Kente is a handwoven cloth, characterised by patterns and specific colours, originally made by Ashanti people in Ghana.
Supported Learning students came together to discuss the representation of the colours: peace, harmony, planting, growth, passion, femininity, and healing and created their own patterns using Kente symbolism.
Inclusive Learning Tutor, Agnieszka Dabrowska, was thrilled with how the blanket turned out and was impressed with the way that the students were able to immerse themselves into the project.
She said, “It was a collaborative artwork piece for the Inclusive Learning Department. Students produced their designed Kente patterns and together, we assembled all the pieces into a big blanket, which symbolises equality and diversity. The blanket is associated with keeping warm, we wanted to pass that message to everyone. ‘Be kind to yourself and others and respect everyone'.
“Students had to choose the colours which had different meanings in Kente symbolism; for example, blue represents peace and harmony. They designed their own patterns using different art medias. The Kente blanket was a great opportunity for discussion about diversity and celebration of Black History Month. It’s important for students to know that we all have the same rights to be happy, love, and be loved.”
Agnieszka was keen to stress the importance around the discussion of diversity, and emphasised that students showed great initiative and engagement throughout the project. “It was amazing to see students assembling the blanket, they have shown great initiative and engagement, as well as having discussions about the meaning of the Kente colours,” she said.
“I was hugely impressed by the final design. But, the most important thing for me was that we have moved many different layers of discussion about diversity, and we reminded ourselves to be positive and grateful for everything that we have.”
Head of Curriculum, Lesley Watson, was also proud of the student’s efforts and said, “The Kente blanket project is an innovative way of enabling students in Supported Learning to be included in events such as Black History Month, using creative ideas to explore themes relating to this topic.
“I am extremely impressed by the end result which has made a fantastic and vibrant display to be enjoyed by everyone at the College.”
Inclusive Learning has been designed to support and challenge young people aged 16 - 24 with SEND. The College’s ethos is to put students first in everything that they do to ensure that they reach their personal goals and learning outcomes. To find out more about Inclusive Learning at East Sussex College, please click here.
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