GFE College student Rebekah has been inspiring mainstream sixth form students at a girl’s school in Exeter.

She taught British Sign Language (BSL) to students at The Maynard School, and chatted to them with the assistance of Emily Dare, Communication Support Worker (CSW).

Jaz Burrows and Andy Rice, Academy CSWs, led the sessions, which our CSW team run at schools and colleges as part of our outreach services.

They covered topics ranging from Deaf culture and daily life, to BSL and the role of CSWs, who support the Academy’s students in mainstream schools, colleges and universities.  Most of our CSWs have at least Level 3 British Sign Language (BSL) and some Level 6, to support deaf students in lessons and lectures.

Andy said that he invited Rebekah to help present their final session at The Maynard School because he was so impressed with the their pupils’ enthusiasm. He said:

“The Maynard sixth formers were very keen to learn about the Deaf community and BSL, picking up their signing skills very quickly. Because of this, I asked Rebekah to accompany me, along with Emily to support her in communication, to the last session.

“It was great to see the pupils at Maynard School using what they had learnt when talking and interacting with Rebekah.
“It was also lovely to see Rebekah gaining confidence, using her CSW and interacting with hearing girls of her own age.”

A teacher at The Maynard said:
“The entire four weeks have been brilliant. As a teacher I have thoroughly enjoyed it and been very inspired. It’s been fascinating.”

One sixth former added:
“It was really interesting hearing how Rebekah copes with everyday situations. I am happy to communicate with Rebekah with sign language that we’ve just learnt – it feels fantastic”.