Hollie Paxton: Summer Term 2014 at Grey Coat Hospital School

During this term I have set up an extra jewellery club, which allows me to regularly see all of the known year 7 and 8 dyslexic students. With this group I am trying to provide them with a new worksheet each week to try to reinforce some of the more complex concepts they are learning in class, such complementary colours and tints and shades (attached is an example). Each worksheet allows them to make a piece of shrink-plastic jewellery for the students to take home. Pieces include colour-wheel brooches and a shaded sunglasses pendant.

I have found it very interesting to see that some of the students really struggle with reading instructions and jump straight into drawing, so I have been adapting my sheets each week to make them more visual, while reminding them about the importance of reading through the instructions.

The other club is continuing making their pearls of wisdom necklace. Over the summer break they are going to collect some wise advice, which they will then paint onto the pearls. This has taken much longer than expected, as they have had to miss many of the clubs due to various school activities.

I have also done a workshop this term where we made enamel pendants out of old pennies (seen below). They enjoyed the process so I intend to run a similar workshop over the next term.

During this term there has also been a number of staff changes, including a new Head of Art and a new staff member. At first I sensed there was a little confusion over my role, but I have reinforced the fact that I’m there to provide support and encouragement for the dyslexic and struggling students and she has since been more supportive. Over the next term I am going to try to give her regular updates, perhaps organising a short meeting every week.

Also, one of my club members, Jennifer Hansen 7R, was asked to write a short report about the club for the art blog –

“I’ve been going to jewellery club since just after Christmas and I have achieved so much!

“We’ve made little charms for ourselves and friends and one necklace for someone special with five charms showing: The first letter of their name, one of their hobbies, their favourite animal, something we do together and something they enjoy a lot.

“Just a few weeks ago we made enamel pieces, which is many different colours of glass melted onto a piece of copper (or a penny) in a kiln. It was really fun and interesting.

“We’ve just started a new project called the pearls of wisdom. We’re making a giant papier-mâché necklace and each pearl will have an important piece of advice on it.

“Jewellery Club has been a wonderful experience and I have learnt so much.”

Over the next term I intend to exhibit with all the creative mentor jewellery so far. We will also hopefully be revamping the Angle of the North statue throughout the term (hopefully with the help of Stuart) and I will also be working with the new Year 7s.