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Oak Lodge art department visit – Communication is the key

Alex Christie

21 May 2009

Lavelle and I went along to Oak Lodge School to visit their art department where we met art teacher Darryl Bedford. The purpose of the trip was to progress ideas and plan for the mural project we are helping to organise the theme being communication.

Part of the afternoon was to participate in a drawing workshop with a group of year 8 students. Darryl gave us some information including the British Sign Language Fingerspelling Alphabet and other useful sign language illustrations.

The kids arrived and were asked to spell out their names and also to give their sign name, which is an action that shows their personality. Once the students had asked us what our favourite thing was Lavelle and I were given our own sign names mine being a gesture that sums up Chelsea FC and Lavelle’s an air guitar strum.

Richard

We then broke up into pairs, one student and one adult, and were asked to draw a word that sums up our character. I was struck how confident the kids were in expressing themselves I found the task a little tricky! Darryl mentioned that people with severe hearing disabilities have to learn to communicate everything, including their emotions/feelings. We then had to act out our emotion by standing in a pose while the other person in the team drew. Once we had all finished we were tasked to cut out elements of our drawing and mix them together with our partners to create a new montage.

Art is a great form of communication and we all quickly bonded and had fun. Also, I learnt a little about myself and my own inhibitions and that by communicating one can get part of the way to overcome any hurdle.

If you are interested in learning more about sign language check out: www.british-sign.co.uk

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