This has been the most exciting week yet on the project, as we had both another new group starting at Fox Hollies and a new member of staff starting work.
Jennifer Brown has joined us to work as Project Assistant and has been thrown into a busy week with visits to two of our schools. The students took to Jennifer straight away and were keen to ask her questions about her experience of going to school and compare it with theirs, which is exactly what we want to happen on this project.
The group at Fox Hollies met for the first time on Tuesday. They are younger than the groups at Victoria and Mayfield, but their teacher Ruth said afterwards said they: “really seemed interested and enthusiastic about the project.” We are delighted to have Reece, Joshua, Luci, Nathan and Callum (pictured in the main photo above) working with us and we hope they enjoy learning new skills on the project.
All three groups will be visiting the Library of Birmingham in December to learn about how we look after historical records in the city and see where the materials they collect will be stored. Big thanks to Corinna Rayner from the Wolfson Centre for organising that for us. You can read blog posts from her team about the work they do here: https://theironroom.wordpress.com/
At Victoria school, our students have been making great progress and are nearly ready to start interviewing. Today, we were doing some practice by pretending to be some of the people on another project called “How was School?”, which they found very interesting and it is probably the closest thing to what we’re doing that I’ve found. There were lots of stories from disabled people about their school days arranged into different themes, such as friendship, getting around and looking out for each other.
We look forward to uploading a lot more stories of our own about special education in Birmingham very soon. We are taking care to ensure that the students all feel well prepared and confident to take on the important task of interviewing people about their experiences at these schools. The sense of ownership they have over what we collect is one of the most important aspects of the project for me and I want everyone to feel proud of what we achieve.