Students from across Uxbridge College’s ESOL young learner courses joined forces to paint over old graffiti and replace it with creative new designs in Hayes’ Golden Park.

The young learners are part of the large English Language department at the college’s Hayes Campus, which is next to the park in College Way, off Coldharbour Lane, which also teaches adult learners part-time.

The Park is both part of the college and open to local communities, and the students - a total of around 180 from nine classes - also blitzed the discarded rubbish in a major litter pick.

The project was part of Work Experience activities over three weeks, and involved a raft of skills including project management, maths, teamwork and design. Some of the designs were inspired by the graffiti artist Banksy, whilst others were inspired by events in the UK during Covid-19, and the students’ countries of origins.

Claire Beale, Section Manager for ESOL young learners, said: “This was a lovely opportunity for students who have mainly worked over video link during the year to get together in person and reconnect.

“It was quite a logistically challenging project due to the number of students involved but it was a real success in terms of creativity and collaboration. They also had to work really hard - some of the fence panels needed six coats to cover up the old graffiti!

“The designs on the panels really showcase the different cultures, whilst the commitment to the local community is a perfect example of British Values in practice.”

The students also made the most of the spruced-up park by holding their end of term sports day there.

Students come from countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Moldova, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Romania and China.

ESOL learners study at pre-entry and Level 1, and a high number go on to study vocational or academic subjects at a higher level once they have completed their ESOL courses.

For adult learners, courses focus on practical skills in language and understanding for employability and citizenship in the UK - these courses are free to people earning less than the annual London Living Wage. Learners of all ages are also supported in Maths and IT skills,

* For more information about adult and young learner courses for English for Speakers of Other Languages go to: English Language Courses - ESOL - Courses for International Students in English Language - Uxbridge College | Top London College