Alongside the flourishing English and the Modern Foreign Languages departments at Talbot Heath School, girls are now being offered an introductory course in British Sign Language. It follows the recent visit from former pupil, Professor Anne Baker, who received a knighthood last year from the King of the Netherlands for her work with linguistics and the deaf community. The course is being offered to pupils and parents, consisting of ten sessions to allow participants to learn the basics of BSL. Angharad Holloway, a keen advocate of the BSL course, felt it was ‘highly beneficial to be able to communicate in this way and important to offer this to the school community where we have pupils with impaired hearing. It is also valuable for pupils' understanding of the wider community.’
So far the participants have learnt the alphabet and a variety of greetings, as well as understanding how the unique structure of sign language differs from spoken English. Lower 5 pupil Rosie Cousins said she has found the course very interesting so far. She explained, ‘I would like to go into teaching when I’m older and felt that this was a valuable skill to have as well as being great fun. It's also a great way to communicate with my friends silently!'