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College supports hearing impaired children say “This is Me!”

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Bishop Auckland College has supported a local primary school with their deaf awareness campaign and fundraising activities.

Durham Gilesgate Primary School have been raising money in the run up to Deaf Awareness Week, which runs 14th-20th May. Durham Gilesgate is a mainstream primary school which is additionally resourced for children who have Hearing-Impairment or are deaf. Pupils with hearing impairment are fully included in the school and where appropriate are taught predominantly within the mainstream class. Staff from the Inclusion and Achievement SEND Team are based in the school site . This specialist team comprises of qualified Teachers of the Deaf, an Education Audiologist, a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, a Communication Support Worker, a Deaf Worker and Specialist Support Assistants. 

Bishop Auckland College have supported the school in their fundraising efforts by providing t-shirts for staff and students for their assembly activities and fundraising events. Organised and coordinated by School Liaison Officer Liam Temple, the College provided almost 30 t-shirts of various sizes. These were designed and produced by BAC Print, an in-house design and print business ran by Sean Keeble with support from Alex Tighe. 

The t-shirts were designed around the theme of ‘This is Me’, encouraging the young pupils to have confidence in their skills and identity. Representatives from the College attended an assembly which saw pupils performing a short play on deaf awareness and the challenges facing deaf and hearing impaired children in the classroom. After this over 20 pupils performed the song ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman entirely in British Sign Language to thunderous applause from parents, carers, teachers, guests, members of the deaf community and other students. Headteacher Mark Turner commented: 

 “The Hearing Impaired children in our school were simply amazing; their performance raised the profile of deaf awareness with adults and children alike and it was wonderful to see such confident children celebrating their identity in such as positive way.”

After the performance Bishop Auckland College were applauded for their support of the event. Both staff and children at the school were incredibly grateful for the support provided, with staff adding that the children would treasure the t-shirts as a positive memory of the event. They also sent a special message of thanks:

All money raised is going to the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). NDCS is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people. There are over 45,000 deaf children living in the UK, and 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents with little or no experience of deafness or knowledge of how to communicate with a deaf person. So far the school has raised £487 and are planning a range of further events. 

Bishop Auckland College is a proud supporter of equality and diversity.