Clever choir’s sign of success

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A Christmas choir of children who sign as they sing is set to take the hearing impaired world by storm.

Chestnuts primary school has been chosen as the face of a world record breaking campaign by SignHealth, a charity for the deaf.

It is urging schools all over the country to learn a song in sign language and perform at the same time on the same day.

For the 300 plus Chestnuts pupils though, the task will be effortless.

For the youngsters are taught sign language routinely when they start school at four. By time they leave at the age of 11, they are fluent signers.

School spokesman Chris Nixon said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have a Hearing Impaired Provision unit here.

“We currently have seven children in the unit and they take part in all the mainstream activities. As a result, we promote the use of sign language on a daily basis.”

This means a specialist interpreter stands in front of the classroom during every lesson, assembly or event in the school. Even at the nativity play this week we had our interpreter,” said Chris.

“Sign language is just part of every day life for all our children. They tend to just absorb automatically.”

When the Bletchley school formed a choir, it was obvious it was going to be a signing one. Children worked extra hard to learn not only the words but the action of a range of songs.

The choir’s talent has already proved so impressive that it has been snapped up for bookings in the community, performing at a variety of stores, garden centres and residential homes for elderly people.

The performances raise cash for charity and this year’s chosen cause is Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.

> You can watch the signing choir in action via our website www.miltonkeynes.co.uk.