Mrs C Monaghan B.Ed, Headteacher
I am writing in support of your innovative package offered by School of Sign Language.
The online learning package that you have provided for schools is having a huge impact on the pupils at our school.
Not only is it engaging them with their learning of a language, but in addition it is having an impact on their learning across the curriculum, particularly in literacy – speaking and listening.
The teachers are finding the Primary Sign resources very user friendly. They state they quickly have found their way around the site, its fun and interactive, the pupils find it fun and are motivated and eager to learn. Teachers are confident in the security and confidentiality of the site. The teachers also state how it compliments the way other subjects are taught in school through action and sign. Progress in sign language is good as a result of the package.
The pupils love the avatar characters and quickly and effectively find their way around the site. It enhances the everyday life of the pupils. They are excited and engaged throughout the activities. It suits all styles of learners – kinaesthetic, auditory and visual. Simply brilliant!
The school is finding it a highly useful learning resource that is cost effective and enhancing the learning opportunities of all our pupils.
St. Paul's Hoddlesden CE Primary School
"The programme was easy to use because it spoke and signed. There weren't any difficult parts at all. "
"I loved playing and finding out all the signs."
"I enjoyed using Primary Sign because it gives you skills that I could use in later life"
"It was really easy to use and I really enjoyed it."
"It made sign language easier to do, but it also made it really fun."
Knowlesley Road, Darwen, Lancashire.
Kath Earp - Extending Schools Locality Co-ordinator
Over the last two years I have worked in partnership with The School of Sign Language. Initially to request support for a child in reception class who as a result of meningitis had become profoundly deaf, R along with her class peers were introduced to sign language. This led to us through the school of sign language to host last academic year level 1 sign language and this year level 1 and 2.
We have two deaf children in school and both their support workers have been on level 1 sign language courses. Our relationship with the school of sign language has blossomed and we have been supported in many ways by them, currently one of their staff spends a day in R’s class giving her and the class teacher support whilst getting experience of working with a deaf child in a mainstream setting, the class teacher is delighted with the positive affect on the pupil and class.
So it was no surprise when they shared with me their new idea regarding the School of Sign Language Primary Sign BSL programme and I was keen to use it initially in this school and then with the other 6 educational establishments in my cluster including a nursery and children’s centre. The resources are bright, colourful and engaging for the children and use both kinaesthetic and visual learning styles. There are also worksheets to consolidate learning both in school and at home, leading to an interest and awareness raising beyond just our pupils, creating discussion and highlighting growing areas for development. I hope to work with School of Sign Language in the future.
This whole experience has allowed me to develop and learn skills in an area of work and life that has always interested me but the situation to be involved practically has never arisen. Currently I am studying at level 2 and have developed quite a love of sign language. We have an after school club one evening a week for an hour and I deliver the sessions using the Primary Sign BSL resources they are easy, even at my stage of sign language to use, the children are engaged and excited to attend and one hearing pupil has told her mum that 'she loves talking with her hands'. Both our deaf children attend one with her cousin and I believe that this innovative resource has helped us to further develop a positive healthy view of deaf children within a mainstream setting promoting all our children’s social and emotional development whlist strengthening a good self-esteem and positive mental health in our deaf pupils allowing them social and emotional inclusion.
R’s support worker observes me delivering these sessions on a Tuesday evening then on a Thursday afternoon during the class teachers PPA time, she repeats the session in Year 4 and I observe her. We share our findings to improve our practice and monitor the impact in the classroom. Teaching and support staff are becoming increasingly aware of, and familiar with, British Sign Language and they have asked to get involved in the sessions and where it has not been convenient have requested me to do staff insets where I will use the same resources. This can only have a positive impact on all areas of teaching and learning within the school.
This resource is priceless in terms of cost, not just in terms of cost effectiveness because of its flexibility, its many uses and support materials but because it provides professionals with an opportunity to deliver a quality learning experience to all children. Based on good practice, it allows them to understand each other and starts to equip our deaf children with language, to understand and express themselves with their peers and the adults in their lives.