Students from Sunderland College have helped create a series of striking murals at Bede Campus to celebrate their local heritage and raise awareness of environmental sustainability.
The Directions students, who have a range of special educational needs and disabilities, worked with local artist Andy Morley – aka ‘The Creative Ginger’ – on the large-scale art projects based within the campus’ Headways Building.
Involved in the process from concept, design, creation and then realisation, the students chose two themes: ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Living in Sunderland’ which is adorned with paintings of St Peter’s Church, the city’s leading role in industry, and Sunderland AFC among other historical and cultural locations.
The displays will be used as a teaching and learning resource, sparking conversations, creativity, research projects and external visits.
Vice Principal, Lee Lister, said: “Our students being at the forefront of a collaborative creative and meaningful project has had a huge impact on their learning and it’s vitally important we capitalise on these opportunities outside of the main curriculum.
“It has been a great project which has developed our students’ planning, communication, teamwork, creative and employability skills as well as igniting their passions, wider interests and talents. It has also given them a better understanding and knowledge of their community, heritage and environmental issues.
“We are so proud of what they have created. It was a brilliant project from start to finish that will add character, purpose and information for all new and current students.”
After being invited to work with residential students at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus to provide evening activities., Andy was invited to collaborate with the Directions team on a larger project.
Lee added: “We were very impressed with Andy; not just with his talent and work, but also how he engaged with our students. Every session was inclusive, and he used their designs and worked brilliantly with them to develop their creativity.
“We are looking forward to creating similar murals with Andy at our Ashington Campus at Northmberland College in the near future.”
Directions students at Sunderland College take part in enrichment activities to further develop their confidence and life skills and to have fun.
Earlier this year, the learners also participated in a project which offered them the opportunity to take part in sports and be more active through fun and challenging weekly sessions and activities delivered by sports coaching students.
Developing motor skills, balance and coordination as well as encouraging social interaction, teamwork, communication and confidence, their achievements were celebrated at a special awards ceremony attended by former Sunderland AFC and England striker Kevin Phillips.
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Our achievement rates are well above the national average.
We are the College of the Year.
(*Top college nationally for BTECs, Pearson 2019)
100% of our HND and HNC students progressed to employment or further study.
(*Destination data, academic year 2016/17, HNC 19+)
We have recently invested £50 million in our facilities.