“I would like to nominate Simon to be recognised because he has maintained the high quality of teaching throughout. Our course started in October 2019. Shortly before sitting the 102 and 103 exams in 2020 Covid meant that classes had to be suspended. Teaching was then moved onto Zoom but Simon did the best he could have done and the quality of teaching remained high. The 102 exam was able to go ahead last December. The 3rd lockdown meant classes being suspended again but we recently returned for a few face to face classes before sitting the 103 exam (just waiting for the results). Despite all of this classes have always been fun as well and Simon has been incredibly patient and encouraging.” – Georgia (BSL level 1 student)
“Carol has adapted lessons and made them interesting and enjoyable, even on the dreaded zoom. She’s been there to answer our questions and supported the classes going above and beyond to get us to.the exam stage with the knowledge and skills we need. It’s been tough as a student!” – Michelle (BSL Level 1 & 2 student)
“Jayne has been absolutely incredible before lockdown and through lockdown. She has always believed in me when I didn’t feel I could carry on the course. She has been absolutely amazing and so so supportive. She deserves to be recognized and to realize how amazing she is.” – Sophie (Level 2 student)
“Deb is a fantastic teacher. Although there is so much to learn and take on board, she makes it fun and achievable. She seamlessly adapts to each student, and is patient with your mistakes. Her teaching methods are inclusive and she always manages to get the best out of you through encouragement and laughs along the way. Her reassurance means that no matter how overwhelming each unit might be, you know that she will help guide you through it and help you achieve. Also this is my first BSL course, I’ve done many courses through my career and Deb is hands down the best instructor I’ve had.” – Sarah (BSL Level 1 student)
“Zayne has taught a large proportion of my level 2 and 3 via Zoom and has been so creative and flexible to enable this to happen. Zayne’s teaching style is always packed with energy and interactive games. He spent hours perfecting a murder mystery game for us to play, incorporating facts relating to Deaf history and culture. Next week we will be doing an escape room game for which we need to brush up on our linguistics in order to escape! I’m really excited! I want him to be nominated because he always puts the fun into learning. It is clear that Zayne takes great pride in his work. His passion for BSL and Deaf culture is abundantly clear. After 2 years of learning with Zayne he has remained consistent in his teaching…always giving 100% to his students. I can’t rate him highly enough!” – Vikki (BSL Level 2 & 3 student)
“He’s been amazing at keeping everyone motivated, always creating new games and encouraging us all with our learning”. – Amy (BSL Level 3 student)
“Zayne has been an amazing tutor coping with the so many adjustments that had to be made to our Level 2 course being moved to online where most of us had no previous experience. He put in so much extra hours to ensure that the lessons could continue with Zoom and kept us all motivated with his enthusiasm and his infectious humour enabling us to laugh so much together even tho we were not together in person. He bent over backwards to ensure that we had access to everything he taught and would find methods to explain to us in a simple way. In addition, he helped us prepare for our Level 2 exams which had to be taken online and although it was quite stressful, Zayne ensured that we were confident to take it.
This commitment that he gave us in Level 2 ensured that I was happy to continue to Level 3 in September 2020. I thought this would be easy as it would be in person but soon enough we entered yet another lockdown. Again the course had to be moved onto Zoom however Zayne was more prepared this time and produced so many creative games that could be done on Zoom, especially my favourite one, which was a murder mystery game which was fantastic to use our so many new skills and knowledge that we attained in Level 3. It is such a great pleasure to be taught by Zayne and this recognition would assist him knowing that he is such a great teacher!
In addition to Zayne, he had amazing support from his BSL manager, Emma Caswell, who had to manage so many classes online with the tutors and also ensuring that all of us had access to the Google Classroom, resources etc. A big shout to Emma too!” – Katy (BSL Level 2 & 3 student)
“I always wanted to do Level 3 for many years but never had the confidence to enrol on a course due to bad experience at other centres. Zayne was recommended by a colleague who did her Level 3 with him. I enrolled and thoroughly enjoyed the course. He was very inclusive. He is such a brilliant teacher and learning was thoroughly enjoyable. Every topic covered was delivered extremely well. Zayne definitely needs recognition for his excellent teaching.” – Nisha (BSL Level 3 student)
“He is patient and understanding. He is full of encouragement and enthusiasm. He is inspirational I feel lucky and privileged to have met him yet alone been taught by him. He is such a lovely young man.” – Jacqueline (BSL Level 3 student)
“Zayne has taught a large proportion of my level 2 and 3 via Zoom and has been so creative and flexible to enable this to happen. Zayne’s teaching style is always packed with energy and interactive games. He spent hours perfecting a murder mystery game for us to play, incorporating facts relating to Deaf history and culture. Next week we will be doing an escape room game for which we need to brush up on our linguistics in order to escape! I’m really excited! I want him to be nominated because he always puts the fun into learning.
It is clear that Zayne takes great pride in his work. His passion for BSL and Deaf culture is abundantly clear. After 2 years of learning with Zayne he has remained consistent in his teaching…always giving 100% to his students. I can’t rate him highly enough!” – Vikki (BSL Level 2 & 3 student)
“She has been a star through my level 4 transitioning to on online learning with all the frustations and stresses that went with new technology etc and she got me through it with her positivity and support and her belief in me as an older leaner when self doubts crept in. The qualitity of teaching is superb and her passion for the language is infectious and second to none. She gives you the confidence to venture out into the deaf world and the skills to interact with the deaf community and its culture. I recommend her to everyone who asks me about about BSL lessons” – Sally (BSL Level 4 student)
“I really struggle with confidence but Jon has managed to encourage me and support me through level 3 BSL, especially considering that I had a huge break between level 2 and 3 so forgot so much! Jon is calm, patient and super funny! and without him I would not have been able to get through this course, being a single mum who works full time he never let me give up which I will forever be grateful for.” – Jemma (BSL Level 3 student)
“She has been through a lot with my class over the last couple of years. We started on NVQ and changed to the new system. She then had numerous things to learn to make our sessions go smoothly. In the last 14 months she has had to deal with cancelling our March exams, submitting and resubmitting to Signature due to the system change. We then had an exam arranged for after the November lockdown which didn’t happen because it didn’t arrive so she had to cancel and rearrange. This was then cancelled due to lockdown. She’s then had remote sessions to keep us going and prepare for exams as well as finally getting exams booked in and arranging mine to take place remotely. Nicola then worked hard in chasing results.” – Nicola (BSL Level 6 student)
“The success of Talking Hands is down to Nicola a Deaf woman with her own company; not only is it a magnificent achievement but she has been a role model to many other Deaf women. Nicola was with us throughout the lock down, keeping us motivated and always going that extra mile to keep in contact with us and making sure we were ok. If Nicola McCabe does not get any recognition for her outstanding ability to teach, then I will be shocked! Especially as Nicola has been liasing with Signature for years and her pass rate to prove it!” – Louise (BSL Level 6 student)
“I am currently studying my Level 4 course online with Karen, and wish to nominate her to be recognised due to the incredible support and encouragement she has offered to me and my classmates this year. I discovered my passion for BSL back in 2000 when I started my Level 1 course, and it has grown steadily ever since, thanks to the wonderful Deaf community and some fantastic tutors. However, due to severe ME/CFS, it has taken me this long to make it to Level 4. Because of my very limited energy, struggles with pain and memory problems, learning BSL has never been easy. I have had to drop out of numerous courses and repeat levels as I have missed so many classes. This year with Karen has been a revelation! Studying from home was immediately easier for me as I didn’t need to use energy on travelling to a class or trying to sit upright in an unsupportive chair.
But it was Karen’s support that has really made it so different. Right from the beginning when Karen talked us through getting the most out of our online classes (and how to use features of Zoom that I’m sure were just as new to her as they were to us), her enthusiasm and encouragement were infectious. Every week, Karen has provided incredibly clear and detailed PowerPoints to back up her teaching and give us easy-to-access revision tools. She has carefully balanced our receptive and productive homework and encouraged us to learn new vocabulary every week, so that we are able to see our own progress and improvements over the weeks in a way that I’ve not experienced before. She has facilitated a bond between my classmates and I that enabled each of us to find our strengths and support each other’s weaknesses. When we had questions about something, she went above and beyond to find the answer and reassure us.
More than any of this, she has enabled me to see past my illness and focus on the skills I have learned over the years. She has offered support when I have missed lessons, understood when I had to make the difficult decision not to take the exams this year, and has generally made her classes the highlight of the week during an otherwise challenging year.
I would also like to mention the support I have received from Caroline Palmer and Talking Hands. I am so impressed with the way they go the extra mile, with communication clubs for different levels, WhatsApp groups for support and a community feeling among students, and just their general positive attitude.” – Cathy (BSL Level 4 student)
“Paula has the most amazing ability to keep learning fun and engaging. Even during difficult times when having to learn via zoom and do exam via zoom, her encouragement and support was outstanding. I have never enjoyed learning something so much thanks to her. She also helped us blend and support each other as a group. I now have some life long friends.” – Karen (BSL Level 1 student)
“Paula has been an incredible teacher. She has inspired and encouraged us, has always been there for us, picked us up when we were down and made every single one of us believe that we could do it. And we did! We all passed Level 1! Zoom classes have been such a challenge and she has managed to make them fun and educational. On a personal note this has been a really difficult year for me with personal loss and health problems and Paula has been so supportive. My weekly sign language class has been my ray of light in a lot of darkness and Paula is responsible for that.” – Julia (BSL Level 1 student)
“Paula is an absolutely amazing tutor, her attention to detail is amazing but also makes the class fun and Paula knows everyone so well. We laughed so much throughout the past 30 weeks and also learnt so much. She is an incredible person and most definitely deserves this award. Thank you” – Joanne (BSL Level 1 student)
“Very knowledgeable and supportive teacher.” – Gosia (BSL Level 1 student)
“Jo is profoundly deaf and has a real passion for BSL which is infectious. Covid meant that all formal classes and the regular social events she normally stages came to a halt abruptly. Not wanting to leave us, her students high snd dry she had to embrace the dreaded technology. I say embrace, there was some tackling and grappling done first but Jo strove to provide her level 1, 2 and 3 groups with the support and practice we all needed.
Our level 3 course had finished and we had completed mock assessments just 3 days before lockdown – we were gutted! Jo provided classes, receptive practice and support giving up her own time at no extra cost just so that we could keep going: this is her dedication to this wonderful language. I am especially grateful for her working with the Covid restrictions to enable me to complete my assessments and pass Level 3. Jo brings BSL to life, arranging social events for deaf and hearing to come together, this gives us a real chance to use our skills, build on them and be fully deaf aware. This is why we learn.” – Kay (BSL Level 3 student)
“Amanda is an amazing teacher who has gone above and beyond to make sure that I have been able to achieve Level 2 when the centre I previously attended were no longer offering the course. Amanda offered up her time (around her full-time job) to teach me one to one. As well as giving me everything I need to pass my Signature exams, Amanda has shared so much with me about deaf awareness and the conventions of sign language beyond the exam room. Amanda is the best teacher I could have asked for and she deserves this recognition!” – Ciara (BSL Level 2 student)
“Where do you start with Amanda? Firstly she is a great teacher. Very informative and goes at a good pace which is demanding to keep up with at times but is perfect as after each lesson i feel i have learned a lot. Although serious and professional at all times Amanda keeps the lessons friendly and light. Making a joke at the right time if somebody is finding it a bit tough to keep everything positive. Everybody is always smiling in Amanda’s class, i have never seen a miserable face once. Amanda always makes herself available to be contacted which i have taken advantage of on many occasions. Extra one on one sessions are available if anybody misses a lesson through sickness etc to catch up and she always posts notes and power points of each lesson so you can always revise and freshen up.
This makes Amanda a brilliant teach, no doubt, but there are many good teachers out there i am sure. The thing that separates Amanda from the rest is that she would walk through walls for her class. During the last 16 or so months Amanda’s health has not been great. However Amanda continued to perform Zoom classes every week, even from hospital. Sometimes we had to pause while the hospital brought her evening meal down. It was an incredible act of determination and dedication to getting her class over the finishing line for level 2.
These great acts gave me inspiration to make sure i revise hard and pass these tests in appreciation of what Amanda was doing for us. In a nutshell Amanda is the best teacher i have ever had and i strongly believe she is worthy of recognition for her efforts that were way beyond my expectations.” – Lester (BSL Level 2 student)
“Emma has worked really hard to keep lessons engaging whilst on zoom, and she has adjusted her planning and the lessons to fit. She has ensured that Covid does not mean we fall behind.” – Liz (BSL Level 2 student)
“My teacher Emma Somerville, has made me feel so welcome from the very first day , I started my level 3 course. Always so efficient and professional. Treated us all fairly and always had time for me. Presentation PowerPoint were great! Especially during lockdown recently and continuously delivered our lessons via zoom which worked out well and made videos and power points per week so we were up-to-date of what we had missed if we had been in real class. Brilliant course and would definitely recommend this Signing company five star reviews from me. Always going that extra mile for all of us students. Always making sure we understand what we have been learning. Such an amazing teacher!” – Victoria (BSL Level 3 student)
“She has been so dedicated to teaching us a d has spent an immense amount of time providing feedback on homework and mocks on a 1:1 basis. She makes her classes fun and her sense of humour if infectious.” – Jackie (BSL Level 2 student)
“Emma is an excellent teacher. Teaching BSL in a professional, clear and fun way to learn. During the pandemic we were all able to continue our studies through zoom. These lessons were delivered very well under the circumstances. Emma remained positive and organised during this period of uncertainty and change. The delivery and teaching standards never dipped and we continued to receive an excellent service from Simply Signed. Emma should be recognised for her achievements on delivery and enabling the students to still achieve bsl level 1 and bsl 2 qualifications during these difficult times.” – Nicola (BSL Level 2 student)
“Emma has been a wonderful teacher. Patient, encouraging, fun, serious, honest and has given me the confidence in my ability. Emma has taken the disruptions of this year in her stride, ensuring lessons continued, with minimal loss of learning, through hard work and dedication. Learning with Emma has been a pleasure.” – Julia (BSL Level 2 student)
“Emma is/has been the most amazing tutor! I started off learning in the classroom then due to the pandemic this quickly changed to zoom. Emma ensured that we didn’t miss out and still was able to access lessons and have her full support! Emma always put your mind at ease and will support you wherever she can!” – Jessica (BSL Level 3 student)
“Emma has been a great teacher especially during these restricted times. Always available, understanding and patient, no question is too silly! I really enjoy learning BSL and she is an inspiration, makes me challenge myself to learn all that is possible.” – Sharon (BSL Level 2 student)
“Emma is a Great teacher I have learn a great deal in her class. Her lessons are relaxed, fun and informative. The lessons were classroom based but during lockdown she continued to teach on Zoom. Emma was always prompt to reply to Emails or texts. Homework feedback was given every week with tips on how to improve ourselves I have enjoyed learning with Emma and have recommended Simply Signed to friends who are keen to learn BSL.” – Laura (BSL Level 3 student)
“I have learnt so much this year, Emma is so knowledgeable and understanding and very kind a fantastic teacher.” – Joanne (BSL Level 3 student)
“I thought learning to sign via Zoom was something I would never be able to do or even enjoy, however thanks to Minna I’ve been able to do both!! Minna is an amazing teacher with a clear passion for teaching BSL. I’m never scared to ask her anything and she never makes you feel stupid. She is 100% committed to giving her students a quality education” – Natasha (BSL Level 2 student)