The History Project – celebrating 50 years of special needs education at The Collett School, 2014-2016
The Collett School in Hemel Hempstead. The project was designed in collaboration with Dr Lucy Hubble-Rose.
Exhibition and workshop design.
Produce an exhibition that communicates the story of the Collett School and how special needs education has evolved over 50 years.
The school were awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to celebrate their 50 year history while opening up the school to the local community. We created a participatory sculpture, ran awareness workshops and designed a travelling exhibition that went on show firstly in the school playground, secondly in the local college and thirdly at the Houses of Parliament.
Taking The Collett School History Project to the House of Commons was been the highlight of 2016. What a wonderful way to end our working with this wonderful special needs school in Hemel Hempstead. After a year of storytelling to celebrate their 50th Anniversary, we succeeded in our ultimate goal for the project which was to take it to Westminster to show Ministers and MPs the amazing stories of the school.
The school’s local MP, Mike Penning, who arranged for the exhibition to take place in Parliament, explained why he wanted to bring the exhibition to Speaker’s Green:
“The Collett School is a very special school and has a very special place in my heart. I visit as often as I can and I run my annual Christmas card competition with the children of the school. “This is a great opportunity for Ministers and MPs to hear first-hand the untold stories of the pupils of this great school. “This is the first time ever that an exhibition of this nature has been held on Speaker’s Green and it was a wonderful experience for the children and a great opportunity for my Parliamentary colleagues to learn more about special needs education and the experiences of those who have left the school and the difference it has made to their lives.”
Stephen Hoult-Allen, Head Teacher of The Collett School was thrilled that the school was offered this opportunity:
“It was fantastic for our pupils, past and present, to share our story with so many MPs at the exhibition of our oral histories project at Parliament. Our pupils were fantastic ambassadors for the school and people with learning difficulties, taking pride in their achievements, hopes and aspirations for contributing to our mainstream world.”
We had over 30 MPs show up on the day, Wednesday 24th June, and even Boris Johnson made an appearance. We were delighted by the positive response the exhibition received. You can read about what the MPs thought over on the Creative Data site.