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Calder Vale St John C of E Primary School

Grow, Achieve, Explore

Making a Difference




At Calder Vale St. John's, we know we have the power to make a difference. From writing to the local news to keep our swimming pool open (which we succeeded in doing!) to promoting the welfare of our local hedgehogs we have made our mark in our community.

This year, we are championing a cause very close to the hearts of our school, our families and our community - the National Deaf Children's Society. Last year, some of our older pupils attended Poulton Civic Centre to take part in their Local Democracy Week. We asked the Deputy Mayor and members of the local council what they were doing to implement the BSL Act - they didn't have an answer for us!


The British Sign Language Act supports inclusion and equality for Deaf people in society through 3 clauses:

  • Recognising BSL as a language for England, Wales, and Scotland
  • Requiring the Secretary of State to report on the promotion and facilitation of the use of BSL across Government departments
  • Issuing guidance to Government departments and public bodies (such as the NHS and local councils), about how they can meet the needs of BSL signers for whom BSL is their first or preferred language.


You can find out more about the BSL Act and why it is so important to deaf children here. 


We want the change to go even further!


The World Federation of the Deaf approved a declaration of rights for deaf children last July. It proposes the following ten articles:


  • Article 1: All deaf children, like all humans, are born free and equal in dignity and rights. 
  • Article 2: All deaf children have a right to sign language. 
  • Article 3: The right of deaf children to their national sign language(s) shall not be infringed. 
  • Article 4: All parents, carers and family members of deaf children must be provided with free instruction in their national sign language(s).  
  • Article 5: All deaf children have a right to quality, inclusive, multilingual education in their national sign language(s) and the national written language(s).  
  • Article 6: All deaf children have a right to learn the linguistic identity and culture of the deaf community.  
  • Article 7: All deaf children have the right to protection from language deprivation. Not providing access to the national sign language(s) to all deaf children constitutes discrimination. 
  • Article 8: All deaf children have a right to fluent national sign language models, including teachers in education.  
  • Article 9: All deaf children have a right to express their views on all matters affecting them. 
  • Article 10: All the above declarations must be implemented for all deaf children immediately and without delay.  


We think these articles should be made law. We think articles 4 and 5 are especially important. In our school, we are able to provide an interpreter for our deaf children and their families and we can offer sign language lessons. This is not the case in the majority of schools. We want this to change.


We are dedicating our fundraising activities this year to supporting the National Deaf Children's Society. We have been practising our Sign Language Alphabet in school and, with the support of the NDCS, we are holding a Sponsored Fingerspellathon on Thursday 21st March along with a Bake Sale to raise funds along with lots of exciting activities including quizzes, competitions and signed stories to raise awareness amongst our school community.


Willow Class will be writing to our local MP, Ben Wallace, to ask him what he is doing to implement the BSL Act in our area and find out what his views are on the declaration of rights above. We will keep you posted!



Our reply from Ben Wallace

We were on BBC Northwest Tonight

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Follow the link below to see Mrs. Scholz interview us about what how we raised money; who we raised it for; what difference we want to make and how we hope to do it! You can also watch us signing one of our favourite songs - 'Together We Can Change the World!'

We were very proud to receive this email from the NDCS:



Dear Staff and Children,

I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to express our heartfelt gratitude for your incredible efforts in organising the recent fundraiser for us at your school. You all went to such a lot of effort, and we loved looking through your wonderful photos and video clips. We particularly loved your singing and signing and the way in which you explained why you are so keen to support our deaf friends. We also thought that the letter to your local MP was very special too, I do hope he comes to visit you!

Your dedication and hard work have made a significant impact, helping us raise vital funds and awareness.


Thank you for your outstanding contribution to the lives of deaf children and young people, helping them to break down and overcome obstacles that can hold them back.  We are fortunate to have you as part of our team.

Kind regards,



Fundraising Assistant

Partner Chapter

The National Deaf Children's Society               




Learn the BSL Alphabet with us!

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