This year the school has developed a new link with the deaf health charity SignHealth. The charity works to ensure that deaf people have the same access to healthcare and health information. The theme for this year’s Form 1 and 2 massed choir at the Summer Concert at West Road was inspired by SignHealth’s annual fundraising event called sign2sing, which helps to raise awareness and to bring in much needed funds for the charity.
SignHealth works to improve the health and wellbeing of people who are deaf. They provide some services directly in British Sign Language (BSL) and work in partnership with the NHS and they also campaign for change. SignHealth provides health and wellbeing services in sign language for Deaf people. They are committed to breaking down the barriers that deaf people continue to face, with poorer communication support and poorer access to health services than hearing people. Deaf people communicate using sign language, sign2sing is designed to promote sign language as a communication tool and make music more accessible to those that can’t hear it. It provides groups with the opportunity to become deaf aware while also helping us to raise essential fund for their projects that continue to support the deaf community.
Moona, a representative from the charity came in to school to talk about the charity and to hold workshops for all of the children in Forms 1 and 2. Moona had a signer to help the children to communicate with her. She helped the pupils with the signing of their songs and how to fingerspell using British Sign Language. Our children have discovered a new language and are becoming competent in their signing. Byron House Music teacher, Mrs Fletcher, remarked to the charity, “The children were very energised and motivated from the Assembly and the workshops. I think they were mesmerised by the communication with the signing between you and they are incredibly focused in their learning as a result of your visit.”
One of the children commented, “Moona’s visit really helped improve our signing and she explained so clearly about what it was like to be deaf and live in a hearing world.” Another said, “We signed our names and Moona had to interpret them which made us really focus on signing clearly and correctly! I can’t wait to sing for the charity at the Summer Concert!”