Kellogg's & St Vincent's Collaboration Success!
To mark World Sight Day, Kellogg’s is today launching Coco Pops boxes for blind and partially sighted people as a trial in almost 60 Co-op stores across the UK.
Through the journey Kellogg's has worked with such inspiring people who have supported the business in understanding the requirements needed for accessible packaging for those with sight-loss. A key voice was St. Vincent's School, a specialist school for sensory impairment and other needs, who presented what accessible packaging meant to them. Technology and braille came out as two key elements. Kellogg's is delighted to have incorporated their ideas in to its accessible packaging strategy.
Click on the image to the left to find out more...
St Vincent's Gardner of the Year Award 2020
Abyan quickly developed a keen interest in gardening-related activities as part of the schools enrichment curriculum. As a specialist school for blind and visually impaired students, St Vincent’s School offers a wide range of activities to students – horticulture being one of many.
The ‘Grow Wild’ group meet every Wednesday to manage their own allotment space, greenhouse and Poly Tunnel – growing whatever they can put their hands to!
As a visually impaired student, he has learnt quickly to adapt his gardening knowledge to best meet his needs and desired outcomes. For example, as he worked through the RHS School Gardening awards, many of the activities that were tailored to visual users, he had to adapt.
Simple tasks such as digging and H&S were avoided, and instead he learnt the values of not digging, soil health and planting using the safest methods. When sowing seeds such as onion, given their size and colour he has had to learn about adopting methods on pinch sowing or multi-sowing in order for himself and peers to measure growth and harvest more easily. Many tasks that sighted users may find straightforward, Abyan has learnt to approach as a visually impaired student – making his experiences as realistic as possible.
He attends gardening enrichment every week, and is always eager to learn about plants and vegetables, how they can be grown and the benefits this has for the environment. He has particularly enjoyed growing his own potatoes, carrots and peas.
Alongside encouraging and sharing the benefits of gardening with his peers in school, Abyan has also been able to use the produce he has grown to share soup, free at local community ParkRuns. Being a visually
impaired student, statistics of friendship groups stand at 4-6 less than his sighted peers – therefore – such activities not only help his physical and mental wellbeing, but also increase his opportunities to meet new people.
Abyan loves bugs! And within school has enjoyed going on worm hunts and creating his own bug hotels and wildflower spaces – all awareness for the environment and biodiversity. He has also learnt that being sustainable in his growing techniques in the long-term can benefit the environment by helping reduce the use of plastic etc.
Gardening has enable Abyan to increase his confidence in the outdoors, and gain a real sense of achievement and ownership in the produce he grows. Being able to share his developing knowledge in gardening with his peers, staff and wider community enables him to be more confident in key related skills such as mobility and independence, communication and interaction with others’.
Winners at the Educate Award 2019 for Innovation in Education.
The creative strengths of St. Vincent’s pupils are channelled into designing access to sports technology to facilitate inclusion, participation and friendship generation impacting on health and wellbeing. The ideas designed by pupils supported by Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool John Moore’s University ‘service-learning’ volunteers are placed as content for the physical SIGHTBOX including such ideas as a ‘boccia grid’ a ‘running line’ and’ I Rugby Ball’ alongside the traditional ‘ball with a bell’ . A surrounding curriculum links participation with entrepreneurial learning enabling pupils to demonstrate their employability and connect with further content design and research.
In collaboration with Rotary International and supportive school networks Nationally ( supporting Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural/ Citizenship curricula) , SIGHTBOXES have been bought and sent to VI schools from St. Vincent’s including Pakistan, India, Rwanda, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, China, Ethiopia, Nepal , Tanzania, Virgin Islands and Peru . St. Vincent pupils acting as the ‘trainers of the trainers’ are using
communication technologies (facilitating thus more research and development in this area) to teach the overseas VI student peers how to use the content. Using the surround curriculum overseas schools are now asking St. Vincent’s to collaborate on making more sightbox content ideas generating new trade innovations in synergy with UN SDGS 126.96.36.199.8.10.
Simultaneously, St. Vincent’s pupils are teaching local and national VI pupils how to use the content and working collaboratively to break down barriers towards inclusion.
St Vincent's - Winners of the 2020 Never Such Innocence song competition.
A wonderful start to the academic year. Well done to the 'I Believe Team,' Miss McMahon, East of Eli and Nathan West!
Andrea Begley sending a big hello and thank you to all the children and staff at St Vincent's for all the great work you are all doing during lockdown!
Lions Club International Peace Essay Winner 2019-2020 Joseph Critchlow. The theme for the contest was "Journey of Peace." Watch the full HD video from Joe's journey to New York!
Another big thank you also goes to Marcia, who raised an amazing £700 on her 18th Birthday. Marcia asked guests for donations fro school instead of gifts! This money has been used to buy new keyboards and equipment for the music department.
Congratulations to the Grow Wild Enrichment Group who have successfully achieved Level 5 of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.
Congratulations to James for raising £300 for the school by completing a sponsored swim of 46 lengths!!! An inspirational example of working for the common good
Congratulations to Rainbow on being a finalist in the Sports Personality Award at The Echo Awards 2019
Community Partnership Award.
Merseyside Police, St. Vincent’s School for Sensory Impairment and Liverpool Hope University
Significant research indicates low participation rates in community activities from amongst visually impaired (VI) young people. In 2017 SCOPE research highlighted two thirds of VI people felt moderately or severely cut off from society whilst simultaneously, two thirds of the public felt uncomfortable when talking to people with disabilities. VI young people (and adults) can be vulnerable and subjected to bullying. There is a need for inclusive practices and community partnerships (UN SDG 17 ‘partnerships for the goals’) to address this position across age ranges and diverse communities.
A Community partnership between Merseyside Police, St. Vincent’s school for sensory impairment and Liverpool Hope University is evidenced through the generation of a comic during the Hate Crime week in 2018.
The comic frames a significant amount of teaching and learning opportunities supported by Merseyside Police and student teachers which can be delivered at school level using the comic as the medium. This project is developing further with other comics highlighted and featuring community cohesion as attached to the UN SDGS storylines and those ‘difficult to have’ conversations moving forwards into 2020.
The comics have been shared with learning networks for inclusion in Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural Lessons (Citizenship) and are adaptable for different school communities via a surround curriculum and shared online at www.stvin.com.
As a concept, the comics have been shared with student teachers at Liverpool Hope University to use as part of their pre service teaching and learning experience during teaching practice. Placing VI pupils as part of the community through this medium sets the scene for wider inclusive practices breaking down barriers faced by visually impaired young people.
Outstanding Commitment to Sport in the Secondary School
Rainbow Mbuangi - St. Vincent’s School for Sensory Impairment.
Of all disabilities, participation in sports from the visually impaired (VI) community is the lowest of all due to a range of access, mobility and confidence issues connected with low vision and sight loss. Research indicates low participation can lead to isolation and mental health. A Sports Champion and significant role model amongst his peers is Rainbow. A totally blind student at St. Vincent’s he has instilled confidence in others by bucking this trend through a most laudable commitment to sports.
Rainbow has not allowed himself to be held back in his desire to be a sports teacher. He has worked hard at all sports and has acted as a trainer for VI sports awareness in local and national schools at Primary and Secondary level whilst undertaking his Duke of Edinburgh Award. Simultaneously he has delivered VI sports awareness sessions to Liverpool Hope, Liverpool John Moores and University of Central Lancashire teacher training, sports specialist and engineering students. He was central in teaching the first ever session of the new ‘I Rugby’ developed at St.Vincent’s to Merseyside Police Officers and blinded veterans from Blind Veterans UK during the United Nations Disability Awareness Day.
More recently, Rainbow represented his Country playing for the VI National football squad in Belgium and Japan. He presented on his achievements at the Palace of Westminster to MPS as part of the National Commemorations of the Great War attached to the leaving of a lasting legacy for those who lost their sight. He is a significant role model.