Art Students Support Royal Blind School Pupils in Move to Different Campus

Press Release | 07/11/2013

Students at Edinburgh College of Art are designing an art project to help Royal Blind School pupils remember their historic Craigmillar Park campus after it closes in Summer 2014 and relocates all pupils to its Canaan Lane campus in Morningside.

The four third year art students have taken elements of sound from the Craigmillar Park campus including footsteps, voices and the sound of the lift to create an art installation that will be presented to the pupils on Friday 8 November.

The idea behind the art project came from one of the four students, whose young son has a visual impairment and other disabilities.

The sounds have been recorded on separate CDs which will be presented to the school in a box that can be handled by the children. The box can be opened to give access to the CDs held onto a concertina of cardboard by raised centre holders. Labels in large type and Braille identify the rooms and people whose voices can be heard on the recordings.

Art student Penny Kay said:

“As a group who would normally work primarily with the visual senses we are excited by the possibility of producing work that might include elements of sound, touch or movement. Our challenge is to create a piece of art whose primary objective is its appreciation by the children of the school. This piece might also prove of interest to people with full sight in so far as they are given an insight into the perspective of the children through the make up of the sculpture.” 

The boxes will be kept in the library at the Canaan Lane campus and will be available for pupils to take them out to listen to the sounds of the Craigmillar Campus and remember their experiences there.

Cari Mannion, Depute Head Teacher at the Royal Blind School said:

“Royal Blind School pupils are very keen on art and are looking forward to seeing the project that the students have come up with. This project will help the pupils in their transition to the Canaan Lane campus and will be a lovely memory for them in the future.”

The Royal Blind School is merging its two campuses as the numbers of pupils enrolling have been falling in recent years. Single disability blind children and young people with little or no additional support needs are today mostly catered for in mainstream schools and special units in their home areas.

The changes will see all pupils educated and cared for at the Canaan Lane campus in Autumn 2014. The Royal Blind School’s Craigmillar Park Campus is being sold as part of a move to merge two campuses into one.

The Royal Blind School is also establishing a national education resource centre for visual impairment, which will provide support to visually impaired pupils in maintream schools across Scotland through pupil assessment, advice and training for the education sector.