SCHOOLCHILDREN were taught how to pay close attention when they visited a microscopist at his care home.

Barry Ellam taught biology and maths at Colchester Institute for 24 years.

The 84-year-old now lives at the Abberton Manor care home in Colchester.

Year 5 children at Langenhoe Community Primary School paid him a visit during one of their monthly trips to the home.

In total Barry has been a microscopist for more than 70 years.

Sylvia Howells, activities co-ordinator at the home, said: “The children spent the morning learning about the invention and workings of a microscope and at the end of the morning, Barry kindly presented the children with one of his own microscopes to take back to school.

“After 12 years of studying and working in laboratories, Barry qualified as a biomedical scientist and wanted to go into teaching as a result.”

Barry, who has been a resident at the home for ten months, studied at Leeds Polytechnic, which is now known as Leeds Beckett University.

He is a widower with two daughters and one son. He also has five grandchildren.

Sylvia added: “Seeing the children cheers him up and he feels if there is something little he can pass into them, he is still achieving something. Barry has more than 12 microscopes in his collection and thousands of slides.”

The children visit the home every month during term time to take part in different activities with the residents.