On the 15th March 2023 Signature, in partnership with the British Deaf Association (BDA), are inviting primary schools across the country to take part in the UK’s largest online British Sign Language (BSL) lesson as part of Sign Language Week.
The online lesson gives schools the opportunity to learn BSL from a qualified Deaf teacher and to see how their students enjoy the experience.Because British Sign Language is a visual and spatial language, language learning is different! Learning BSL will enhance vocabulary, spelling and understanding of language and build inclusivity into the classroom, while improving learning for all. Primary schools who already deliver BSL have seen a rapid growth in their children’s confidence to use BSL to communicate not only within school, but also within the community.
The BSL lesson will be held online on Wednesday 15 March 2023 from 10am – 10:30am. It will also be available to view online after that date to use with future classes.
The lesson will be part of the Sign Language Week celebration, which takes place from 13th to 19th March 2023. Sign Language Week is run on an annual basis by the BDA. The theme of this year’s campaign will be “Protecting BSL”.
Sign Language Week is run on an annual basis by the BDA. The aim of the campaign is to encourage people of all ages across the UK to take up the challenge of learning BSL for themselves and finding out more about the language and culture of the Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing British people for whom BSL is their first or preferred language. Last year, on 28 April 2022, BSL was recognised in law with the BSL Act 2022 as an indigenous language of Great Britain. This was a coalition effort, including Signature, which was led by the BDA.
The class will be delivered by a Deaf teacher, accredited by Signature.
Lindsay Foster, Executive Director at Signature said: “we are really excited to be delivering this lesson as part of Sign Language Week, along with British Deaf Association. BSL is a wonderful language and children love to learn it, we hope that by delivering this lesson it can show schools the benefits of offering sign language as part of their curriculum.
Sign Language Week is a lovely celebration of the language, culture, and diversity of the deaf community. As an organisation we enjoy being a part of it and it’s really important to promote the beautiful, unique, visual language, this lesson gives us a great way to do that”.
Rebecca Mansell, Chief Executive at the British Deaf Association said: “We are delighted to partner with Signature to deliver the biggest-ever online BSL lesson for primary schools during Sign Language Week 2023.
This year marks 20 years since the UK Government first acknowledged that British Sign Language is a language in its own right. We are also celebrating the recent passage of the BSL Act (2022) which finally recognised British Sign Language in law after many years of campaigning by the Deaf community.
We hope that this new legislation will encourage more and more children, young people and adults to learn our unique, dynamic, visual language and find out more about Deaf culture.
We look forward to the first cohort of students starting the BSL GCSE, which is currently in development with the Department for Education, and hope that similar curricula will be developed for primary schools in the near future.”
Schools who are interested in signing up for the lesson can do so by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BSL_lesson