How visually-impaired kids can help education right now

John Patterson

Dr. John A Patterson is principal at St. Vincent's School, a non maintained school for sensory impaired and other needs in West Derby, Liverpool.


Follow @StVincentsL12 @DrJohnAPatters1

Website: www.stvin.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Post-Brexit, and within a global pandemic, discussions around what should or should not happen in education has been both taken back to its roots, and quite simultaneously connected with innovation and future ‘ways of being’. The lockdown gave us all time to reflect and re-evaluate.

Presented here is a practical way we as educators can take action into that new, fresh  way we looked at things coming out of lockdown. By collaborating with the ‘Journey for Peace’ project, we can support and invest in the innovation of visually impaired (VI) young people and their education around the world. You may have felt isolated during lockdown and struggled to adapt. This is often the ‘norm’ for VI young people, who are masters of adaptation in challenging environments on a day to day basis. They have much to teach us all in seeing things differently. Would you like to get involved in our global vision?

The Visually-Impaired and New Ideas

As the UK, and the world beyond, looks for new trade and ideas to stem the expected economic downturns, we can learn much from the innovations of VI young people who, in ‘seeing things differently’, know full well how to adapt and conquer barriers in their stride. Unemployment for VI is a global concern, and it is challenged by St.Vincent’s school for sensory impairment in Liverpool through a creative curriculum designed to nurture strengths, forge routes to employment and generate entrepreneurial new trade internationally with and for VI.

This creative curriculum feeds into the design ideas generated for the Sightbox, a ‘toolkit’ for access to sports and education shared out of St.Vincent’s with VI schools internationally. This thus far includes: Pakistan, India, Rwanda, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Nepal, Indonesia, Peru, Virgin Islands, Sierra Leone and Gambia. More recently ‘Mercy Ships’ will now have sightboxes ‘in residence’ connecting medicine and education on their journeys. As a school, your involvement with us could come within your SMSC, Citizenship, ‘British Values’, Design Technology and / or Duke of Edinburgh Award, framing an exciting start to a new academic year with new ideas.

Sightbox in Tanzania

 

Creative Curriculum

Our creative curriculum lies at the heart of the success story, as does the reciprocal value engagement of collaborative partners internationally, in curriculum projects. These are the projects in which our VI young people take active leading roles, where our pupils lead on the ‘reverse inclusion’ projects. If you have any VI young people in your school, let us work together to give your pupils the opportunity to lead their peers and change perceptions on VI abilities. This opportunity frames our creative strengths - see for yourself on Twitter via @StVincentsL12.

Vice Principal Dave Swanston with Sightbox in Ethiopia

 

International “Trainers of the Trainers”

Since 2015 when the City of Liverpool waved St.Vincent’s off to Ypres commemorating sight loss in the Great War, we have developed projects to connect our local pupils and their strengths with new innovation and as ‘trainers of the trainers’ both nationally and internationally. The range of projects is wide, but they focus on conceptualising and designing access to sports and education resources shared internationally.

The key to this innovation is the Sightbox. And “internationally” means just that: With over 20 countries so far including those noted above we have also welcomed VI young people and their teachers from Indonesia and Sierra Leone to come and learn our best practice. It is something we intend to repeat in Summer 2021 by running a VI Games - would you like to get involved?

Sightbox ambassador Angela Williams sharing Sightbox in Gambia

 

Rotary and Lions

This work has been magnificently supported by both Rotary International and Lions Clubs as we connect and share our best practices out of Liverpool with VI communities globally. The range and scope of our connected and focussed projects are shared on www.stvin.com

Sharing the creative curriculum and Sightbox at the Palace of Westminster

 

Journey for Peace: A collaborative project

A project illustrating our vision and curriculum is ‘Journey for Peace’. Liverpool Heartbeat, Merseyside Police and St. Vincent’s worked on seven themes, presented in free, downloadable comics celebrated through iconic Liverpool statues. It has been used effectively during ‘lockdown’ as a complete project. The Key themes in the comics are health, happiness, wisdom, peace, friendship, bravery and justice. The comics open the doors for VI awareness and discussions around the key themes. Lesson ideas are included for you on www.stvin.com. ‘Journey for Peace’ started with a reading by Joe in New York at the LIONS UN Day, and can be seen here:

 

Here’s all the information you need to get involved: https://www.stvin.com/journey-for-peace-2020for2030. Alternatively, please contact St.Vincent’s on office@stvin.com, or telephone 0151 228 9968.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"