Good Practice in working with deaf learners, their parents and families - British Sign Language (BSL) Plan
This professional learning resource is built around the films 'Working with deaf learners and their families' created by schools working with deaf learners and deaf parents. It shares advice and examples of good practice for practitioners about how to engage more effectively with British Sign Language users.
The resource comprises film clips, a PowerPoint presentation for a professional learning session and a professional learning reflection tool.
Explore this resource
The Scottish Government wants to make Scotland the best place in the world for British Sign Language (BSL) users to live, work and visit. This means that people whose first or preferred language is BSL will be fully involved in daily and public life in Scotland, as active, healthy citizens.
The BSL National Plan sets out ten long-term goals for Scotland covering: Accessibility of information and services to BSL users; family support, early learning and childcare; school education; post school education; training, work and social security; health, mental health and wellbeing; transport; culture and the arts and justice and democracy.
The BSL National plan was developed with the active participation of D/deaf and Deafblind BSL users who worked with public bodies as part of the BSL National Advisory Group.
This resource reflects Action Points 20 and 21
20 Work with Education Scotland to share advice and examples of good practice for education professionals and support staff about how to engage effectively with parents who use BSL.
21 Work with BSL users to develop information and advice about how parents who use BSL can get further involved in their child’s learning. This work will be led by Education Scotland.
- What is happening at present in your school to Promote BSL and communicate effectively with learners their parents and families?
- Do we have a culture and ethos where deaf learners, parents and families thrive and succeed in our school?
- Does our transitions policy and practice allow deaf learners in our early learning and childcare settings/schools to thrive and succeed?
How to use this resource
How to use this professional learning resource to improve practice:
The ‘good practice in working with deaf learners and parents’ film clips give some examples of advice and good practice for practitioners about how to engage effectively with deaf learners, their parents and families.
The PowerPoint explores the film further and looks at four recurring themes:
- Communication and access - Promoting BSL in early learning and childcare settings and schools
- Culture and ethos
- Deaf awareness: deaf history and culture
Theme 1: communication and access
Promoting BSL in early learning and childcare settings and schools.
In these clips the depute head at St Roch’s Secondary School in Glasgow describes how professional learning in British Sign Language is rolled out across the school and the impact of this on learner attainment and achievement.
In this clip the depute head at St Roch’s Secondary School in Glasgow describes how deaf parents are involved in school improvement.
In this clip the principal teacher at St Thomas’ Primary School and Nursery Class describes how staff support learners who have deaf parents.
In this clip we hear from a deaf secondary school learner and his deaf Mum about how the school communicates with them and the learner describes how he works with signing teachers to learn new concepts. He then describes his experience of transition to main stream classes for some of his subjects.
In this clip a deaf secondary school learner describes what supports he needs to access the wider curriculum, in particular his work experience.
In this clip a hearing primary school learner describes how the school supported her with her learning in the early years.
Theme 2 Culture and ethos
In this clip a deaf parent describes how she works with the primary school to support her children.
Theme 3 Transitions and Support for Health and Wellbeing
In this clip the depute head teacher at St Roch’s Secondary School describes the importance of transitions and how they are managed P7-S1.
In this film clip a deaf secondary school learner and his deaf mum explain how the school supports them when there are health and wellbeing issues.
Theme 4 Deaf History and Culture
In this clip a deaf secondary school learner describes how the school ensures he has access to cultural activities and the importance of deaf history and culture for learners.
Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act (2004) - provides the legal framework for the provision of additional support for learning. The legislation was amended by the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act (2009).
National Improvement Framework - Sets out the vision and priorities for Scottish education and the improvements that need to be made to help deliver those priorities.
British Sign Language National Plan - sets out actions to help ensure deaf and deafblind BSL users are fully involved in all aspects of daily and public life.
This guidance on the National Improvement Hub provides information and advice on working with deaf learners in the ESOL learning setting. The accompanying samples of learning and teaching materials shows one approach to working with a group of deaf learners from another country.
Parentzone Scotland page giving information and support for families for whom English is an additional language (EAL)
British Sign Language (BSL) - Toolkit for Practitioners - This British Sign Language (BSL) Toolkit sets out the key national legislation and General Teaching Council for Scotland standards which practitioners should be aware of when working with BSL users.