Primary school children embrace sign language

Staff and pupils at a Lincolnshire primary school have learned British Sign Language (BSL) after two deaf children joined a reception class.

Maja and Laura, who are both four years old and use BSL at home with their families, started at Boston West Academy last September.

The school, which has 417 students between the ages of four and 11, has taught BSL to all year groups to help the children feel “fully included” in the community.

Headteacher Ceri Braybrook said being able to sign with other pupils had improved the girls’ confidence.

In total, 21 languages including BSL are used in classrooms at the school.

Teaching assistant Christine Taylor, who has a level 2 qualification in BSL, said Maja and Laura were initially shy when they joined the school but their confidence had grown.

“Since the other children have been learning sign language and are now able to talk to them and they can see it being incorporated through the school, their confidence has just grown so much,” she said.

“I think a lot of the children, especially in the girls’ class, may end up fluent in BSL by the time they’re in Year 6.

“That will be a skill they’ll always have, even after primary school.”

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