Alison teaches BSL to school pupils

05 August 2016

The holidays are almost over and children everywhere are getting ready to go back to school and so is TouchBase regular Alison, who will be teaching BSL to local school children.

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Alison always dreamed of working with children so her support worker Elaine helped her teach BSL to local school children. The project has been so successful. Alison's been asked to work with the school again next year.

Elaine said: "Alison is a right people person and really enjoys being around children.

"Her ambition to work with children has been a constant for many years. She lives across the road from a school and used to see the school children from the window and was always telling me she wanted to work in the school."

Local school enthusiastic

Alison is also profoundly deaf with visual impairment with a learning disability so Elaine, who has supported her for five years at Coatbridge Housing Support Services, wracked her brain for ideas to help Alison's dream come true so Elaine decided to speak to the local school.

Ellen Turnbull, Head Teacher at Our Lady & St Joseph's, Springboig, North Lanarkshire met the idea with great enthusiasm.

It was agreed Alison would help deliver a four week course with the school, which centred around sensory awareness and how everyone was different.

Alison prepared the lesson plans herself and spent her evenings at home researching fun ways to engage with the children creating her own games and flashcards.

Alison even created personalised booklets for each of the children to fill in about themselves.

Alison's lessons

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Alison also used mufflers and eye-masks and sensory food like jelly and spaghetti, to help the children understand what it is like living with sensory impairment.

In four weeks, Alison's pupils learned their names, colours, the alphabet and even how to sign the rainbow song. They also celebrated their achievements with a special graduation ceremony.

The pupils were also treated to a guided tour of TouchBase Glasgow, where Alison is a regular, and took part in one of our spin art sessions. The artwork holds a proud place in the school reception. A very popular Alison was also invited to celebrate the children's First Holy Communion.

Other schools want to work with Alison

Registered Manager at Coatbridge Housing Association, Beth Mallon said: "What's been great is that it's not all one-sided - the children react and respond very well to Alison and are very curious and want to learn about her.

"Alison has a great relationship with the children and the school are keen for the relationship to continue."

The project has been so successful, not only she been invited back to Our Lady & St Joseph's next year but other schools in the area are interested in working with Alison too.