In February, our School pupils were filmed reading in British Sign Language (BSL) to a trained ‘Hearing Dog for the Deaf’ for a special news feature due to air on ITV West Country News in April.

ITV Westcountry reporter Claire Manning observed pupils reading to Hearing Dog, Niven, and his volunteer custodian, Pauline Young, in BSL.

Year 7 pupils including Oliver, Samuel, Milan and Jay, were filmed and interviewed with support from our BSL Instructor, Nikki James, and English Teacher Deb Thomas. Deb said,

“Our pupils did so well and we’re very proud of their confidence in front of the camera. They signed their books beautifully, with passion and imagination.”

The TV crew were also impressed with our pupils’ confidence in front of the camera. ITV Reporter Claire said,

“I love children’s stories and I’ve read the same books as your pupils many times. But this is by far the best I’ve ever seen the stories read. Signing really brought them to life. I was completely lost in the story.”

Niven, from the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, has been visiting the Academy weekly with Pauline as part of a programme to support our pupils with reading. The aim is for Niven to provide a calming influence by observing Year 7 while they read in BSL, giving them more confidence and instilling a love of reading.