Throughout the course of the summer term, the Year 9 Graphics students were given the exciting opportunity to collaborate with the National Paralympic Heritage Trust, in an effort to raise awareness for Paralympians and those with disabilities. To enable them to make designs about the Paralympics they have been researching about the history and the people who took part in it. This has helped the students in the process of designing posters, t-shirts, and souvenirs for an exhibition to promote the Trust, and raise awareness for the Paralympics and how disabled people can get involved in sports to represent their country. The focus of the project was to make Wadesdon School and the local community aware of the work the National Paralympic Heritage Trust does and to celebrate Paralympian achievements.
As part of the process the students researched and investigated other designers for inspiration, best contrasting colours, past history and much more. They were visited by Helene Raynsford who is a previous Paralympian rower and gold medallist from the Beijing 2008 Games. She explained what is was like to be disabled and that she can still do and enjoy everything we do “but just slightly differently”. It helped the students to understand the journey she had been on and what would be the right things to include in their work without offending anyone. There was also an artist workshop with disabled artist Caroline Cardus. The artist workshop gave students the opportunity to ask questions about how, why and what worked well together and what Caroline felt they could improve in their work. She got the students thinking from the perspective of a disabled athlete, which was a great experience for everyone because it was an opportunity to understand, grow and pick up new ways to design from a practicing artist.
The project culminated in an exciting exhibition in the library, showcasing all of the fabulous designs and products that had been achieved. The National Paralympic Heritage Trust also brought a display of Paralympic memorabilia – official Paralympic jackets from previous Games, a sports wheelchair and an official Paralympic torch.