Post 16 students at Laleham Gap have started their travel training work as part of their Personal Development curriculum.
The ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ learning is part of the programme at the special communication and interaction school for youngsters with autism and speech and language issues.
Their teacher, Paul Ursell, knows the importance of getting his students travel ready and travel smart for the future. From the start of the travel training he set them work that was related to a real trip, with a real purpose, to motivate and engage them.
In what will be the first of many trips from the school in Ramsgate by bus, and later other forms of public transport, Mr Ursell asked students to research the maps, timetables, bus numbers and cheapest way to get to Margate to visit an art gallery.
He said: “The students had to do a good job as the gallery were expecting us. And they did. On the journey we got the opportunity to go through all the main things you need to know about using a bus.”
The students were visiting the Ken Kiff exhibition at the Carl Freedman Gallery and the visit was a huge success.
“The gallery was super welcoming, opening up especially so as to fit in with our Post 16 day. It is really good to see galleries going out of their way to encourage students to view and get involved in the creative arts” explained Mr Ursell.
As well as giving rise to deep discussions about the Ken Kiff paintings the gallery even arranged a special behind the scenes look at the printers they use upstairs. Here students found out about and asked questions related to the printing process. They viewed eight prints from world famous artists, discussing their favourites and finding out how print runs work and the role they have in supporting the arts. Students even viewed the UK’s largest exposure unit!
Tasha, a gallery assistant who helped co-ordinate the visit, said: “We think it is crucial young people are encouraged to come to galleries and engage as it develops just the sort of creative and artistic thinking that will serve them in later life.
“We were very happy to have Mr Ursell’s group in and we were so impressed at the thinking they displayed and the questions they asked. They were so engaged.”
In thanking the gallery for going ‘the extra mile’ Mr Ursell said it was pleasing to hit so many educational targets in a single trip.