Three sessions for children with special needs were delivered at the V&A museum in Autumn with funding from ArtSocial Foundation

We are excited to share an update about the V&A museum’s programme for children with special educational needs, that ArtSocial Foundation has been funding since September 2017.

Between October-December 2017, the V&A delivered two free multi-sensory and interactive sessions for children specifically developed for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

On 6 October 2017, seven students from St Ann’s School, Hanwell in Ealing, visited the V&A to take part in a workshop based on Iranian Picnic Tiles. The students, aged 11-14, have a range of profound and multiple learning difficulties. The same class has visited the V&A before and the teacher is keen to ensure that the class experiences new environments, and regularly takes them on visits outside the classroom.

Children were greeted with a musical introduction in the Design Studio in the Sackler Centre for arts. They then spent time exploring one of the V&A’s most popular objects - the 17th-century panel of earthenware tiles, said to have come from the Chehel Sotoun Palace of Isfahan, Iran, which depicts a lavish picnic scene. The students used different props to stimulate the senses, including fresh lemons and replicas of the headdress and the cushion seen in the tile design. They also painted ceramic tiles to experience the weight, texture and temperature of those on display.

The group then returned to the Design Studio for the practical part of the workshop, where they were supported to create their own tile designs, inspired by those they have seen.                                     

"The session was well organised and was tailored to meet our students’ complex needs"                                  

"My staff and I all think that every part of the activity was excellent!" - St Ann’s School Teacher participating on the session             

On the 3rd November 2017, the V&A facilitator and an event assistant, visited St George’s Hospital for an outreach session based on Japanese Samurai Armour. They worked with five students who were being educated in the hospital schoolroom, which is part of the Wandsworth Hospital and Home Tuition Service.                    

The workshop began with a handling session to introduce the students to samurai armour and to Japanese culture more broadly. Students handled objects and than created their own samurai helmets, emblems and accessories for their armour, such as gauntlets, using the range of materials and techniques they learned during the session.

"The excellent outreach sessions are appreciated by all pupils who attend the classroom. They enrich their lives and are a pleasure to watch and be a part of. Thank you so very much!"

- teacher taking part in the session.

We, at ArtSocial, are happy to hear the positive feedback about the programme and look forward to sharing updates about the sessions in the Winter-Spring term.