SignSpell is a new initiative to improve children’s communication, spelling and literacy in Key Stages 1 and 2. It uses aspects of British Sign Language (BSL) to teach children new physical and practical ways to remember words and spelling.
SignSpell is brought to life following the adventures of friendly aliens Zip, Pella and Statz. Teachers and parents can join in the fun so that adults and children learn BSL together. With lesson plans, digital storybooks, activities and flashcards in our online learning hub, you don’t need any prior sign language knowledge to get started.
How does BSL boost children’s communication?
According to Jean Gross CBE, 6% of children leave primary school aged 11 with literacy levels of a 7 year old – or less. It is well researched and documented that a significant minority of children are failing to achieve the expected level at Key Stage 2.
Many teachers are discovering that sign language is an effective learning tool for all pupils. They report that children want to learn BSL and tend to acquire it easily.
Key benefits of BSL in the classroom:
- Supports extension of vocabulary when learning to read.
- Improves motor skills.
- Promotes faster learning through attentiveness and fascination.
- Broadens communication tools and encourages inclusion.
- Removes barriers when spoken language is inappropriate or impossible.
- Facilitates communication with deaf peers.
- Provides communication tool for children whose first language is not English.
SignSpell: An inclusive resource for teachers
SignSpell has been designed to help teachers make their lessons more inclusive for all pupils. We understand that you often face time constraints, spending cut pressures and lack of suitable resources for planning inclusive lessons.
SignSpell is an easy way to:
- widen the range of communication and literacy skills taught
- focus on the needs and interests of individuals
- offer stimulating reading media
- provide high levels of engagement with reading.
What does SignSpell include?
The SignSpell system covers everything you need to teach BSL to children of all ages and abilities within a primary school setting. It include two introductory and 12 themed lessons: lesson plans, digital storybooks, printable activities and flashcards. In addition, there is a series of video clips which bring to life signed words and phrases.
Find out more
For more information about our BSL resources or to buy the SignSpell course, please contact our Access Solutions team:
Telephone: 0333 240 5658
Textphone: 0333 014 4530
The SignSpell course has been developed by Signature, a nationally recognised body which promotes excellence in communication with deaf and deaf blind people. The organisation has sponsored the development of SignSpell, with specialist educational practitioners to encourage inclusive learning and in recognition of the weight of evidence demonstrating enhanced results in literacy when children learn British Sign Language (BSL). They have formed a partnership with Action on Hearing Loss.