Hazelwood Nursery & Early Years Parents
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Pupils have an eye on the prize of new sight

Staff and pupils at Hazelwood School have uniquely collaborated to create a larger than life work of art on behalf of the world famous Moorfields Eye Hospital.  Mrs Tulett, Head of Art at the school was approached by Dr Mariya Moosajee with an invitation to celebrate both the hospital in its ground-breaking research and the 70th birthday of the NHS.

Dr Moosajee, a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, also heads a pioneering research group at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.  She and her team are able to grow a retina from a small piece of patient's skin. This is a new form of stem cell technology which has opened up a whole new world of research and treatments for patients including the restoration of sight for those who have become visually impaired through age-related degeneration.   Results from such operations have seen patients’ abilities to read go from no words to between 60 and 80 words a minute.  It was because of such medical impact, that Moorfields was chosen by the Science Museum in London to be part of its special exhibition celebrating medical breakthroughs from each year since the NHS’ conception.  Moorfields was proud to represent the year of 2018.
"Our exhibition was designed to inform the public about how doctors are studying the use of stem cell technology to grow early eyes from a patient’s own skin in order to study their disease and develop new treatments,” explained Dr Moosajee.
The giant eye installation, conceived by Mrs Tulett and Dr Moosajee and created from recyclable materials, captures the essence of this technology. It was worked on by the staff and pupils of Hazelwood School as the summer term drew to a close and represents a team effort on the grandest of scales.  It is a thing of beauty and of education and scientific significance.  It was unveiled on the 25th July 2018 at the Science Museum as part of the Medical Marvels exhibition.  Over 4,000 guests were present at a special night time event, each gaining a further insight and understanding into the science and medicine behind this, and other, pioneering research.
The eye was on hand two weeks later, again at the Science Museum, to help Dr Moosajee explain to families with children with special educational needs or disabilities attending a special overnight event (SENsory Astronights), just how the eye works, what happens when problems arise and what this may mean for the people who experience such situations.   Her ‘Eye Scape’ Exhibition is something she feels very passionately about:
"We are working really hard to discover, diagnose, manage and treat more rare eye conditions, especially those that are found at birth and can cause a lifetime of incurable blindness. Being able to talk to children and their families about our goals is what makes it all worthwhile.”
The eye is now at Moorfields Eye Hospital and will be on display for the next month. The Hospital has over 600,000 outpatient visits per year and over 100,000 Eye Casualty visits annually. There is no other location in the UK that will expose the tactile eye to more individuals with sight loss and allow them to interact and appreciate the art! Hazelwood School embraced the opportunity to fuse the artistic and scientific components of its curriculum. The fact that the giant installation will be seen by so many people at so many prestigious London venues is an unrivalled opportunity which only added to the excitement.
The school’s thanks go to Dr Moosajee for inviting the school to take part and to Mrs Tulett for creating such an amazing work of art.

Posted: 28/08/2018 at 28/08/2018 15:12:06
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