VOICES and hands brought songs to life as hundreds of schoolchildren took part in a world record-breaking attempt to combine singing and sign language.
Youngsters at schools across The News area belted out The New Seekers’ 1970s song I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, to help raise money for deaf people’s charity SignHealth yesterday afternoon.
They were among more than 100,000 boys and girls as far off as Africa and America contributing to the marathon sign2sing event.
The challenge looks likely to make history, as the current world record stands at just 13,418 people.
Heather Carne, music co-ordinator at Cliffdale Primary, a special school in North End where all 100 pupils took part, said: ‘It was a truly uplifting experience.
‘We’ve all worked very hard learning the sign language and everyone was excited to be a part of a big occasion for a great cause.’
Beth Bowpitt, 15, a pupil at Horndean Technology College, said: ‘It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun learning how to sign.
‘I’m thrilled to have been a part of such a huge event, and it’s inspired me to learn even more sign language.’
The Horndean school’s music teacher Jason Edgell added: ‘Today has been a fantastic opportunity to link together with our feeder infant school to achieve something so special. We are proud to have been part of a world record attempt.
‘As a music teacher, it has been of particular importance as music can be equally as accessible to the hearing-impaired.’
Other schools that took part in the global singing and signing event included Horndean Infants, Horndean Juniors, Grange Juniors in Gosport, Newton Soberton Infants in Fareham and The Waterloo School in Waterlooville.
Steve Powell, chief executive at SignHealth, said: ‘It is still to be confirmed by Guinness World Records but we believe we have broken the world record as in total more than 100,000 people registered to take part.
‘The previous world record was 13,418 people so we believe we have smashed this. However, exact verification from Guinness will be available we understand in early March.
‘It has been a truly fantastic event and we’re extremely grateful to everyone who took part.’
Pupils entering had the choice to make a voluntary donation of £2 to SignHealth.