ELDERLY residents at an East Renfrewshire care home are being introduced to virtual reality by primary school pupils.

So far, the senior citizens have been given the chance to see penguins in the Antarctic, snow-capped mountains and the Tokyo skyline at night, all without leaving the comfort of their armchairs.

The technology is being introduced at Renaissance Care’s Whitecraigs Care Home, in Thornliebank, with help from youngsters from Crookfur Primary.

Before schools broke up for the summer break, pupils in the primary two class were making weekly visits to the care home, where they spent the morning helping residents use the virtual reality headsets.

Annmarie Porter, care home manager, said: “Our residents absolutely love using the virtual reality headsets. It’s become a really popular highlight of the week.

“It brings back memories of their younger days.

“It is also really important for young people to spend time with the elderly. They can teach them new skills and form lasting friendships that our residents look forward to each week.”

Last year, the Barrhead News revealed how East Renfrewshire Council was providing virtual reality headsets to each of its schools in a hi-tech effort to bring learning to life.

A total of £250,000 was set aside to pay for more than 900 of the ClassVR headsets so that a set of the devices could be provided for all 30 of the area’s primary and secondary schools.

Council chiefs told how East Renfrewshire was the first local authority in the UK to make this type of commitment to virtual reality.

The move came after a pilot project showed “a significant increase in engagement and knowledge retention” from pupils using the headsets.

Designed by educational technology company Avantis, the devices aimed to give pupils access to hundreds of virtual and augmented reality activities.

The council said “full and comprehensive” training was being provided to school staff to help them get the most out of the new technology.

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