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Yorkshire school introduces BSL lessons to help deaf student and raise awareness of British Sign Language

The British goverment are working to introduce British Sign Language (BSL) as a second language option at GCSE level of examination. Lythe primary school in Yorkshire have taken the intiative and will be teaching their kids BSL in the coming year.

In a newsletter to parents, headteacher Lisa Armstrong said: "As a school we have now decided to teach BSL as part of the children's learning of modern languages, all classes will participate in lessons at some point over the year.

"BSL is a recognised language, and is a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to another culture."

The school is keen to support the subject as one of their pupils, Alfie Blackwell, suffers from Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD), which causes a profound loss of hearing. It’s a complex condition which causes Alfie’s hearing to fluctuate, he can literally hear one minute and not the next.

Earlier this year, Alfie, who has just entered year 4 at the school, featured in the Whitby Gazette when pal Eve Winter studied for and passed her Cued Speech exams.

Alfie's mum, Sarah Blackwell, said: "The school have made a great decision to teach BSL as a subject, now hopefully others will follow suit to prepare for GCSE BSL coming in. It's great that they're doing this, we've come a long way and it's like they can't do enough for him. It's brilliant."

Mrs Armstrong said: "It's an exciting thing for us to do, especially as we have a child in school whose first language is BSL. It's important that the other children have the opportunity to learn it as well.

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Steve Claridge

Steve Claridge

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I have been wearing hearing aids since I was five years old, when a mild hearing loss was first diagnosed - now aged 45, that mild loss has progressed to a severe one and I rely on some pretty awesome hearing aid technology to be able to stay in the conversation. I'm passionate about helping people to understand hearing loss, hear more and communicate more easily.

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