Main photo: Mission Grove School in Walthamstow
Lots of schools take part in sign2sing but not every school has a special sign club. Children from St John’s Primary Academy in Essington get together throughout the year to learn signed songs lead by Support Assistant Jyoti Budd. And now the children have made a special film showing them performing the sign2sing song ‘Reach Out Your Hand’, with a special appearance from Deaf pop star Fletch.
Signing is part of life at the school
The school has a number of deaf pupils including Dylan and Jordan, featured in the video, who are not only great friends but fantastic role models.
“Signing is part of life at the school’ says Deputy Head Teacher, Charlene Marston “If we have a Harvest Festival or special assembly the children always learn a signed song.”
The whole school learned the 2016 song Reach Out Your Hand and now Sign Club re busy learning the 2017 song Together. The plan is for the club to sign the verses and teach the chorus to the rest of the school. One of the school’s deaf pupils is in his final year at the school so performing the song will be a fantastic opportunity to give him a really special send off.
“We love taking part in sign2sing’ says Charlene “It promotes deaf awareness and there’s something very poignant about the whole school learning to sign when we have deaf children at the school.”
SignHealth is turning thirty this year. To mark this anniversary, we are launching a competition for school students to design a fantastic new charity mascot. The mascot will be used across our activities, including sign2sing.
The winning entry will win a super stationery pack and a special sign2sing visit to their school by the mascot.
Pupils can let their imaginations run wild but there are a few rules:
- Your mascot needs to have a face and hands
- Please think about a design that will be appealing to children of all ages
- The mascot can be human, animal or something else!
- The mascot could be used as a costume and in digital and printed materials
- You can design it on paper or electronically (pdf or jpeg formats only)
Photo credit: Dave Haygarth
Super signing firemen from West Midlands Fire Service have signed up to take part in sign2sing.
Alan Swift, Watch Commander, is leading the fire crews in learning the song. Alan has Level 3 in British Sign Language and other members of staff have also learned sign language to enable them to provide a better service to the deaf community.
Alan was joined by Crew Commander Joe Poynton and Firefighter Adrian Spencer in making a special film to promote sign2sing and encourage other members of the emergency services to take part.
“Taking part in sign2sing is great fun and an excellent way of raising awareness. I’d really encourage other people to join in. You’ll have a great time learning a valuable new skill while raising funds for a really worthwhile cause.”
‘Make a noise about bullying’ is the message for this year’s Anti Bullying Week (16-20th November). Sign2sing is getting behind the anti-bullying message with the new song Reach Out Your Hand.
“Reach out your hand to somebody today”
Anti Bullying Week is about empowering children and young people to make a noise about bullying, whether it’s happening to them or to someone else. The week also encourages parents and teachers to talk to children about bullying.
The video and words of Reach Out Your Hand encourage children to accept difference and to reach out a helping hand to others who may be feeling hurt or excluded. The video features deaf and hearing children from primary schools in St Albans who regularly work and play together.
For information and resources visit the website of the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
Budding songwriters from across the country have been helping write our new sign2sing song for 2016. In a new competition, we asked schools to come up with lyrics for a song on the theme of ‘Kindness – a language we can all share’. We had a fantastic response with children coming up with some really inspiring words about being kind to others and stopping bullying.
Eleven year old Hollie Williams, a pupil at Baden Powell and St Peter’s Junior School in Poole, impressed judges from SignHealth and Bottle Top Music with her powerful lyrics.
Hollies’s lyrics remind people that we are all the same underneath and should treat one another with kindness and compassion:
“Reach out your hand
To someone today
Let kindness lead the way
People we are all the same”
“I love sign2sing and I like to sign’ says Hollie ‘My mum signs at work and has been teaching me’”
Hollie will now meet the songwriters and feature in a special recording of the 2016 song and video. She’ll also see her lyrics featured on the sign2sing website and on marketing materials.
Who knows? It could be the start of a songwriting career for Hollie. You heard it here first!