Honourable Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting St Vincent’s School for the Blind and Partially Sighted for a Corporate Award from Liverpool John Moores University.
This Award recognises organisations that have had a deep impact on the city and their communities and St Vincents embodies that ethos perfectly.
Now over 100 years old St Vincents is recognised as one of the most important schools in the country for the visually impaired. The school does amazing work encouraging its young people to have a sense of achievement, responsibility, mutual respect and independence, and strives to fully integrate its pupils into society.
Teachers and pupils work together in a safe and caring atmosphere, where a high standard of education and care is provided. It encourages a sense of achievement, self worth, moral responsibility and mutual respect, honouring all faith traditions and beliefs.
Led by their energetic and enthusiastic Headteacher Dr John Patterson, the School aims to be an ‘education and enterprise village’ by research informed, collaboratively driven, outcome led and project-based reverse inclusion. Work is currently underway progressing this village on the St Vincent’s School campus, providing space for business start-ups and entrepreneurs in return for giving business experience to older school pupils.
The access to sports, innovation and education for the visually impaired being developed at St Vincent’s is being sent to schools for the blind around the world through the 'sightbox' project in collaboration with Rotary International.
The School has also collaborated with this University and will deliver a school-based model of teacher training for the mandatory qualification required as a teacher of the blind from September 2017 ensuring that future generations of teaching students are trained to the best practice model available.
St Vincent's is always busy with enriching, project-based learning. Some of their projects led to the school winning the High Sheriff ‘Hidden Gem’ award in 2014 and the Freedom of the City of Liverpool last year.
Over the last couple of years, pupils have commemorated the 1st Battle of Ypres and its lasting legacy for those who lost their sight in the Great War. This has involved connecting citizenship education across lessons, and using creative mediums to design and generate learning resources and equipment to raise awareness of visual impairment and VI communities around the World.
This year, LJMU presented Good Citizenship Awards to six of the pupils who have played a key role in this commemoration of VI veterans, past and present, through the school choir. The pupils performed ‘Colours of the Wind’ by country music great and LJMU alumnus, Charlie Landsborough, a song that was produced as part of their citizenship project.
St Vincent's has an outward looking approach to the wider educational and social community and encourages all of its young people to become independent and to integrate fully into society.
Thus, it is with great pleasure that I present St Vincent’s School for the Blind and Partially Sighted with our highest organisational honour, the Liverpool John Moores University Corporate Award for their outstanding contribution to community engagement and education.