A minority of our learners started using BSL naturally, at a very early age and have been able to adopt BSL as a first language because their families have been able to supply full support and fluency. This has enabled them to develop age-appropriate language skills. The majority of our learners however, have not had access to fluent users of BSL, nor English as a first language in the home and so are significantly delayed in terms of developing a fluent first language with which to think and learn.
Braidwood provides a language rich environment, which means our learners have the opportunity to become equally fluent communicators through the Total Communication approach, e.g. clarifying using BSL, visual aids, communication in print etc., to enhance understanding. The sign language used in Total Communication is more closely related to English.
Our English curriculum is designed to meet the particular needs of our learners, whilst satisfying statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. The public examination system provides access arrangements for deaf learners, however all examination candidates are required to be able to read and respond using written English. This is why we make English a priority in our school.
We are preparing our young people to be as successful as they possibly can and to enter the workforce and enabling them to live productive and fulfilling lives. Every learner at Braidwood has the opportunity to become fluent in British Sign Language (BSL) and BSL is part of the timetable commitment for every learner with examinations offered in Key Stage 4. BSL enables many deaf learners and adults to communicate easily with each other and can form part of their deaf iden7ty. Whichever method of communication a young person selects, Braidwood School is happy to support their choice.
For more information please view the attachment below.