Over 1200 pupils taught sign language in 33 controlled primary schools - “I can understand them and they can understand me”

A pupil from Cregagh Primary School who took part in a Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) programme described how ‘Engaging with sign’ supported him and his friends. He asked that everyone learns how to sign stating “then I can understand them and they can understand me.”

CSSC - Sign Language programme event photo

CSSC has supported controlled schools by facilitating a programme to create an inclusive deaf-friendly learning environment which was available to schools educating children with severe/profound hearing loss. The programme gave pupils the opportunity to participate in interactive sign language workshops.

The conclusion of the programme includes the launch of two support videos today at Cregagh Primary School.

Mark Baker, Chief Executive, Controlled Schools’ Support Council said:

“The CSSC Sign Language programme exemplifies the inclusivity of the controlled sector and how schools serve their local communities.

Funded by the Department for Communities, the programme gave controlled schools the opportunity to learn a language of need for deaf people. Parents and staff also attended workshops to share in their children’s learning and increase their own awareness of sign language and the experiences of the deaf community.

David Heggarty, Principal Cregagh Primary School said:

“It was a privilege for Cregagh Primary School to participate in the programme providing wider school communities with opportunities to engage with learning sign language and it surpassed expectations. Whole school communities benefited, including deaf and hearing children, parents and staff.

This programme represents a step forward in enabling schools to include and champion deaf pupils by providing new communication skills in sign language and by giving increased confidence to all stakeholders.

My hope as an educator and school Principal, is that this initiative has grown deep roots and will have a significant legacy. Supporting schools to better support their deaf students is essential if we are to narrow the educational outcome gap between deaf children and their hearing peers.”

Access CSSC's Sign Language programme online resources here. 


13 June 2024