Portsmouth schoolchildren star in sign language music video and play games to learn more about being deaf and blind

SCHOOLCHILDREN in the city took part in a day of games and even made their own music video to learn more about what it means to be deaf and blind.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:54 pm

More than 800 pupils at King’s Academies Northern Parade, in Hilsea, attended a sensory awareness day complete with learning Braille, blind tasting, a five-sense scavenger hunt and a visit from a hearing dog.

They also starred in their own music video performing A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman using sign language.

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Sensory awareness day on 1st October 2021 at Kings academies Northern Parade school, Portsmouth Pictured: Year 4 writing their names in Braille Picture: Habibur Rahman

Michelle Buxton, a hearing impaired and British Sign Language (BSL) specialist teaching assistant said: ‘We are really proud of this as our school Northern Parade is the home of the sensory resource. This means we have specialist staff who specialise in Braille and BSL and are able to modify and adapt work to meet sensory impaired children's needs and ensure they can remain in mainstream education.

‘Most exciting of all, the whole school made a signing video.

‘We chose this video because it celebrates the fact that we are all individuals and anyone can achieve anything they wish. The different classes signed different parts of the song which we have put together to create a video which the children will see this afternoon in assembly.’

Sensory awareness day on 1st October 2021 at Kings academies Northern Parade school, Portsmouth Pictured: Pupils tasting food without seeing Picture: Habibur Rahman

The school usually holds an annual sensory awareness day, however, the event last year was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

Visually impaired student Kendi Djimi, eight, helped organise the day. He said: ‘When you are blind or deaf it's really tricky and now all the children know it's tricky. I loved sensory day and I want another sensory day tomorrow.’

10-year-old Maddie Brodie, who is hearing impaired and also helped organise the event, added: ‘I feel proud because other children are learning how to sign, when we were in lockdown me and Miss Buxton and Miss Hussey helped me to make lots of videos on Google Classroom to help the other children at home learn how to sign.

‘It is hard, being deaf, I loved sensory day, especially meeting Milo the hearing dog and making and watching the video was good too. Lots of children smiled and I loved it.’

Sensory awareness day on 1st October 2021 at Kings academies Northern Parade school, Portsmouth Pictured: Jack 8 and Lloyd 8 playing football blindfolded Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Sensory awareness day on 1st October 2021 at Kings academies Northern Parade school, Portsmouth Pictured: Year 1 and Year 6 pupils with Milo the hearing dog Picture: Habibur Rahman