UCL DCAL staff hold Halloween workshop for deaf children
17 October 2012
Staff from the UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) held a one-day Halloween workshop at the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children on the 4th October. The children welcomed in the Halloween season in style with activities and games in British Sign Language (BSL).
Recognised by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’, with a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence for deaf education, the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children is very successful. The school has a large catchment area and children between the ages of two and eleven, and from a wide range of backgrounds, travel from across Greater London travel to study there.
The school has a bilingual philosophy which involves teaching using both BSL: the language of the Deaf community, and English: the language of the hearing community. These languages are equally valued and the children are encouraged to be proficient in both. Students from the Blanche Neville School for Deaf Children also joined Frank Barnes School pupils in getting involved in bringing the spooky Halloween season to life.
“Frank Barnes School staff were very enthusiastic about the event and working with them was a very rewarding experience. The day was tremendously enjoyable and a great success all round,” said Dr Manjula Patrick (UCL DCAL).
The day was tremendously enjoyable and a great success all round
Dr Manjula Patrick
With around 30 per cent deaf staff, DCAL brings together leading Deaf and hearing researchers in the fields of sign linguistics, psychology, and neuroscience, while also placing the Deaf community and sign language at its core.
The day ended with an impressive exhibition of the items made, with children encouraged to take their mementos home and DCAL will have a display in their building with items that children have made.
“We were delighted that the children asked if we would come back in March 2013 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of British Sign Language (BSL) being recognised as an official language in the UK,” said Dr Patrick. “We hope to build on our links with Frank Barnes School and we will certainly look for opportunities to organise similar events with other groups in the future.”
DCAL is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and this one-day workshop was also generously supported by the UCL Outreach Team.