Local MP visit to observe our British Sign Language Life Skills lesson

16th March 22

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Local MPs Sarah Olney (Richmond Park) & Fleur Anderson (Putney, Roehampton & Southfields)
visited our school on Thursday 10th March to observe one of our British Sign Language lessons
with Feras from AMB Deaf Accessibility, as part of our Life Skills programme. They were joined
by Lisa, a deaf teacher from the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, with whom we are
setting up a partnership.

Both MPs came to show their support for the current parliamentary campaign that is driving
for recognition of British Sign Language as an official language of England, Wales and Scotland.
We have heard first-hand from Feras what challenges he has faced growing up as a deaf child
and adult.
The girls made us and Feras very proud, showing off the British Sign Language skills that they
have been working so hard on over the past few months.

Mrs Williams-Ryan explained to the MPs that diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of our
school community here at Falcons. We want our pupils to grow up fostering an environment
that is inclusive and one which celebrates differences. We are delighted to be a pioneering
school to host British Sign Language lessons.

Feras’s classes have been incredibly popular across all year groups, with the girls learning a
breadth of language skills, from colours, animals, numbers, greeting, everyday conversation,
family, days of the week in Reception, through to the alphabet, conversational skills and
communication in BSL about everyday life in our older year group lessons.

Sarah Olney was really impressed with our pupils’ skills and pleased to see British Sign
Language not only being recognised officially in the UK, but also beginning to be taught in
schools. Sarah has been working with Feras since she was elected in 2019, and she is delighted
to see that his passion for teaching the language is having such positive results. As for Fleur,
she supported Rosie Cooper’s Bill to provide legal recognition for British Sign Language earlier
this year, and said how fantastic it was to see Falcons School for Girls leading the way with
these BSL lessons for pupils.

Well done and thank you to all girls who participated in the session!