Singing and signing in a school challenge for SignHealth charity

A group of pupils from Newminster Middle School.
A group of pupils from Newminster Middle School.

Two Morpeth schools came together to do a fun activity in aid of a charity for the deaf.

SignHealth called on children and adults to perform a song in sign language while singing it at the same time.

A group of pupils from Chantry Middle School.

A group of pupils from Chantry Middle School.

Community groups, choirs, schools, businesses and children’s groups have been participating in the annual challenge this week and Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools and Technology Colleges were among them.

On Tuesday morning, all pupils and members of staff at both schools signed and sang Reach Out Your Hand, after doing Friends Forever as a warm-up. The Chantry contingent followed the Newminster contingent.

Makaton programme signs were used. Students were taught them in music lessons from the start of term and there were practice runs in whole school and key stage assemblies.

The sign2sing initiative also raises funds for SignHealth and the schools are hoping that once all the money has been collected, the total will be in the region of £700.

Curriculum leader of creative arts at Chantry and Newminster, Charlotte Jones, said: “The pupils were excited about doing the challenge and they practiced at home as well using the video guide produced by SignHealth. Members of staff also did video training.

“This was the first time we had done it across the two schools and everyone was totally engaged in the activity.

“We also taught pupils the British Sign Language alphabet to enable them to sign words and they understood the importance of raising awareness about deaf issues.

“Our hearing impaired children were student leaders for this activity as they helped their fellow pupils with learning the more difficult signs.”