New-Bridge Integrated College Year 10 students have been working with Year 10 students from Banbridge High School on a joint collaborative History & Art CRED (Community, Diversity, Relations, Equality and Diversity) project called ‘Troubled Times’.
Students enjoyed a two day residential prior to Christmas in Corrymeela using the time to discuss the aims of the project and taking the time to get to know one another and talk openly about their culture and backgrounds. Following on from the residential the students have produced art and written work depicting their thoughts, attitudes and experiences of the troubled times in Northern Ireland and how it has directly affected their own lives. Students interviewed family members and produced some hard hitting written work which depicted stories of sadness, hardship and loss. The art work was extremely thought provoking and provided the young people with the opportunity to express their backgrounds, culture and feelings in an open, honest and respectful environment.
The work was exhibited in the Town Hall and was attended by representatives from both schools, govenors, staff and parents. As well as the work produced, visitors were treated to a musical prelude from talented students who played a range of instruments from bag pipes to lambeg and african drums.
Mrs Anderson, Principal paid tribute to the students and addressed them saying ‘ You are the future generation and we are so proud of you all and the work you have produced here today’. She thanked New-Bridge staff, Head of History, Ms Harrison, Mrs Hanna, History department and Mrs McKeown ( Head of Art), the staff from Banbridge High School, Mrs Sheelagh Deane, CCEA, and members of Banbridge District Council, Mrs Olive Mercer, Mrs Joan Baird, and Mrs Joanne Dobson who attended the exhibition . This valuable shared project would not have been possible without the funding provided by CRED SELB, Corrymeela, the International Fund for Ireland and Banbridge District Council. In his closing address, Mr Bell, Principal of Banbridge High School said the students were a fine exemplar on how to work together in a shared community.
As part of the closing stages of the project, students enjoyed a trip to Belfast the following day taking in the open top bus tour and Crumlin Road Gaol.