same.
  18. Entry to the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway is conditional on acceptance of these terms and conditions. By entering the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway, you are deemed to have read and accepted these terms.
  19. Tes accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway and/or accepting a prize. Tes further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to you or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participation in, or downloading any materials in connection with, the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall exclude the liability of Tes for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence.
  20. Tes reserves the right at any time, and from time to time, to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this Classrooms to Care Homes Twitter prize giveaway with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of Tes in all matters under its control is final and binding, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  21. Tes shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.
  22. The classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway will be governed by English law and entrants to the prize giveaway submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
  23. Promoter: Tes Global Ltd., 26 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4HQ 

Privacy Policy

  1. Tes Global Limited (“we”, “our” or “Tes”) is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals in respect of whom we hold personal information.
  2. For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) the data controller is Tes Global Limited of 26 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4HQ, United Kingdom.
  3. If you are selected as the winner of the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway, Tes will require your name and postal address (“the personal data”) in order to confirm you as the winner and send you the prize offered for the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway. See the terms and conditions above for full details of the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway.
  4. If you would not like to provide your personal data, you will not be awarded the prize for the classrooms to care homes prize giveaway.
  5. The personal data will not be shared with any third party or used for any purpose other than confirming you as the winner and sending you your prize.
  6. All personal data will be retained only until the classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway has closed and the winner has collected their prize. Upon collection of the prize, your personal data will be erased.
  7. Should you wish to access, erase, correct or port your personal data please email help@tes.com with “classrooms to care homes Twitter prize giveaway” in the subject line.
  8. Should you be unhappy with how Tes has processed your personal data, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.


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Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan is Tes recruitment editor and senior content writer at Tes

Find me on Twitter @heymrshallahan

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