History in the making: St. Vincent’s present ceramics at the Palace of Westminster.
Pupils from St.Vincent’s School, many of whom are members of our Liverpool North Scout Group at the school, presented their ceramic work at the Palace of Westminster, to be displayed in Parliament as part of their work to leave a ‘lasting legacy’ for those who lost sight on the Great War.
The project is part of the school's reverse inclusion and enrichment strategies, through which they work with other schools and community organisations, such as Merseyside Scouts, so raise the aspirations of students and help them to develop skills for life.
This journey started in 2015, when St. Vincent pupils and All Saints Anfield pupils alongside Blind veterans UK, Merseyside Scouts, Merseyside Police and Fire cadets returned to the battle grounds of Ypres to lay wreaths gifted on behalf of the City of Liverpool. This was a journey of a lifetime that also involved support from the Duke of Westminster, Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, High Sherriff of Merseyside , Lord Sefton, the PALS , Merseyside Police and Fire Services, Royal British Legion, Rotary, Lions, Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs and Merseyside Scouts.
On Monday 29th October, the pupils took a large ‘War Panel’, similar to the one gifted to the City of Liverpool which is to be displayed in St. George’s Hall, and an individual ceramic brooch poppy for each Member of Parliament, which was presented by pupils and representatives from Blind Veterans UK, Merseyside Scouts, Rotary, Inner Wheel and Merseyside Police.
St. Vincent's is a residential school for visually impaired children aged 5-18 with 185 years of history in providing teaching and learning innovation to challenge unemployment amongst visually impaired communities. They offer the full National Curriculum and simultaneous ‘enrichment’ strategies, highlighting and enhancing individual pupil strengths. These strengths we signpost towards friendship groups, employment, traineeships and apprenticeships in providing the best possible opportunities for the outcomes pupils and parents seek.
This St. Vincent’s ceramics initiative, as part of our enrichment strategies, champions the leaving of a Great War ‘lasting legacy’, illustrating the creativity of St.Vincent's visually impaired pupils. The first of these poppies which was created was gifted to Her Majesty the Queen in 2016.
Enrichment strategies channel pupil creativity through a 'common good' curriculum; and include developing educational resources that are distributed to visually impaired communities across the globe, via a concept we developed called SightBox. With support from Rotary and Inner Wheel; so far, our SightBoxes and the resources contained in them have been sent to communities in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, India, Ethiopia, Nepal, Gambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Indonesia , Kenya, Peru and the Virgin Islands – and are having an incredible impact.
Our aim is for UK visually impaired young people to develop even more SightBox resources and to train their visually impaired peers internationally. We are driven by supporting international priorities, including aid, trade, security - and we have a clear focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 17, 3,4,5,8, 10 , Flightpaths to employment and friendship generation frames. Our ‘lasting legacy’ plays a key part in raising the profile of the incredible achievements of our pupils.
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