About Longwill School for the Deaf
Longwill has a strong commitment to realising and celebrating the potential of our Deaf bilingual pupils. This underpins our vision, plans and action to improve and develop learning. Everyone in school has a sense of purpose, a passion for lifelong learning and a responsibility for his/her own development. Each child is viewed holistically and places a strong emphasis on personalised learning. Each and every member of the school is of equal worth. Tolerance, good behaviour and respect are therefore crucial.
We want independent free thinkers, ready for 21st century life, capable of embracing the technology of tomorrow, who are adaptable, self reliant resourceful and tolerant of change and who can contribute to the wider community.
Longwill is a bilingual, bicultural learning environment, which strives to support and develop the communication needs and abilities of its members so that the pupils are equipped to function effectively within both the Hearing and the Deaf world; proud of their heritage and confident to move freely in whichever world they choose.
The underlying principles associated with sign bilingualism are based on a linguistic and cultural minority view of deafness and a social model of disability. This includes the following:
Recognition of the language and culture of Deaf people
Recognition of the value of linguistic and cultural pluralism in society
The goals of removal of oppression and empowerment of deaf people
Equality of opportunity regardless of language , ethnicity, race, gender and disability The use of terms to describe deaf children, which reflect linguistic and cultural preferences
In a Sign Bilingual approach, equal status and use is given to both British Sign Language and English. The challenge for many students is to achieve age appropriate skills in both languages. In the case of children from minority ethnic groups recognition of their home language is important. The outcome of a sign bilingual education should be that each deaf child attains levels of competence and proficiency in BSL and English sufficient for their needs as a deaf child and as an adult. The process through which this is achieved should be the planned use of BSL and English before and throughout schooling. Changes to structure and organisation are needed for these to be achieved and implemented. These changes are enshrined in a range of policies.
The school strives to provide a safe, happy and effective learning environment for all ours pupils and welcome the views of parents as to whether this is the case.
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