Trowbridge school raises deaf awareness

Wiltshire Times: Liz Poyser, teacher of sign language at Grove School, with deaf pupil Abdullah Liz Poyser, teacher of sign language at Grove School, with deaf pupil Abdullah

Pupils at The Grove Primary School learned sign language skills as part of activities taking place to mark national Deaf Awareness Week last week.

The school in Trowbridge is home to west Wiltshire’s only Hearing Impaired Unit, providing specialist teaching and support for children with hearing difficulties.

As part of the awareness week, children from the unit held a cake sale to raise money for the National Deaf Children’s Society. The event held last Monday raised £70 for the charity.

Hearing Impaired Unit lead Liz Poyser said: “It’s a fantastic cause as the National Deaf Children’s Society do brilliant work supporting parents and professionals with advice, and providing activities for children with hearing impairments.

“The cake sale was very successful and we have also been running a competition for the children in Key Stage One and Two to work out the different possible names for the baby of Kirsty – one of our teaching assistants. They are written in finger spelling on doors around the school.

“The children were able to pay 20p each for a competition sheet that helped them decode the sign language and then they had to go around working out the different names. We then put all the correct entries into a hat.

“It’s a great way of showing pupils that finger spelling is a language, as well as teaching the children about the way our pupils with hearing impairments communicate.”

The Hearing Impaired Unit, which has four teacher assistants plus Miss Poyser, has been at the school for over 25 years and has six pupils, who arrived in reception and will stay until Year 6.

It encourages and nurtures good listening, lip reading and speaking skills and combines them, where appropriate, with Sign Supported English (SSE) and British Sign Language (BSL).

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