Artistic students from Swindon Academy will be displaying their talent later this month when their very own textile creations go on show in the windows of Marks and Spencer in Swindon’s Brunel Centre.
As part of a work experience project, the year 11 Textile GCSE students have been tasked with designing costumes with an Alice in Wonderland theme, to enhance The Brunel Centre’s own marketing activity to promote the new Alice Through the Looking Glass movie.
The students will also be working alongside Marks and Spencer’s window stylists and will have an opportunity to learn how to dress the store mannequins and how best to display their finished creations.
James Shorney is manager at Marks and Spencer in the town centre and recently visited Swindon Academy to meet the students and to see some of the work in progress. James said: “It was good to meet the young people involved in this project and I’m very much looking forward to them coming into the store with their finished creations. I’m delighted that we are able to help give the students this valuable real-life work experience.”
Georgia Foster, a tutor at Swindon Academy, explained the importance of working with businesses. Georgia said: “The opportunity to work with Marks and Spencer and The Brunel Centre helps to raise the aspirations of our young people by providing insight to the world of work and enhances their curriculum.
“These real life situations raise student motivation and achievement in class as well as develop confidence and employability skills. All of which will help to ensure that local young people leave school with the right skills to enjoy a successful future.
“Giving students the opportunity to produce high quality work and exhibit in a public setting gives them enormous pride in their achievements.”
The work-experience project is the result of a partnership between The Brunel shopping centre and Swindon Academy which will see the shopping centre managers create various work experience opportunities for students from the North Swindon school.
Jane Stewart, Deputy General Manager of The Brunel, said: “This textile and window dressing project with Marks and Spencer is the first of several work experience projects that we have planned with Swindon Academy. It’s important that young people have their eyes opened to the vast range of jobs that are available in the retail sector.”
Later this year students will be joining The Brunel Centre’s management team to experience a range of roles connected with the often behind the scenes running of a shopping centre.
The display of Alice themed costumes will be on view from Friday 27 May until Monday 6 June can be seen in the windows of Marks and Spencer on the upper floor of The Brunel Plaza, opposite Boots.